What do Rod Stewart, John Newman and BLONDE have in common? ACM Vocals alumna Henrietta Adewole obviously!
It’s been an incredibly busy year for Henrietta since graduating last September. We thought we’d catch up with the singer to see how she’s putting everything she learnt at ACM into reality…
What course did you study & year of graduation?
I studied BA HONS in Vocal Performance, graduating in 2015.
Tell us a bit about your background and why did you wanted to work in this industry?
I started singing from a young age in church and then attended stage school. At stage school I gained confidence in performing and singing on stage before heading to college as a performing arts student. I had opportunities to audition for musicals and this lead me to study soul/blues singers like Etta James, Nora Jones and Aretha Franklin. I started connecting to their music and this became therapy for me because it helped me let out my emotions in songs and connect with others through music. These artists definitely inspired me to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter.
Tell us about everything you’ve been involved with since leaving ACM?
I’ve been VERY busy, I’ll tell you that! This industry can get really intense during certain seasons and summer is one of them!
I first started doing lead vocals with BLONDE (chart hit dance duo), after getting an audition through Industry Link, during the festival season this time last year (2015) which was an AMAZING experience… really put all my ACM LPP performances into reality! I got to travel all over the UK and Ireland and performed in front of over 40/50,000 people – which is insane – I never thought I would be doing something like that so quickly! I’ve performed at Lovebox in London, MADE festival in Manchester, Save the day in Bristol and many more, it was crazy actually! Got to meet some impressive musicians and also getting to know the boys who were very inspiring and have achieved so much at such a young age. They would listen to my music and happily give me advice on it and the reality of the music industry!
It was from BLONDE that I met and connected to people in the industry and fell into doing Backing vocals for John Newman on his BBC Live lounge in 2015, which was also insane as I’ve never even been to the Radio 1 live lounge studio. It was a great experience and also met even more talented singers who I learnt a lot from.
After the Live lounge John liked us so much that we got asked to do the Jonathan Ross show which was super cool! That lead me to doing Backing vocals for the legend Rod Stewart who is absolutely lovely and so humble. I appeared on BBC music awards which was an unforgettable experience and bumped into so many established artists…not going to name drop, but… One direction and more, haha! I then did Children In Need and met the whole cast of Eastenders which was insane and then Surprise Surprise and met Holly Willoughby.
So, in 2016 I was asked to do BVs for John Newman again in Norway for the Bergen Festival and Poland for the Life Festival (Elton John was headlining!!!!). I got to meet so many inspiring musicians and performed on stage with RUDIMENTAL! John Newman was such an energetic performer with passion that touches the soul, he is insane on stage and I learnt a lot from what it takes to be a great performer!
I’ve also done backing vocals for Max Jury for a tv show in Paris and did backing vocals for an up and coming artist called Mabel for the Great Escape Festival in Brighton.
I’m currently preparing to do backing vocals for Kwabs who I’ve always been a fan of from the beginning of his career so this is a dream to be supporting him on his European tour!
Ive released two singles so far this year called ‘Something More’ and ‘Broken By Love’ which has accumulated over 40,000 listens in 2 months! I’m set to release another single in July 2016 called ‘Real’ which I’m proper excited about. However, I’m still writing and collaborating with producers and musicians. Hoping to do an EP launch next year.
What’s next for Henrietta?
WORLD DOMINATION!! Haha! Just to continue working on my own music, progressing as an artist and trying to stay constantly inspired. I’m hoping to release an EP next year and do a live concert with a full band so I’m excited to get started on that.
How did your course prepare you for life in the music business world?
My course gave me an understanding of what being an artist is about, whilst also honing my songwriting and working with other musicians. It also taught me how to be professional, and gave me an understanding on how a band works together. It also broaden my mindset on doing backing vocals and functions as before I went to ACM I didn’t have a clue about anything.
My course gave me the knowledge of what to look out for in contracts, mangers and labels. During my time at ACM, the tutor’s experiences and effective lessons were helpful because they’ve been there and done it. Their support and advice were invaluable and helped me a lot.
Do you have any advice for those looking to get in to industry?
My advice to future and present students would to be work hard, be nice, stay focused, be hungry for it and never take ‘no’ for an answer. Pray for grace and grow tough skin!