Carl Henry
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Carl Henry

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | MAJOR

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | MAJOR
Band R&B Reggae


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Carl Henry @ Jello Martini Lounge

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Carl Henry @ Jello Martini Lounge

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Carl Henry @ Mingles, Grand Falls,

Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


Press announces the release of All That I Know in early 2010.
- - This week’s Guest: Carl Henry. First artist that was asked back for a second time!

Songs played:
1. Trippin’ - Carl Henry
2. Just Like You - Carl Henry
3. Dim The Lights - Carl Henry -

Nov 2, 2005

As a relatively successful male R&B/dancehall recording artist in Canada, Carl Henry is well aware he is, perhaps, a rare breed.

"Hell yeah!" Henry says emphatically over the phone, in an exclusive interview with Pride News Magazine.

While there are female artists like Jully Black, Divine Brown and Melanie Durrant currently enjoying larger success in the Canadian urban music scene, there's the argument that the same can't be said for the African Canadian men. "To be one of the few males out there, I'm glad to rep the guys and, hopefully, set that bar [for other male artists]," Henry says.

And with his sophomore effort, I Wish, released this week (November 1), Henry hopes this album does even better than his Juno-nominated 2003 debut, (RNB). The Jamaican-born, Montreal-based singer's sound is best defined as a mix of R&B, gospel, soul and dancehall. Henry was recently signed to major record label Universal Music (via imprint CeSoul), and notes that the Canadian music industry is becoming a lot more receptive to urban artists.

"It's definitely a great time to be part of the urban scene," Henry says, adding that there are a lot more opportunities now than there were in the past.

"While there's still a lot of work still to be done, it's come a long way."

As a child growing up in Montreal, Carl Henry says he was exposed to a lot of gospel music. And like many R&B singers, Henry kicked off his musical career singing in his church choir.

"Growing up, I sang a lot of gospel, but, as I got older, I discovered a lot of the great soul artists like Marvin Gaye."

It was while he was attending Vanier College in Montreal that, at the urging of friends, the talented Henry decided to pursue music full-time. He eventually hooked up with Montreal-based record label CeSoul and simultaneously released his debut RNB project,in both English and French.

Being from Montreal and bilingual gives Henry an added advantage, he notes, and it allows him to tap into different markets. "There's definitely an advantage to that, and I'm really grateful to have come up in that environment," Henry says.

He has taken his act throughout North America and Europe, and has opened for artists including Mary J. Blige, De La Soul and Ashanti and, most recently, hip hop/pop supergroup Black Eyed Peas.

Whereas his debut was straight-up R&B music, I Wish features heavy dancehall reggae influences, no doubt buoyed by Henry's recent success with recent singles, "Bare as She Dare" and "Homie's Girl", which were both nominated for Best Reggae Recording Junos in 2004 and 2005.

Henry notes that, with reggae becoming a big part of the urban music scene, the release of I Wish is good timing. "[It's] the second album, so there's a little more pressure, but I'm feeling confident about it. It's an album that makes you want to dance," Henry says. The project features his hit singles ("Homie's Girl", "Hot Gal", and a new remix of "One Night Stand") along with a DVD of tour performances and live interviews.

The new album was co-written and co-produced by Joseph Stonestreet (formerly of Teddy Riley's R&B group Blackstreet) and also features appearances by Elephant Man, singer CeCile, and NY-based rapper JR Writer.

Coming from a West Indian background, Henry says, it feels natural to mix traditional R&B/soul with dancehall, and make it work.

"Some people say that if you mixed Sean Paul with Usher, that you'd get Carl Henry," he says with a laugh. While there are the heavy dancehall, rap and reggae influences in I Wish, it still has the traditional elements of R&B. "I tried to put an album out that people can relate to," Henry says.

He is also passionate about giving back to the community - he's been a part of the Make A Wish Foundation and regularly makes appearances at high schools during Black History Month.

Henry is also slated to perform at a "Stop the Violence"-type event in Toronto later this month. It's definitely in the works, Henry says.

"I think that an artist.whether or not you consider yourself a role model [or not], whether you want to admit it or not, you are because people look up to you," Henry says.

"I think that, if you're in that position, it's your duty to give back to the community that blessed you. It's important that I do my share; do my part when I can."

Born in Jamaica, Carl Henry moved to Montreal at the age of five, when he was just a “young buck.” He says it is a good place to live because it’s a multicultural environment and a melting pot. “So you know, minus the cold, those are some of the benefits,” he says.
Henry says he began singing when he was about four in his grandmother’s church in Jamaica. “I guess from that, the whole passion really took off, and I’ve always enjoyed being on stage. I received encouragement from a really young age as well, so that kind of propelled me into this whole domain.”

Henry’s major musical influence was gospel. He looks to one group, The Winans, as major mentors as they were the first to bring gospel music out of churches and into large arenas. He also considers The Clark Sisters to be legends, and looks up to the greats like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. “Those are some of the people I really cherish and look up to musically because their music transcends time.”

Henry, who is in New York putting the finishing touches on his sophomore album, says he is “getting ready to get back into the swing of things.” In a telephone interview Henry says he is primarily working on finishing up his album “Perfect”, due out in late spring, 2005. Henry says this album reveals more of who Carl Henry is. “As an artist I’ve definitely grown from the first album. I’ve evolved and matured, and this album really reflects that whole growth.” He also says that you will hear the fusion of R&B and dance hall, but it is not strictly a dancehall album adding, “You’ll hear the dance hall rhythms and all that, but the lyrics show who I am, and reflects not just music but my life.”
Henry has worked with a number of producers including, Great Dane, K–Fam, Mr. Doo and Canadian producer J Rome. “All the producers I’ve worked with are so different in how they approach things, so it’s always interesting to work with producers who really know what they are doing.”

