Local artist and Loy Norrix alumni Henry Parworth pursues his passion of music


Credit: Cade Wilson

Headband Henny performing at a concert in Kalamazoo on May 20th. As he ends the night the crowd goes crazy

David Henry, Social Media Team

Kalamazoo is one of the places in Michigan where artists can really thrive, with things like Art-hop, the local downtown art exhibit or just the culture of the city. It makes its mark as an art epicenter of southwest Michigan.

Many Norrix students may know someone who is an artist or may be an artist themselves.

Henry Parworth, who graduated from the class of 2020 during COVID-19, considers himself an artist.

Henry Parworth, or “Headband Henny”, is a singer, artist and few may know him as a local icon. 

Born on Nov. 23, 2002 in Uganda, Henry started with a rough and interesting beginning. 

Moving to Kalamazoo in 2005 with his siblings, Henry’s parents worked very hard to find an opportunity after coming to the US. 

It was extremely difficult for Parworth’s mother to find a job, even though she graduated with a PHD in 2009. 

Unfortunately because she wasn’t able to find a job and because of many other complications, Henry’s parents had to leave the United States, leaving Henry to live in America alone with his older siblings. 

Parworth grew up in tough conditions, some days he didn’t know if the lights would be on at home. Other times he went to sleep hungry and had to survive on Ramen Noodles. 

To say he had rough beginnings is an understatement. 

Through the hard times, Parworth would turn to school as a source of positivity in times of hardships. 

Parworth enjoyed things like doing sports such as wrestling, making friends, being in choir and the communities that came with these things. Parworth also enjoyed learning from teachers and the life lessons they had to give to him. This made school a safe haven for him. 

“[School was] really enjoyable, I wouldn’t be who I am today without Norrix,” Parworth said.

These hardships, although difficult, have made Henry into the person he is today. Making Parworth a very driven and passionate person. 

One of the endeavors Paworth chose to pursue as a passion was music. Parworth started off his career as an artist in his sophomore year of high school. 

The first song he recorded was called “Trip.” He was inspired by his older brother who was a musician, and his personal experience of joining choir and having a Blue Lake arts instructor telling him he could sing.

But, becoming an artist was a very difficult thing to just decide to do.  

One of the main things that made Parworth become an artist was another popular music artist named Steve Lacey.

“I decided I wanted to be an artist in 10th grade after I saw Steve Lacey’s Ted Talk where he talked about making music from his phone,” said Parworth.

Starting out as becoming an artist is very much a process though. 

“It starts with trying to find yourself and your sound, figuring out what style of music personally resonates with you,” said Parworth. 

He then went on to record his first song in 2018, with a song called “Trip”.

To record “Trip”, he snuck into a recording studio called the Epic Center with his friend and recorded the song. Within a few minutes, a music teacher came in and they ended up getting caught. He played the song to the teacher and she ended up enjoying it. 

“In my Chemistry class I showed a couple people in there, and they were like “oh what, oh what you can sing?”’ said Parworth.

Although Parworth has garnered a bit of success now, starting out as a music artist hasn’t always been easy for him. 

“I’ve had to go through people disliking my music and telling me that it’s not good, which builds me up to try and make even better music,” said Parworth.

Moving on with his career he then created his alias called “Headband Henny” saying that he came up with the name because he wore a headband during high school soccer practice.

“People already called me Henny so I just combined the two,” said Parworth.

He has continued to release music and has had songs with over 30 thousand hits and music videos with over 1 thousand views. 

As of November, Parworth has around fifteen hundred Spotify listeners and a collection of hits such as “Here I Go” and “Oak Street”, with some of his songs even featured on the radio. 

In Kalamazoo, Parworth has garnered plenty of attention. 

He usually performs 2-3 times a month at concerts and shows such as the Back40 Fest, Davis Street Park and the Caged Lotus Festival, with his largest turnout being over 300 people over the summer.

With a semi-decent audience to perform too, Parworth’s life hasn’t actually changed that overtly. 

He gets recognized from time to time in public although it’s not something that’s changed his life that much.  

“It doesn’t really change day to day. I get recognized when I’m out sometimes and that’s cool, but other than that it hasn’t changed my life drastically,” said Parworth. 

Now looking forward into the future, Parworth’s future endeavors and goals of being an artist are that he wants to make music his full time job and make money doing it. 

“Whether it’s, I make all of my money from selling merchandise or I get to perform at different venues.” said Parworth. 

Although Parworth has ambitions of things like money, venues and music, It’s not an easy career as many things can get difficult. 

But the main thing that keeps Parworth going as an artist through difficult times is his aspirations of seeing his parents. 

 “I haven’t seen my parents since I was a kid because they live in Uganda, and I know they would be really proud of me if I made it so I want to do it for them,” said Parworth.