Singer Debbie Hennessey Offers Up Quintessential American Music
by Shanté Gordon
Debbie Hennessey is a multi-award winning independent artist whose music is quintessential American Music; a blend of country, rock and soul, with distinctive vocals and familiar themes.
“Hennessey’s bold, husky delivery puts its imprint on her material, whose catchy hooks and spot-on arrangements show she knows her stuff and is surrounded by pro-caliber talent. Hennessey is a skilled artist whose polished work commands respect.” – Music Connection
Debbie Hennessey’s accomplishments include:
Winner of the AC40 Female Artist of the Year from New Music Weekly (2004)
Recipient of an ASCAPlus Award (2006 & 2007)
Was included on CDs from CMT New Music Collection (2005), GoGirls MusicFest (2005) and the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Music Fest (2006)
Received a Billboard World Song Contest Honorable Mention (2006)
Named Best Vocalist of the Month by SingerUniverse (2006)
Two-time Artist of the Month by Songsalive! (2005 & 2006)
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the award-winning Debbie and also had an opportunity to listen to her second album, Good As Gone.
[Shanté] So Debbie, start from the beginning…. [Debbie] Well, I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. Singing was it for me. I did the usual vocal/choral stuff in Junior High and High School. I didn’t start taking lessons until my late teens/early 20s. I went through a few teachers before I found the right one but after I found the right teacher for me, my voice really grew. [Shanté] What did you do with this newly trained voice? [Debbie] I sang in a couple of rock bands and Motown review bands in San Francisco, but it wasn’t until I move to LA where things really started to move forward. [Shanté] Well, what has being in LA done for you? [Debbie] In LA, I’ve been able to produce one demo and two full-length CDs. The second, Good As Gone is the biggest so far, including a video we produced for the title track “Good As Gone”.
[Shanté] Yeah, I saw the video, well done! I love the message that you are conveying in the words. You know, coming to terms with your own reality and finding the courage to change. [Debbie] I pick songs that are strong for women. [Shanté] What else are you working on? [Debbie] I just got back from Nashville where I was writing and recording new songs. The sound is similar to what I’ve been doing in terms of my music being a mix of country, rock and soul music, you know, American music. The tracks are upbeat with strong positive messages and great quality. [Shanté] OK Let’s switch gears a little bit. Let’s talk about image and how that relates to you as a musician. [Debbie] Well, people are surprised when they see me because I look young but I have this really mature voice. It kind of throws them off. It’s tough being in entertainment because people expect a certain thing but you have to be happy being yourself. You really have to allow yourself to be happy and feel good. [Shanté] So TRUE! That’s something we really try to highlight in the magazine. [Debbie] Actually, I’m so glad I found Plus Model Magazine. I really enjoy the beauty tips because just like you models, singers always want to look and be their best. I love the magazine because it is so empowering. [Shanté] Tell us, what are some of the ideas and/or word you live by? [Debbie] It all comes down to what’s inside and expressing who I am. I have to limit my exposure to entertainment news because I can’t deal with the notion that we all have to look like this, do this, be that, etc.
A few words of advice: you have to find people that you are comfortable working with. If some people won’t give you the time of day, then you have to find other people who will assist you and help bring out who you are.
Honestly, all women struggle. But what’s funny is that the men don’t care. One of my personal saying is, “real women have curves and real men like ’em!”
[Shante] RIGHT ON!
Debbie Hennessey can be described as a mix of Natalie Merchant, Melissa Etheridge and Faith Hill. Her second and most recent album, Good As Gone, is one that anyone can relate to regardless of background. Her rich, smooth voice contributes to the palatability of universal themes of self-realization, human connection and love. The CD just glides effortlessly from the title track “Good As Gone” to the final track “That’s Some Kind of Love”. My Favs (no particular order) “Good As Gone” “When Two Become One” “I’m Still Alive” “That’s A Lie” “Walkin’ On A Wire”