A Happy Healthy check in with recording artist Derrick Hensley, guitars/vox for Sweet Pickles, IG @singefingers

Please share a story that includes a happy memory as an artist and has made a huge impact on your artistry.

It's a treat to bring these songs to an audience and we have a great time doing that! Often, the greatest joy comes with the timely resolution of a situation that’s been bugging me. The first time I completed an original song and shared it with a group of musicians I knew I had found the only self-help tool I would ever need.

How do you choose to lead a Happy Healthy life as an artist?

I stay happy and healthy by being prolific as an artist. The fans aren’t the only ones wondering what’s next. I’m just as curious to see what’s coming my way as they are. When I’m making music I’m happy and if I’m happy playing music, then, health is an afterthought.

Who did you learn from to instill those values?

There was a nightclub in the town where I went to college, the town where I moved my first band - Huntington WV. There was a place called The Stoned Monkey and a couple of sheisters who peddled cheap whiskey and rock n’ roll to our college town owned it. I played some of my first shows in that bar - I lived upstairs in it, and I would later own that same night club. Then, I was not only playing concerts but booking and promoting them too. Although I did learn a few things from the two aforementioned gentlemen, I really have to credit my education to experience. I always dive into the deep end and then take things one stroke at a time.

Was it hard work to make sure that you focused on your well being and not only your art?

Yes. Art happens in the mind. The more introverted and introspective you allow yourself to become, the more you find you enjoy being in your head. An artist needs to look up occasionally. I find the 50/50 rule of art and commerce to be very helpful, whereby the artist spends 50% of their time creating and 50% of their time selling. It makes for a well rounded schedule.

Was there a turning point of how you decided to put yourself first?

Yes. I diligently sought camaraderie for many years and I valued it highly. I often doubted if I would go it alone in any aspect of life or career path. The thought of shouldering the burden of a band or a project all alone terrified me and I didn’t find it appealing. Until I realized that the music inside of me was going to come out one way or another either positively in the sound of music or negatively in the form of self-destruction. It then occurred to me it was my responsibility to make sure what came out of me was music and not some twisted angry alternate reality. The moment I accepted responsibility for my happiness I also took responsibility for my life and my music.

How do you like to promote a healthy lifestyle?

We go all out in the times when we’re together with the fans and things can get really sweaty.

In what ways are you connecting with fans to check in on each other?

Our mailing list is for people who are interested in the community and getting to know other Pickle fans. Sweet Pickles gives them a great conversation starter and a soundtrack to their fledgling relationships.

Who checks in on YOU when you need it most?

Our tour manager, Soma, holds my hair when I’m gonna be sick. She scratches my back when I have that unreachable itch. She fights my battles and cheers me on. I think I love her.

Changing habits can be hard. Which was the habit that you had to change and how it's changed your life now?

I had to give up milk. It turns out I’m lactose-intolerant now. I suffered from debilitating heartburn for years, never really understanding why. But recently, it came to my attention that I could no longer enjoy my favorite drink. Fortunately, simply giving up milk has gone a long way towards maintaining gut health and wellness.

Is there a song, book, movie, show or anything that always gives you the motivation you need?

I recently rewatched Whiplash and enjoyed it quite a bit. I personally would never treat a student, fellow musician, or any other person the way that Miles Teller is treated by JK Simmons but the movie is excellent. I appreciate the way the movies place value on excellence even if I don’t agree with the extreme scorn with which mediocrity is viewed. There’s enough room out here for all of us.

What is the mantra of 2022?!

Tinnitus before arthritis!

Give all the inside scoop of your latest project!

We’re currently in the studio recording. We plan to release “Catch Your Deaf”, a 5-song EP later this summer. Carissa from Bsquared Mgmt is a rockstar and has helped us plan out the release and we look forward to hearing what the fans think!

We want to thank you for joining us here and are so excited about what we see from you next! Leave us with your socials!!


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