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INTERVIEW: Henna Roso

Pic by Taylor Graham.

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

 Good thanks! Nice to hear from you guys.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Mars”?

“Mars” was a tune Justin Dupuis composed during his tenure at the University of Central Oklahoma’s jazz program.  He really did some cool stuff with chords and song structure on this one.  It is definitely one of our favorites to play live with the big outro section/drum solo.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Nope, I don’t believe so for this tune in particular, but I wrote our song “Tornado Warning” during an actual tornado warning.  I was messing around with some music, not really paying attention to the weather and then all of a sudden I heard sirens.  I then turned on the T.V. and they said if you are by Norman North High School, you should take cover.  I, at the time, lived about .3 miles from the high school.  I, being the dumb stubborn idiot I am, decided to write a B-rate funk song instead of taking cover.  😎

Any plans to release a video for the track?

Possibly in the future, but we are in between a couple of songs off of “Feed the Hungry”.

The single comes off your new album Feed The Hungry – what’s the story behind the title?

I wanted the album title to be on message with our fight against food insecurity.  The album will feed people through purchases, streaming, and licensing and I thought it was important for the title to convey that.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was long haha.  No, it was a lot of fun and took place over two years.  Justin and I had done most of the work before forming the band as far as writing goes.  He had some tunes, I had some tunes and we worked them out together and then got the band to fill out the compositions.  We did the bulk of live recording at Teegarden Studios over one weekend and then added some elements here and there.  It was my first time producing a record and it made me realize how all-encompassing and time consuming making a record can be.

What role does Tulsa play in your music?

Tulsa has always been a hot bed of incredible musical talent, but now it seems there is a different energy and focus present with a lot of bands and artists within the scene.  When people think of Tulsa and OK, I think they generally think of red dirt/country, but we are trying to let people know that Tulsa has EVERYTHING when it comes to music and we can do it at a level that competes with every major music market in the country.

What aspect of society did you get to explore on this record?

The song “You aint gotta lie” is about social media and its influences on our mental health and day to day lives.  It’s basically about a person who is putting on a show and formulating a perfect image for their followers and how this behavior can negatively effect both parties.  People are always consuming what other people are doing and what other people are experiencing through a carefully crafted lens and I think it is important to remember that these influencers/artists are people too and struggle with a multitude of issues.  Something that was created to help us connect is actually making us become more distant and withdrawn and I think it’s important to shed light on this and speak up about mental health and its lose ties with social media.

How did you go on translating your philanthropic endeavors into your music?

We started Henna Roso with the intention of providing a vessel to fight food insecurity in America.   We designed it with the idea that we could do food drives at every show and dedicate a portion of proceeds to organizations that fight hunger.  We understood that we could empower a group of people through incremental giving and with the love and support we have received have raised over 90,000 meals for people in need.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I think music is often a reflection and reaction of what is going on around you in the world.  The current political climate has inspired us to try and speak up and be active in the fight for basic human rights.  Artists need to be speaking up for immigrants, victims of police brutality, our planet, and the vicious cycle of poverty.  The heavy side of politics/life can inspire us but we are also inspired by the beauty of nature and animals.  Oh and dogs.  Dogs definitely inspire us in a BIG way.

Any plans to hit the road?

Not in the near future.  We toured pretty heavily in our first 2 1/2 years as a band and were able to make some great connections along the way.  We are more focused with creating/writing for the next record while playing fewer, more concentrated shows.  We are taking a quality over quantity approach to ensure a bigger impact in the fight against hunger.

What else is happening next in Henna Roso’s world?

I have always wanted to do a collaborative album that features various artists from Oklahoma and have it benefit the Regional Food Bank of OK/Community Food Bank of Eastern OK.  Now that “Feed the Hungry” is complete, I can start looking at this a little more seriously and start matching up artists with specific arrangements we have been working out!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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