Cory Henry - The Funk Apostles
Quick facts about Cory Henry
PLACE OF ORIGIN
A Musical Prodigy
Cory Henry grew up surrounded by a love of music and church. He started playing music when he was 2 and mimicked his mother playing the piano while she was preparing for a church choir performance. Shortly after that, he was taught his first song, “Amazing Grace” on the piano and started playing at his Christian Pentecostal church, Unity Temple. His skill on the piano only became greater revealing his musical prodigy.
Henry’s church congregation were incredibly impressed with his talent as he was able to accompany any song in any key on a B3 Hammond Organ at just the age of 5. They referred to as “Master Henry” because of it. At the age of 6, Henry even performed at the Apollo Theatre. As he grew up, Henry learned how to play several more instruments including the drums, the harpejji, and trained his voice. He also took jazz studies as a subject at high school due to his great love of anything to do with music.
At the age of 17, Henry began to become interested in and play more secular music as he often snuck out to the Village Underground, a rising star venue in New York, so he could watch different types of performances. Eventually, a position as the venue’s organist opened up and Cory secured the job. One evening Kenny Garrett, a renowned veteran jazz musician, took notice of Cory’s skills and eventually decided to bring him on tour in 2006, kick starting his musical career. Other well-known performers started to recognise Cory as a working musician and hired him for their tours.
They included mainstream artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Boyz II Men, and The Roots, as well as gospel artists such as Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Israel Houghton, and Donnie McClurkin. Cory spent most of the early stages of his music career picking up tricks of the trade from these well-established musicians, before eventually deciding that he wanted to start writing and releasing music himself.
Rise to Fame
In 2012, Cory Henry joined the instrumental ensemble ‘Snarky Puppy.’ The following year, he co-wrote and played the keys on their now-viral song “Lingus (We Like It Here).” Snarky Puppy won several Grammy Awards throughout the time Cory played with them, including one of their best-known albums, ‘Culcha Vulcha,’ in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category. He continued to work with the group before decided to pursue his career as a soloist in 2018.
In fact, in 2014 Cory had already released his first album, ‘First Steps’ under the Wild Willis Jones Record label. It peaked at number five and number 30 on the Top Jazz Albums and Top Heatseeker Albums Billboard charts, respectively. In 2016 he launched ‘The Funk Apostles,’ a musical group he would eventually perform and go on global tours with. That year Cory also released his second album, ‘The Revival’ after moving to the GroundUP Music label. It peaked at number two and number five on the Top Jazz Albums and Top Gospel Albums Billboard charts, respectively.
In 2018, Cory released his first single with The Funk Apostles called “Trade It All” before releasing the band’s first album, “Art of Love.” In 2020, Cory released his first solo-produced project, ‘Something to Say,’ which also featured The Funk Apostles on several of its tracks. The album explored several topics such as injustices, love, breakups, and being emotionally drained. He aimed to help bring people together with music, despite humanity being separated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The album went on to be nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Progressive R&B Album category. Later that year, Cory released a holiday album titled ‘Christmas With You’ as well. The album featured renditions of well-known holiday classics that he collaborated with other gospel artists. He performed the album at the Kennedy Center Opera House in an online broadcast for people to tune into.
Cory Henry also spent 2020 and 2021 writing, producing, and performing on the releases of several other artists such as Imagine Dragons, Jazmine Sullivan, Marc E. Bassy, and Kanye West. In 2021 he performed the national anthem at the National Football League’s opener with Michelle Williams.
The organ is the closest thing to the soul. It's what I lived and learned, watching people respond to it in church.
Cory Henry and God
Cory Henry has not spoken much publicly about his views on religion. However, is considered a Christian artist due to his upbringing in the Church of God In Christ, his attendance and performance of the organ at Church, as well as his release of music with Christian themes, titles and meanings. Cory’s music is primarily gospel and soul reflected.
Cory's Most Recent Album
Cory Henry’s most recent release is his 2021 album, ‘Best of Me.’ The album contains 11 tracks of mostly instrumental music. It contains a fusion of gospel, blues, funk, jazz and R&B to create what Cory calls ‘future soul.’ Cory explains that he was heavily inspired by popular soul artists from the 70s and wanted to be able to showcase his deep love and admiration for them.
In The Water