Behind the boy in blue: Jack Henry Day makes plans for debut album

Jack Henry sits in a bathtub with a guitar in his hand.
USC alumnus Jack Henry launched a crowdfunding campaign on February 24 to accelerate the release of his new album, “Look,.” (Emily Sagen | Daily Trojan)

The boy in blue: Indie pop singer-songwriter hailing from Greenwich, Conn., Jack Henry Day is preparing to hit the studio and work on new songs and sounds for his upcoming debut album, “Look,.” While the 24-year-old USC alumnus has only officially released three tracks since 2019, music and storytelling have always been at the root of his endeavors and a source of consolation throughout his life. 

“My parents say that I started singing before I could speak,” Jack Henry said.

At age six, Jack Henry recalls passing someone on a busy street in New York City with his father and going home that same day to write lyrics about them, though they’d never met before. 

From taking voice lessons at a young age to developing a strong passion for musical theatre growing up, alongside his family and upbringing, Jack Henry cites Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne as having a significant influence on his musical interests and finding his voice. 

“I remember in middle school I would watch her acoustic performances and study the way that she would phrase her vocal lines,” he said. “That kind of 2000s pop rock with really powerhouse vocalists was a huge inspiration for me.” 

Though singing pop music was a challenge for him at first, with a musical theatre background, he feels it was a rewarding one. 

“In some ways it’s been a very, very long journey but in other ways I feel like it kind of just started when I was 18 or 19,” Jack Henry said. 

When Jack Henry entered his sophomore year at USC, he took a songwriting class. Over the course of the semester, he truly discovered his knack for putting melodies, stories, lyrics and chord progressions together. Sharing his material in that environment inspired him to keep writing and telling stories through music. 

“A lot of vocal melodies will come into my head right before I’m going to sleep,” he said. “And I used to be so bad. I was like, ‘If it’s good enough I’ll remember it in the morning’ and then I would just never remember it.”

Now, Jack Henry immediately picks up his phone and goes to the voice memos app to record his ideas. Humming along and testing out different lyrics with different melodies, he seems to see life in music — once even getting inspired by a songbird while taking a stroll out and about in his hometown.

“It’s one of the only things in my life that I try not to overthink,” Jack Henry said. “And so if there’s a lyric in my head, I’ll just write it down and I won’t judge it until later and usually I can get a song done within a day.”

One night, USC alumnus Hampus Wahlin recalls hearing Jack Henry singing and playing his guitar for the first time at a fraternity event. He was instantly in awe. 

“I remember immediately just being struck,” Wahlin said. 

From there, Wahlin pushed him to consider recording and releasing music. And ultimately, Jack Henry gave in with his first release in 2019 titled “Blush.” 

“I was in this kind of darker place,” Jack Henry said. “And this song really helped me to get out of that, and reminded me that having a crush on someone or liking someone or starting something new can be so fun and so beautiful.”

Jack Henry and Wahlin later worked together to bring the music video for “Blush” to life. In it, Jack Henry portrays a “love-drunk Cupid, hell bent on getting people to connect.” As this character, he reminds people of the beauty of being in love and why they connected with each other in the first place.

“He lives and breathes his music to a degree that I have very rarely seen in a person,” Wahlin said. “And there’s something incredibly rewarding about that.”

Jack Henry’s second release, which came later in 2019, was “In the Morning,” a ballad about an early relationship with someone who lived just across the street from him. The song is about wanting to know how that person felt about him when they woke up in the morning sober. Now at over 80,000 streams on Spotify, the song exemplifies how treading into the unknown can become a blessing in disguise. 

USC alumnus Harrison Poe met Jack Henry at orientation freshman year, where they were both studying theatre at the time. The two quickly struck up a friendship when they had an acting class together that year. And ever since then, they’ve been inseparable. 

When Jack Henry was working on the beginning stages of “In the Morning,” he reached out to Poe for his opinion. Then, the two began to co-write multiple songs together, such as his most recent release, “Fake Love.” 

“The great thing about Jack Henry is, he’s always working on something, he really does have such a creative mind,” Poe said. 

Poe describes their collaboration process as an open-ended conversation. 

“I think what sets Jack Henry apart as an artist is his ability to really listen to people and to ask for their opinions and really take them in,” Poe said. “And I think that’s what makes him a great person to collaborate with on my end.” 

Up until now, Jack Henry has recorded in five professional studios with a slew of producers and collaborators. This is just the beginning for this eager and ambitious artist.

Just three years after recording his first release, “Blush” from a makeshift bedroom studio, Jack Henry is preparing to record an 11-track studio album “Look,” with producer Bryan Fennelly in the coming months with the help of a crowdfunding campaign launched Feb. 24. 

Fennelly from Plaid Dog Recording in Boston, discovered Jack Henry over social media. With nearly 10 years of professional music production experience, he hopes to help Jack Henry’s vision for his debut album come to life and assist in developing his sound along the way. 

“That’s going to be the fun part about collaborating together,” Fennelly said. “[To] journey through the possibilities together and help to establish that direction for where he can continue heading with his records in the future.”

With the new songs to come, Jack Henry hopes to strip away the negative connotations that come with being on a mental health betterment journey. 

“It really has been almost like a source of therapy,” he said. “Although I’m also in therapy.”

His song lyrics are deeply introspective, pouring straight from his heart and his personal experiences. 

As for the boy in blue, Jack Henry makes it a point to stay true to himself through every track on his upcoming debut album.

“The one truth behind all of [the songs on the album] is that they are 100% from my perspective, and they are a testament to everything I’ve learned through relationships, through college, through recording for the first time,” Jack Henry said. “It’s all coming from me. And I don’t think there’s a better place to come from for a debut album than yourself.”