Introducing: Henry Moodie

Out of all the emerging male British pop stars right now, Henry Moodie is one to keep your eyes and ears firmly peeled on.

Currently touring across Europe with fellow British singer-songwriter Mimi Webb, the BIMM alumni from Guildford has already had the taste of success very early on. Thanks to the little help of YouTube and TikTok, the latter where he was listed in the Top 10 most-viewed UK artists of 2022, he has gone from an aspiring musician to a hotly-tipped rising star almost overnight. Moodie’s first two emotion-fueled singles, “you were there for me” and “drunk text,” together have racked up 65 million streams on Spotify alone, and he’s even performed in arenas on The Vamps’ most recent tour.

With no time to waste, Moodie will be embarking on his debut European headline shows throughout May and June shortly after his run with Webb, most of which have already sold out. Keen to deliver another part of his story to the world, Moodie arrives today on his 19th birthday with his new release, “eighteen,” a song that details a period of his transition into adulthood and the lost emotions he felt during this time.

In an interview with EUPHORIA., we learn more about Moodie’s journey, his passion for songwriting, plans for the rest of the year, and of course, his new single, “eighteen.”

Photo: press

You are in the middle of a huge European tour supporting Mimi Webb right now. How have those shows been going?

It has been the biggest learning curve for me because I was very spoiled with the first tour that I did in November last year. It was an arena tour, so it was smooth running. And I know this sounds really weird, but as a realist, I feel like in some ways it’s almost less nervewracking as those shows were less intimate if you know what I mean. This taught me a lot because it’s been smaller venues and I’ve just really been figuring out my online and on-stage presence and what works best with different audiences. 

I feel like every artist needs to go through that phase where they just bang out a bunch of shows and that’s the phase that I’m in. I’m really grateful for it and excited to complete the UK tour because that part of the tour is much bigger. It’s all sold out, 3000-ish average capacity venues, so it’s like pretty big and really exciting. Mimi’s lovely, she’s really welcoming and her team is lovely.

What cities have so far been a highlight?

I feel like Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities or Stockholm. I’ve been there before and it’s like I’ve always had really good experiences there, but I feel like the best so far was probably Paris because it was quite a full circle moment for me because the last time I was in Paris, I came with two of my friends in summer and then I found out I was getting my record deal. It was midnight, it was like really picturesque and it was such a special magical moment. When I returned, all the vibes just came back and it was really nice. It was a big full circle moment and my whole family came and my auntie’s French, so she came up from Geneva.

You signed your record deal last year but had been using TikTok and YouTube as platforms to promote yourself as a singer. How did your label come to find you?

We were talking to a few labels for a little bit briefly with my management and then I put out a song called “you were there for me” and that gained a bit of attention, I guess more than I expected. Then the label that I ended up signing to, we were talking a little bit and that song came out and then we signed the deal three, four weeks after it came out. It wasn’t just because of “you were there for me,” but I think a big part of it was. They’re also a lovely team. It was Columbia for US and Robots and Humans for the UK and I remember walking out of the meeting being like, “This is like the loveliest team ever.” So, we really wanted to sign with them and luckily they had us on their label and were willing to do that.

What is it about TikTok that you enjoy so much?

I think I kind of got into it because it was during covid and that was kind of all you could do because I was that year that finished GCSE and didn’t do GCSEs, so we literally had nothing, we had no schoolwork over that summer. It was like when the lockdown happened, even though we thought it was gonna be like two weeks [laughs], which did not age well. I genuinely had eight months by myself. I was like, “What do I do?” All I had was my phone. So I was like, “Can I help people through like lockdown?” So I did relatable TikToks that were about covid or about certain situations like dear ex, dear fake friends, dear sister. I don’t know, like weird things. I was in a band actually during that year and then I joined a music college. I just always really kind of wanted to do songwriting and I kind of figured out that TikTok was my way into it. I was doing it between covers and original songs. What I loved about TikTok was that the reach is amazing on that app. I could do this like lyric change where it was half an original song and half a cover, and that seemed to be working. So I just kind of kept doing it, to be honest.

With music always being a big part of your journey, who were your early influences growing up?

That’s such a good question. Taylor Swift kind of is the reason I got into songwriting in the first place. She just knows how to write an absolute pop banger and make it so complex and simple at the same time and create these eras and albums. She brings joy and everyone along into the new era. She was a big reason. I always think about this but I don’t think there was like a moment that really clicked. I always just was songwriting, I found it just really fun. It was just like so crazy being able to like create a song out of nowhere. I think part of it maybe comes from my mom because she is a therapist, so I’ve always been quite open with my emotions and stuff. I think she always taught me how to channel them into something.

She never like told me to do songwriting, but I ended up falling in love with songwriting because that was how I would channel my emotions If something happened in school, I would come back from school and write about it, so I guess it kind of came from within. I did a bit of musical theater when I was a kid, but it wasn’t really for me I think, but that was what made me fall in love with the stage and performing.

