Q+A: Meet & Vibe With Henri B. Styles

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Henri B. Styles, born Henriette Bangoura, is a 21-year-old R&B and Soul singer-songwriter of Guinean descent, born and raised outside of Washington, DC. She released her first EP Alter-Ego in 2019. After Henri’s debut EP release, the singer spent the remainder of the year building a catalog of songs that were unfortunately lost and ultimately led to the creation of The Lost Files EP later that year.

To further get to know her, Henri B. Styles down with Raydar Magazine’s Ethan Ijumba to detail about her previous project, endeavors in fashion, as well her next steps going forward as an artist. Be sure to read the full interview below as well as stream her recent EP Phases on all platforms. 

Originating from the Washington D.C. area artists such as Tank, Wale, Chuck Brown, and Ari Lennox are there any specific influences that you had growing up in a musically diverse city? 

Growing up in this area I didn’t really have any inspirations, to be honest. I wasn’t hip to a lot of artists until my junior year in high school. The DMV had a low-key music scene that I wasn’t aware of until I started going to art shows. I knew about the Alex Vaughn’s, Odd Mojo’s, and the Matt Mcghee’s though. But to answer your question, not really.

Aside from music, you curated your own clothing piece with fashion brand Tomorrow called “Estella.” Have you always had an interest in fashion and can we expect more from you in the future?

Yes, I’ve always had an interest in fashion ever since, I want to say, middle school. I found out about New york Tumblr kids and also found out about thrifting and really just wanted to be fly and unique like them. Their styles really encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone as a fashionista, so I started thrifting heavily.

You guys can definitely expect more in the future, I’m currently working on a set with my partner Bryan Lewin, expecting to drop on Ancien real soon. Y’all can get a sneak peak of the piece on my upcoming music video for “Release.”

With that being said are there any specific icons or brands that made you want to pursue fashion as part of your career?

Not a lot of icons but I like brands such as Matte brand, Rick Owens, and love love love Vintage Chanel. Regarding any icons though definitely Rihanna. She’s someone that has encouraged me to just try different shit and she makes everything look good. I always say that I’m like her daughter because whatever hairstyle or whatever outfit that I wear that people may be hesitant about, I always make look good if that makes sense, so definitely Rihanna.

Aside from her, I would definitely consider my mom an icon as far as Vintage pieces because my fashion is very inspired from the early 90s to the early-late 2000. So like seeing my mother dressed up as a kid really sparked an interest because I’m like, damn, like where the fuck did you get these pieces? And to this day, you know, I find different pieces from my mom’s closet that she’s never worn, that you can’t find anywhere. So my mother definitely had a huge influence on, you know, with my fashion.

To go along with that, are there any ventures or careers that you look to pursuit aside from music and fashion in the future.

Honestly, I’ve always told myself that I wanted to direct. Whether it be film, a photoshoot, whatever it is I’d love to direct. I also want to get into interior designing, whether it’s designing someone’s home to their liking or a luxurious building. I do want to try photography because I personally feel and know that I have an eye and vision for certain things. Bringing visions to life.

Overall I love capturing memories with friends, trips, or just anything that catches my eye. I love that shit. Someone even asked me the other day if I’d be interested in DJ’ing and honestly, that shit would be so dope. I love music and I enjoy dancing, so that’d be super hard to learn. I’m a multifaceted queen, so it’s only right that I learn and do more.

Your most recent EP, Phases, includes poetic skits, voicemails, and scenes what was the reasoning behind adding them to your project?

The reasoning behind this was to show that I can curate a tasteful project. That I was capable of telling a story through my thoughts and emotions. I’d be lying if I said I did this all alone. With the help of my manager, shoutout to Jason, he suggested a lot of the interludes. And it’s amazing when a bunch of minds come together to create, the process ends up even more beautiful. The interludes were spot on and when we finally placed them where they needed to be, a story formed. My story.

Comparing AlterEgo to Phases, how do you feel you’ve developed and grown as an artist?

Comparing the two, I definitely want to say that my lyricism has gotten so much better. I’m still growing and evolving so it’s only right to perfect my work as I go. I can see my confidence and assertiveness melting out of me. It’s like a flower blooming. I planted the seeds and as time goes on you blossom. I feel like with my new release I was more strategic and spontaneous than my first two projects that I kind of just, you know, dropped, without much of a lead up. I feel myself being more open and vocal about what I really want than just settling.

So then after releasing Phases are there any next or upcoming plans music-wise that you have set to release or that your fans and new listeners can expect?

My supporters can definitely expect new music, maybe some random drops. On some Soundcloud shit, we’ll see. But yeah, definitely more singles, visuals, and hopefully more collaborations with some dope-ass artists.

If you enjoyed Henri B. Styles, check out our chat with Maya B!