During Canadian Music Week Henry was nominated for a Canadian Radio Music Award. He has also been honoured with an Urban X–Posure Award in 2003 and this year marks his third Juno nomination. Asked how it feels to hear he is nominated for such prestigious awards, Henry says, “It’s definitely always a nice feeling. The industry is recognizing what you’re doing, so it just makes you feel good because people are really paying attention and see that I’m here and I’m doing something that they are taking note of. It’s kind of like a stamp of approval, it does mean a lot.” He says he will be attending the Junos with no expectations. “I’m just going to go with the flow.”
Last July Henry went on a month–long tour of Europe with Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Elephant
Man and TOK, which he says was “crazy.” “It was just great. We did France, Germany, Italy,
the Netherlands and Belgium. It was a humongous festival, like 30,000 to 40,000 people and as far as I was concerned people didn’t know who I was, but they embraced my music and made me feel like I was a legend or something, so it was quite the experience. It was nice that the people really appreciated your music for your music and not because you’re that established artist or have that star factor.”
Henry had a “surreal” experience in Cologne, Germany as he was sitting on a restaurant patio. A car drove by and all he could hear was “Bare as She Dare” coming out of the car. “I was just like wow, to be half way around the world and then hear somebody playing your song, it’s just very exhilarating. It was a wonderful, wonderful feeling.” Last year Henry also performed shows in his homeland of Jamaica, the United States as well as Canada.

Some people have referred to Henry as a true Canadian urban music ambassador which he says he will not argue with because he enjoys what he does. “I will gladly play that role and spread the
greatness of Canadian urban artists around the world because there is so much talent that needs to be heard, developed and spread.”

Wild 101 will present Henry with special guests Caramel City live in concert on Friday. Tickets are available at Sunrise Records in the Pen Centre or at Farenheit Night Club.
Henry says anyone attending the show can expect a lot of fun. “I’m back, getting ready to drop the new album and show the bigger, better Carl Henry.” [CHELSEY SPINOSA]
- Wild 101


3 LPs/CDs Carl Henry RNB (2002), Solution RNB (2003), I Wish (2005) - and many singles: Just Like U, Dim The Lights, Trippin, Perfect feat. JR Writer, Did U Really, Being with you, One Night Stand, Bare As She Dare, A Wall Of Sound, Sans souci, and on and on...



Carl Henry puts the riddim in rhythm and blues. Born in Jamaica and raised in Montreal, the island crooner blends the rumble of dancehall reggae with the smooth stylings of R&B and soul. He grew up singing in a church choir; years of vocal training have shaped a voice that slinks, shudders and soars.

Henry, has toured all over North America and Europe, supporting U.S. stars like Mary J. Blige, De La Soul and Ashanti. Home in Canada, he has earned Juno Award nominations in each of the last four years. RNB, his full-length debut, was recognized for Best R&B/Soul Recording in 2003; singles Homie’s Girl,Bare As She Dare (featuring Ce’Cile) and Hot Gal (featuring Rally Bop) were nominated for Best Reggae Recording in 2004, 2005 and 2006 respectively.

RNB delivered passionate, late-night murmurs with songs like One Night Stand, Sex U and Did U Really. The album’s title was literal: RNB is straight-up R&B from beginning to finish. (Same goes for Solution RNB, its French-language version.) Henry is proud of his first effort, but says it reflected only a narrow band of his full range.

Now, though, Carl combines his myriad influences - R&B, dancehall, pop, soul, gospel, etc. - on his sophomore album, I Wish (CeSoul Music, distribution by DEP/Universal). “The new record is who I really am, as an artist and a person,” he says. The moment is ripe, given reggae’s increasing influence on urban music. “This is a great time for me, because reggaeton and dancehall are really stepping to the forefront,” he says. “People are willing to give it a chance, wanting to give it an ear. I’m glad that I’m able to make music that reflects that.”

CeSoul CEO Cecil Collins helped Henry gather a superb team of collaborators to create I Wish. Carl co-wrote several songs with Teron Beal, hit composer for Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross and Deborah Cox. “[Working with Teron] was initially somewhat intimidating. I went in thinking that I would be quiet, that he would dictate what I would sing - but we clicked right away,” Henry says. “He listened to my ideas, I listened to his, we played off each other. We were initially supposed to do one song together, but wound up doing five.”

Joseph Stonestreet, formerly of Blackstreet, was another key contributor; he co-wrote and co-produced significant portions of I Wish. “Joe is like my musical father,” Henry says. “To have somebody who has mastered music to the level that he has - I’m constantly learning so much from him, as a writer and a vocalist.”

Carl says he especially enjoyed working with Bizzo, an up-and-coming Philadelphia producer who is steeped in hip-hop vibes. “We did a ton of songs together,” Henry says. “Hopefully this is one of those career things, where we’re still working together three or four albums down the line.”

For I Wish’s coup de grâce, hip-hop industry veteran J Rome connected Carl with JR Writer, ace rhyme slayer from New York’s Diplomats crew, for a jumped-up remix of Bizzo’s Perfect. The result, a hot mash of rap, reggae and R&B, which has already caused serious damage on the dance floor. “Perfect” was the set up track for I Wish’s title track, produced by the Red One (Christina Milian, A-Teens), that reached Top 20 on Canadian CHR charts.

Now comes the r&b groover Little Mama, a momentous hook laden chugger that is already burning up the airwaves.