Courtnie Henson Reminds Us of the Importance of Happiness & Freedom
Multifaceted millennial is how I would describe today’s feature Courtnie Henson. Not only does she sing, but she also dances, and has been granted the opportunity to work with some of the biggest television networks in the industry such as FOX and ABC.
Interviewing her unveiled her free spirit. Her self-confidence radiates through her words and her interview certainly will inspire you to be super proud of who you are, regardless of what anyone else thinks of you. Read more below and learn how she continues to make the most of her early adulthood and how she strives for happiness & freedom.
How was your childhood? What experiences negative or positive helped shape the woman you are today?
I had a great childhood. I would say it was shaped mostly by positive experiences, especially having loving parents and a great support system from my family in Chicago and the south. It definitely takes a village, and they gave me the confidence I needed to succeed in whatever I put my mind to.
Growing up, did you have any insecurities? If so, how did you overcome them or how are you dealing with them today?
I would say, as a young black woman I was automatically at risk of developing some classic insecurities whether they were about my hair, my nose, my lips, my skin, or about the way I spoke. Growing up in a predominantly white area, I'd gotten teased about all of those things at some point, but my mom and dad made it a point not to allow those types of things to seep in. They put me in situations where I could be exposed to young black girls and boys who I could relate to. One of my fondest memories was dancing at the Chicago Multicultural Dance Center led by Homer Bryant. Today, I don’t deal with any of those insecurities. I’m super proud to be a woman, super proud to be black, and you couldn’t tell me my nose is too wide or that my petite figure is lacking a thing. It took a ton of conditioning from within, but I’m good.
I know you sing and have also done some interning for GMA. What motivated you to go in each of those directions and what’s most rewarding about both career paths?
Working for Good Morning America was amazing! It was my first news experience, because before and after I worked for companies like Dick Clark, Fox, and ABC Disney in the scripted realm, but I’m so glad I got the opportunity. When I first started at USC, I thought I wanted to be a film producer because I love to tell stories, both fiction and non-fiction. I wanted to do something that straddled the creative and organizational fences. The film/television industry is rewarding in that through storytelling I get to impact, inform, and inspire the masses. I think ultimately I'd like to work in the industry again.
When it comes to music, growing up my grandmother sang and preached the gospel nonstop, and wanting to be like her led me to sing in the church. I also danced like I mentioned earlier, and was super into theatre. However, never did I consider performing as a career, nor did I really think of writing my own songs until I became close with some music school kids in college, and I was just in awe that I had so many friends who took it seriously and considered it a plausible path in life. When I realized that not much else in the world felt better than those random jam sessions we had, it was like I discovered a new piece of myself in college.
What is the most valuable lesson college has taught you?
No take-backs, haha. When you make decisions in your adult life, they’re a lot more permanent and impactful. Your 20’s should be some of the most incredible years of your life, but they’re also not to be taken lightly.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
I have so many! But probably a cross between Michael Jackson, Prince, and Beyoncé + Solange. Are those too cliché? Michael for his emotiveness and vulnerability, Prince because he built his own product from start to finish (composing, arranging, producing, performing), Beyoncé because of her work ethic, Solange because of her individuality, and of course both of them because success is twice as difficult when you’re a woman.
What is your ultimate goal in life?
I think I’m ultimately just aiming for happiness and freedom, and to help other people who want the same things.
To learn more about Courtnie Hensen, follow her on Instagram @KingCourtnie.