Hen talks Raincoats
Olivia Gliku | On 30, Dec 2017
We recently caught up with Adelaide’s Hen, who you may know better by her previous title, Julia Henning. Hen recently dropped her touching single,Â Raincoats. We had a chat about how that track and her new name came about.
“It was written over about a year, which is a long time for me. Usually they come out in about five or ten minutes, but it started off a bit differently to what it ended up being. But, the sentiment is still the same, it’s this song about sort of having baggage from your past, that you find makes it so that you can’t trust yourself anymore. It’s just kind of exploring those feelings Like it says in the chorus, ‘how am I supposed to build a home inside a ghost town?’ Like how am I supposed to rebuild myself when I’m kind of empty on the inside?”
When she performed under her full name, Hen ticked off a notable list of achievements, including performing at the Sydney Opera House and nabbing the number one spot on Triple J Unearthed‘s charts on multiple occasions.She told us how and why she chose to go by Hen from now on.
“Obviously Julia Henning is my actual name. No offence to my mother, I do like the name. It just never felt right as a performing name. ItÂ kind of, I don’t know, it just never sat right with me. Obviously I had great times performing under that name and releasing material under that. But, when I decided that I wanted to change my sound, it kind of gave me an opportunity to change my name as well. Yeah, I thought about it for a long time. I had some other names that, you know, kind of were ideas that I thought about using. It wasn’t until I was playing a game ofÂ MarioKartÂ with my friends, and they started shouting out, ‘Hen, stop that!’, and I was like ‘Hen, that feels right’, and I stuck with it, and I’m really glad I did.”
“Yeah it was a bit daunting. You never know if fans are going to like the new sound, or the new name. But I really felt that I needed to be true to what I felt in myself Because, you know, as an artist, if you’re making art that you don’t feel passionate about, or you don’t feel quite right about, I think people can tell. So, I just had to Â be brave and go with it…”
Along with her new name, Hen will be bringing an important mindset to her new music. She told us about what she’s hoping to achieve through her new music, in particular, how she hopes to empower her young female fans.
“I really want to be authentic to who I am as a person, be a bit more open with that and hopefully be inspiring, or at least empowering to people in my demographic, especially young women. That was a real goal of mine, with the sound change. I reallyÂ had in mind that I wanted to be putting music out there that was really empowering for people that often get overlooked in the industry.”
“I do find that young women, particularly, teenage girls get it really rough trot in the industry. They’re actually one of our biggest markets. They’re really loyal fans, they’re great fans, but we treat them like rubbish. You often have people needlessly hate bands that teenage girls love just because they’re kind of in that category. I think that’s really unfair because it does set up girls to have this idea that their tastes are wrong, or that they’re not smart, or capable of having tastes music. So, I thought it was important to yeah, put some music out there that was empowering and can cater to that market without shaming it.”
Hen told us about her recent experience touring with Rachel Leahcar. She met Rachel at a Comicon event, they became friends, and share mutual experiences with writing.
“Rachel is amazing. She is the nicest person I think I’ve ever met, honestly…”
“It kind of made sense when it came to touring, that we would tour together, which was really lovely of her to take me along for the ride. They were really great shows. She has beautiful fans who were so lovely and really welcoming to me which was great. We sang a duet as well, which was lots ofÂ fun.”
We caughtÂ Hen just before a trip to the vet with a kitten who she said appeared to have a broken leg. Her kitten rescue duties are next on her agenda, but following those, she says we can expect new music in 2018. Her album will be dropped both here and in the UK.Â If you’re interested in keeping track of Hen’s latest news, both musical and animal saviour- related, you can follow her here.