The Mississippi native doesn’t hold back on her latest album, “Mrs. Jones.”
JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI—Aretha Henry, the soulful southern belle who hails from the “Magnolia State,” is one artist who isn’t afraid to speak her truth. On her latest album, Mrs. Jones, Henry gets up close and personal, pouring her raw emotion into every single track.
“I didn’t realize just how much I hold things in until I started to write this album, possibly because I didn’t have the words yet,” explained Henry. “This album says those things that I never said. This is the grown up me saying out loud the things that I couldn’t articulate until now. This album is me ‘all glowed up.’”
Henry’s latest album is a follow up to 2014’s Superhuman. A lot has transpired in the singer’s life since her last recording nearly five years ago. From heartache to deep sorrow, she’s experienced it all over the last few years. Yet like a phoenix, she’s risen from the ashes every time only to become even stronger than before.
“My favorite song on the album is Bless Your Judgemental Heart because it’s what I most needed, wanted to say. I have overcome so much in my life,” stated Henry. “Every time Iʼve fallen, Iʼve gotten right back up, and every time there were people who refused to acknowledge it. So I acknowledged it. Iʼve made some bad decisions, but Iʼve made a lot of good ones, too.”
The singer-songwriter spent about a year diligently working on Mrs. Jones, recording the album at 16 Bars Recording Studio in Jackson, MS. Along with Bless Your Judgemental Heart, the album includes the following six tracks: Can’t Stay Away, Love Language, Hollywood, A Life That’s Mine, Daydream and Glow.
“There was a lot that I wanted to say on this album, and I wanted to write and perform every song in a way that did justice to my journey,” stated Henry. “This album is a bit different style-wise in that it shows a wide range of vocal dynamics with a more mature sound and lyrics. Also, my husband, Kevin “KJ3” Jones, solely produced my last three albums. For this album, we brought in a Co-Producer, Donovan E. Scott. We also used a live band for “A Life That’s Mine.”
As for the album’s title, Mrs. Jones seemed like the obvious choice for the singer after becoming Mrs. Jones for the second time on June 1, 2017. Each time, Henry admits to being a totally different person. However, the second time is the charm.
“When my husband and I got married in 2011, I was in my twenties and in over my head with a lot of growing up to do. The second time around, I entered our marriage as a grown woman who was stronger, wiser and whole all by herself,” stated Henry. “Also, I named the album Mrs. Jones to put a real life face to “The Joneses” reference that gets used so often. The Joneses are brought into conversations and entered into competitions all the time that they didnʼt ask to be in. I knew what jealousy and contempt looked like long before I ever recorded my first single. I know what itʼs like to be compared to everybody.”
When listeners hear the album for the first time, Henry hopes that they will carefully take in the words she’s saying—and hopefully learn something from them. She’s a firm believer that no one’s past defines them, but a person can learn from it in order to become an even stronger, better person.
“I want people to know that weʼre supposed to heal from our pasts and move on, glow up, live our best lives,” stressed Henry. “Itʼs not wrong. Itʼs what healthy people who want to live productive, happy lives do. Enjoy the sunshine and let no one push you back under a thunder cloud.”
Influenced by such singers as Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Prince, Henry has been singing since she was a little girl. There was always music being played in her home thanks to her mother who loved a good beat.
“Growing up, my love for music was nurtured to the max. I was in the school choir, the church choir, community choir, groups,” stated Henry. “My mom was a big music head and was always blasting music in the house when I was little. Her second husband could SANG. He sang all the time, and he sang with so much passion. I had never met anyone before who had the same heart/love for music as I did. I consider it a gift to have seen it in someone else.”
Henry has, fortunately, been blessed with the same gift and has no plans to slow down. When she’s not busy thinking of the lyrics to a new song, she dreams big but stays gracious.
“I like trophies, so a Grammy would be nice,” smiled Henry. “Other than that, I just want to continue to enjoy making good music.”
ABOUT ARETHA HENRY: Born in Jackson, MS, Henry always knew that she wanted to be a singer. She released her debut album, Beautiful, in 2010 and continues to record music that resonates on both the Indie and R&B charts.