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About Tess Henley

Known for her emotive, retro-leaning R&B, singer/pianist, Tess Henley first emerged in 2008 with her independent album, Easy to Love. A series of competition wins brought her to the attention of legendary producer Don Was, who recorded her 2015 EP Wonderland.

Born in 1987, in Kent, Washington, Tess Henley grew up in a musical family, in which her mother, a professional singer, encouraged her to play music from a young age. She started out taking Suzuki Method piano lessons at age three, and by age five was already a showing promise as a singer.

As a teenager, she began writing her own songs, balancing her time between playing music and school sports. After high school, she earned her communications degree at the University of Washington, during which time she continued to pursue her music career. In 2008, she released her debut album Easy To Love. An EP, The Appetizer arrived in 2010, the same year she graduated college. From there, Henley achieved wider recognition through a number of competitions, including winning the Budweiser-sponsored Jill Scott's Summer Block Party. Similarly, her song "Boy in the Window" grabbed ears after it was used in the 2012 film Hello I Must Be Going. The song also won SoulTracks' International Song Competition and an Independent Music Award.

In 2013, Henley released her second full-length album, High Heels & Sneakers, featuring production by Philadelphia-based Roots affiliates Dice Raw and Khari Mateen. Yet another competition win, Guitar Center's 2014 National Artist Discovery Program, led to a collaboration with producer Don Was. Was helped her record Wonderland, an early-2015 EP that featured backing from session veterans. She promoted it with a pair of performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live. In 2018, she returned with the single "Better." ~ Matt Collar

Kent, WA
31 Oct 1987

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