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Joey Hendricks: “Protect your creative energy”

Protect your creative energy. This industry can be really fast paced, and that doesn’t always line up with your most creative self. Work hard, but know when to step back when needed. I had the pleasure of interviewing Joey Hendricks. Raised in the small town of Anacortes, Washington, Joey Hendricks discovered country music against all geographical […]

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Protect your creative energy. This industry can be really fast paced, and that doesn’t always line up with your most creative self. Work hard, but know when to step back when needed.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Joey Hendricks. Raised in the small town of Anacortes, Washington, Joey Hendricks discovered country music against all geographical odds. Far away from Music Row, in a region famous for its indie rock and grunge scenes, he came across the music of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson when he started songwriting and fell in love with the genre. A few years after graduating high school, having relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, where he saved up 3000 dollars from a weekly solo performing gig at a local bar, Hendricks finally made the move to Nashville. He rented a room just north of downtown in a house of other aspiring musicians who welcomed him into their close-knit group of friends and collaborators. Hendricks began honing his skills and expanding his network, eventually landing a meeting with Parallel Entertainment, a publishing company headed by industry veteran Tim Hunze. Following a short in-office performance, Hunze offered the young newcomer a publishing deal on the spot. At the time, Hendricks was committed to the songwriter’s path. But with Hunze’s encouragement, in late 2019, he made the leap into solo artistry by cutting a few of his own songs and solidifying his diverse country sound. In much of his work, there’s an emphasis on journey over destination; on comfort in getting where he’s going, while knowing how hard it might be to get there. With his smooth, raspy voice and introspective lyrics, Hendricks evokes the same vivid imagery as early Springsteen and Tom Petty, finding classic appeal with his modern approach. When he first arrived in Nashville, he was just trying to scope out the songwriting scene he had read about from afar in his Pacific Northwestern hometown. Now, in a turn of events he never could have predicted, Hendricks is joining the ranks of his lifelong heroes.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Thanks for having me! I grew up in Anacortes, Washington which is a small island town in the Pacific Northwest. It was a town that really encouraged and nurtured creativity, so I started playing guitar and writing songs my sophomore year of high school.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to country music?

I didn’t really discover country music until my later teens, but found guys like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. I fell in love with the songwriting and storytelling of the genre.

What is the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Moving to Nashville and getting a publishing deal. I just love songs and songwriters, and the fact that I was able to be a tiny part of the community in town was and still is really dope.

What is one of the funniest mistake(s) you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Trying to write and sing what I thought other people wanted to hear or what I thought would make them like me more. The lesson I learned is to just be yourself and love what you’re making and that’s when I felt like it started to all connect.

What are some exciting projects you are working on now?

Putting out my first release, “Yours or Mine” is what I am most excited about right now. I feel like it’s been a long road leading to it, but I’m super excited to finally get music out there.

What are “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Share a story or example for each.

1.) You’re going to experience some of the highest highs and lowest lows in your life while chasing your dreams. I’ve found that to be very true for me so far.

2.) Be yourself. It’s cliche, but it really is the truth.

3.) Don’t go out to bars and restaurants so much. Learned that the hard way when I couldn’t make rent on more than one occasion, haha.

4.) Relax. Don’t take everything so seriously. I can get super caught up in my music/work and try to make sure everything is perfect, but sometimes I just need to sit back and not overthink everything.

5.) Study your heroes. I’ve learned so much from analyzing my favorite artists and writers.

Which tips would you recommend to aspiring artists to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Protect your creative energy. This industry can be really fast paced, and that doesn’t always line up with your most creative self. Work hard, but know when to step back when needed.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

The Beatles sang “All You Need Is Love,” and it is even more relevant today then ever. Show more love. That’s the message I’d wanna get to the masses.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My parents helped me get where I am today for never telling me I was crazy for wanting to be a musician. Also my publisher, Tim Hunze, has been a mentor and huge part of my journey in Nashville thus far.

Can you share your favorite life lesson or a favorite quote? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My dad has always told me to be a “feather on the river.” In other words, just let go and let things happen the way they’re supposed to. I’m nowhere close to fully taking that advice, but I’m definitely working on it and it’s a great reminder.

If you could have a meal with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

The Beatles and John Mayer. Two massive inspirations in my life musically.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow me on Instagram at @imjoeyhendricks, and everything else is Joey Hendricks Music.

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