By Genine Hopkins
While Rebecca Henry was just a student at Harrison High School, it was evident that she had something special. That something was a God given talent for music. Although hindsight is 20/20, most of her fellow classmates knew that she would go far in the music industry, and this year, 2013, marks the debut of her first video and single, “Concrete Floor (Amontillado),” which has hit the internet like a storm.
The concept for the song and video portrays an issue that is near and dear to Ms. Henry’s heart: domestic violence. She wrote the song based upon the Edgar Allen Poe story “The Cask of Amontillado,” which is a dark portrayal of violence as the narrator, Montresor, tricks Fortunato into a wine cellar, effectively trapping him in the cellar to exact revenge. This trapped feeling is often at the heart of domestic violence, permeated with the hopelessness and loss of control.
“I feel that domestic abuse results in lasting harm and have created a non-profit organization – Shine On – to help raise awareness of this long lived social problem. In the end, we are all in this life together and must support victims of domestic violence and help them overcome the obstacles they face in leaving their abusers and recovering,” she stated.
Ms. Henry was a natural musician, picking up both the piano and guitar – and vocals – as a young adult. Although a late comer to the music scene, she quickly developed a local following, something that didn’t surprise most of her friends and family.
Ms. Henry has performed locally for many years, singing and playing at the local open mic scene and also being the Special Guest at the Clare County Idol Contest that took place during the Harrison Street Fair in 2011. Her vivacious personality, along with her bright vocals, are easy on the ears and her beauty is easy on the eyes as well. She left the Mid Michigan area to travel around the Midwest to bring her talent to areas beyond Clare County, and it was as she began to see the realities of others in areas far away from home that she really became dedicated to social issues such as domestic violence.
“I was shocked as the unknown layers existing in everyday life began to unfold,” she said, “There was an urge to use this awareness in lyrics, something I hope to portray in my music.”
Indeed many of her previous lyrics were light hearted and upbeat, concentrating on young love and heartache, but her new material focuses more on adult themes and you can see her artistic growth in her work. Standing on the shoulders of musical giants before her, she has influences such as Bjork and the 60s beatnik musicians, who aren’t afraid to write songs dealing with society’s ills. Henry provides her message within modern beats, using electronics and other components to keep her music fresh. She is signed to Shepard Tone Studios, an“indie” label of which she is part owner with Kato Kronen and Caleb Kronen. Although no Michigan tour dates are currently set, she is looking forward to coming home soon to play her new material.