Henika is Henrieta Tornyai, a multi-instrumentalist artist who produces music that bridges the sky between alternative rock, blues, jazz and folk, with an intensity of imagery that makes her work both compelling and challenging.
February 29th 2016 announces the release of her debut single You Bring Me Down which won the NZ on Air “Making Tracks” award as voted by fans online worldwide.
Using the NZ on air grant and aided by legendary producer Andrew Buckton (Midnight Youth, Pluto, Head Like A Hole, Kitsch) she has created a debut that is both powerful and haunting.
In 1996, 8 year old Henrieta and her family departed Slovakia to start a new life in Auckland, New Zealand (”Henika” was her childhood nickname). Fascinated by music from a young age she started playing guitar at 11, joined her first band aged 16 and then went on to complete a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance.
Between 2011-2013 she lived and worked in the American Midwest, performing and recording with various bands from Americana to big band swing, singing and playing upright bass, guitar and bass guitar. Here, she also met her mentor the legendary Jazz bass player Richard Davis who inspired her to fulfil her creative potential. Back in Auckland, Henika embarked on her first solo project.
Her sound has been described as “a dark, atmospheric mix of PJ Harvey, Jeff Buckley and Nick Cave” but her wide and varied influences (Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix to name a few) are apparent in her quirky rhythms and unconventional themes.
As also a film-maker and photographer, Henika has a strong visual sense. She was heavily involved in the production of her upcoming music video. Shot in black and white on genuine 8mm film, set in a 1950s dystopia, it is a highly ambitious, harrowing noir narrative that adds another layer of depth to the music.
Henika is back in the studio this month, again with Andrew Buckton, and with the assistance of Pluto drummer Mike Franklin-Browne plans to release a 6 track mini album out soon.