INTRODUCING YOU TO THE HENGISTBURY

Happy Monday!

Hengistbury are a duo made up of Jessie and Pete, who are from the UK. I having recently been talking to them I thought I would interview them and make you aware for them.


So, hello Jessie and Pete aka Hengistbury, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview with me.

Firstly, I would like you to introduce yourselves to our readers?
Hello! We are a country duo from down on the South Coast in Dorset.

How old were you were you decided to start writing your own songs? And when did you write and perform your first song?
Jessie: I first starting writing a diary when I was 13, which included little poems...These evolved into songs when I was about 19 and realised I could put my thoughts to music...But I mostly kept them hidden. Still have all my diaries and they make for interesting reading now!
Pete: I first started writing in my teens, although I think it took a few years of refinement before anything good started to come out! I think my dad has a cassette of my first song somewhere, I must have been 13 or so, I can’t quite remember it but I dread to think how it would sound now!

Where did you first perform any of yours songs and how old were you?
Jessie: Probably about 20 when I came runner up in a singer songwriting competition...But I didn't have the confidence to pursue the prize which was recording my song! 
Pete: My earliest memories of properly performing my own songs live are when I was about 14 at the Corn Exchange in Maidstone and the Forum in Tunbridge Wells. My Dad is an amazing musician and I also recall playing at community events and the like with him all the time growing up.

What is your favourite country song and who is your favourite country artist (can be more than one)?
Jessie: That's a tricky one...Probably Lee Ann Womack, "I Hope You Dance" as my mum loves it and actually those lyrics have such a great message.  I grew up listening to Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton so they'd be on the list too.  Dolly has a song called "Coat of Many Colours" which is beautiful and I believe related to her upbringing in a large family...Similar to mine!  I also love her version of "I Will Always Love You" although only if I'm in the mood to cry!
Pete: Country is such a huge genre, there is so much to it! I love more alt-country crossover artists like Iron and Wine, Ryan Adams, Lord Huron, etc. I’m also a big fan of Johnny Cash, Norah Jones and Brad Paisley. Not all of their stuff fits into country but when the Rolling Stones crossover and Ronnie Wood gets on the pedal steel it’s beautiful. My favourite country song? It’s kind of an alt-country crossover but Calexico and Iron and Wine once partnered to make one of the most beautiful records I’ve ever heard and the title track, ‘He Lays in the Reins’ is just the most beautiful, haunting thing you’ve ever heard, complete with melt-your-heart lap steel and awake-your-soul mariachi singing.

What is the most inspirational song you have heard?
Jessie: This one sticks in my mind...Ashley McBryde...I saw her sing "Girl Goin' Nowhere" live and it gave me shivers-so powerful and just the fact that it was just her and a guitar!  Magical.  
Pete: Randy Newman, ‘You Got A Friend in Me’ - it was my wife and I’s first dance at our wedding and just a wonderful tune. And of course I love Toy Story!

Now to talk about your music and plans for 2018

You have your latest single out at the moment called 'What Folks Don't Know', could you tell us a little about it?
Pete: It’s a song about my best friend. He had a terrible year a while back and took some time out to travel around the US. I flew out to meet him in Nashville where we finished off an album from another project I was working on and talking to him about it while we were there, I was struck by the idea of being able to be completely anonymous with the arrival of each new place and being able to escape the baggage of the year he had had as a way of getting past it all. There’s also the line in there about a ‘friendly fire to guide you home’ as a reminder of the positives he still had in his life here in the UK and the Paul Simon reference to one of his wife’s favourite songs - he met her after he came back and it was the happiest ending to the story.

Does that mean that you are planning on releasing music in 2018? If so, when can we expect it?

Yes! We have been working really hard on our debut album and we want to get that out with a second single, probably towards the end of summer. It’s starting to sound really great now and we’re really exited about sharing it all with you!
And being from the UK, I have to ask you how much have you loved seeing the Country Music genre grow over the years?
Jessie: I think it's a great time to be part of the country music scene in the UK as it continues to gain recognition. Not only that UK artists are being recognised, but equally to bring the wide variety of country to the UK too.
Pete: I have loved seeing it grow! So many great artists coming through and it’s amazing that Country is starting to grow here. What really excites me is the way that UK artists are interpreting the form and starting to create a unique definition of what modern British Country is.

Thank you so much for your time, Jessie and Peter.

You can follow them on Social Media here;

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Thank you for reading my interview.
Kellie x

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