Houston singer/songwriter Mallory Henderson talked with Empower Magazine about the recent release of her debut single “1 Hunned” and shared insights on her decision to place her musical talents front and center in a special Q&A spotlight.
Tell us a little about your musical journey? Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to sing and perform. I joined the church choir when I was four and I’ve been singing since. I would sing in the church choir, school shows, be featured on others’ songs, and eventually shows around town… and while I was in middle school, I even joined the school choir to get classical training because we couldn’t afford voice lessons. In college, I actually wrote my first song, but shortly after, I decided to pursue a “normal” job. But, after graduating college I realized I couldn’t run from music any longer. So here I am.
When did you first recognize your vocal abilities?
I think I always knew I could sing. I don’t remember much from my early childhood, but I remember having visions of my adult self on a huge stage in front of a huge audience with an elaborate costume on performing. To me that was confirmation that I could sing, because I thought that was the vision of what I’m supposed to do.
Where did you first showcase your vocal/musical skills and what was the response?
I used to sing all the time in church, but I didn’t perform until the talent show I sang in in 6th grade. I sang “Like A Star” by Corrine Bailey Rae. I think everybody was surprised, including my parents.
Share some of the challenges you encountered in pursuing a career in music?
It’s expensive! It can take years to even be seen, it’s hard to find people who do good business… There are a lot of challenges, but I think what frustrates me the most is that I let those things hold me back for any time at all. People always tell me, “you’re still young,” “Things will happen when they’re supposed to.” Those things are true, but I really regret letting my surroundings slow me down. Though I recognize ways I’m better off starting now, I could have been doing so much more today had I went hard on my music a long time ago.
What inspired you to release your debut single “1 Hunned”?
Honestly, I was driving home from work, listening to beats, reflecting on the past few years, and when I heard the one I used for “1 Hunned” the lyrics just came out. I said what I felt in the moment about people in romantic situations not being honest with me or stopping to understand that it’s not about social norms or what they think I want, it’s just about keeping it one hundred or real about the reality of the situation. After I finished the track, I realized it was a summer jam and that it had to be my first single.
What are your hopes for your first album?
I hope people receive it well. I want people to be able to relate to my music, but also be able to just listen and jam without having to think about anything else.
What is next on the horizon creatively and musically for you as you embark on your musical journey?
I’m just going to continue to work. I definitely have more music coming and as I create, I want to elevate to new levels of shows, new levels of appearances and speaking engagements, new levels of partnerships… I just want to progress and reach more and more people.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years as an artist?
I definitely want to be nationally known by then. I would love to be touring and at least three albums in. And I want to have already worked with some household names.
Mallory Henderson is a Houston-based singer/songwriter and mental health/self-love advocate. She is the founder of the annual The Premier Benefit and Birthday Bash. The Premier provides a platform to discuss mental health regularly and raises funds to help send minority young adults to therapy. January 2020 will mark the 5th anniversary of The Premier. Mallory is currently working on her debut EP and plans to continue to build her music career in Texas and around the nation, eventually the world.