Photo: press

You touched on it before but you were in a boyband previously. Can you tell me about that experience?

I was 15 when that started but it basically properly took off during lockdown. I was in it for two years. I think one of the biggest things or biggest problems about that time was I chose to leave school after my GCSEs and in hindsight, even though I don’t have any regrets because I do think everything for a reason and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that, but I think leaving school at 16 during lockdown was not a good combination because we literally were just in the house together and there was nothing, we couldn’t go out and work. I’m still close friends with them but you kind of get on top of each other and sort of combination of every situation just meant that it wasn’t probably the most healthy thing. One of the members ended up leaving and then I ended up going into education because I wanted the routine. I wanted the social life, I wanted the structure again. I did that songwriting course still with one of the members of the band. He still lives with me and we went up and did it in London every day. That was like a really big glow-up moment for me.

The band was amazing in so many ways and I learned so much. I really picked up a guitar and started producing because we would produce our own songs and started songwriting. The environment and the situation of being 16 and out of school in lockdown, even though we were doing an apprenticeship thing, it was tough at times but I wouldn’t be in this situation if it wasn’t for that.

“you were there for me” became your official debut single. How confident were you in that choice and were you debating on others?

To be fair, I kind of didn’t really properly think when I teased it on TikTok that I wanted to put this one out. I just kind of put it out on TikTok because it almost felt like at the time it was just gonna be another post, like send this to your best friend. So I put out the chorus and then when it gained attraction. I was like, “Oh my god, this could be my first song!” Why would I waste this opportunity and not put it out sort of thing. We hadn’t really had a plan, it just kind of happened out of nowhere, but it felt like the right thing to do. In hindsight, I’m so happy with that. I just was just like, “Let’s just do it, see what happens.” And then yeah, everything luckily really fell into place after that.

You’re now about to release your third single, “eighteen.” This is another very personal song for you. Tell us the story behind it.

I wrote “eighteen” when I turned 18, so last year basically. It was during a moment in time when I was a bit lost and “you were there for me” hadn’t come out yet. Everything was very much waiting to happen and it was a really weird time because you don’t know what the future holds. It was quite an anxious period and I was just in a very different mental state from where I am now. I’m just quite dramatic so it sounds quite dramatic. I wrote that song and then “you were there for me” came out and then “drunk text” did and then everything just sort of all happened. 

I remember thinking a few months ago that the perfect way to wrap up this year would be to put the song out as it’s almost the kind of conclusion of being 18 as it shows that I’m in a different place from where I started. The beautiful thing about songwriting, it’s almost like a diary, so you can kind of trace back to certain times of your life and how you were feeling. It was such a significant part of my life when I was in that mental state so putting it out, even though I’m in a different mental state now, I think it just needs to happen because then I can look back on it. I feel like it’s a big chapter of my life that needs to be closed.

With it being your third single, can fans expect these songs to lead up to a project anytime soon?

It’s an EP that these songs are leading up to. I’m not a hundred percent sure about the release date of it but that’s something I’m really excited about. And then after the EP, hopefully, an album, which I’m also so excited about because I’ve never done an album before but when I was in the band, I used to like do these little albums and send them to my management. They were like solo albums with all the artwork finished, I’d make them just for fun. When I put out that album or when I write that album, that’s gonna be like a really big moment.

Are there going to be any surprises, sonically? A lot of the material we’ve heard has had a stripped-back feel to it.

There is one that is pretty big. It’s kind of almost Coldplay, like very grand, very dramatic. I’m really excited about that one. I don’t know if that’s gonna be the first song yet or what kind of placement it is, but yeah, there are loads of different sonics on there. There’s one song that’s a bit more of a dance music vibe but it’s not a dance song, it’s just got elements of that. I feel like this EP is me really finding my feet as a songwriter. Even if you compared “drunk text” to “eighteen,” they’re very different. I’m not worried about how different they are because this is the first kind of chapter of my songwriting journey. I almost feel like it should reflect the fact that I’ve kind of been experimenting over the past year with different sounds.

And lastly, you’ve got quite a busy few months ahead of you with releasing music, finishing Mimi’s tour, and starting your own. What is a goal you are hoping to achieve by the end of the year?

That is such a good question. The headline tour I guess is the biggest thing that is already booked and ready to go, so that’s gonna be a pinching moment. I’ve never done that before. The EP is also a big moment. In terms of goals, I think there’s not one big thing I want to achieve. It’s more like I really want to make sure this year is the year I really build the blocks and sort of gain that core fan base and just go in the right direction, I guess.

I really wanna make sure I embrace everything and not chase things because that’s not a healthy mindset I feel like. With all these tours and stuff, I really want to take it in and be able to look back in 10 years time and think about how amazing these times were. I’m really just trying to have that mentality and just embrace everything that happens and not overstress. I’m a very stressy person. I put a lot of pressure on myself so I’m just gonna try and really take it all in, which is way easier said than done, but I’m gonna try my best.