It takes a mix of skill and luck to tend a garden well, but it’s impossible without a certain amount of kindness tended. While the cyclical nature of gardening seems inherent, in some ways, Heynderickx is just beginning. Her debut album, named I Need to Start a Garden out of a search for calm through these waves of uncertainty and upheaval, is out now via Mama Bird Recording Co.

For the empathetic singer/songwriter, the reasons for seeking such acceptance and understanding stem from a life of paradoxes. Heynderickx grew up in a religious household in Oregon, closely identifying with her Filipino roots, but also straddling multiple cultural identities. Now residing in Portland, her faith is not overt, but her introspection and continued struggle for self-actualization are easily accessible and relatable.

Likewise, the tracks on I Need to Start a Garden reflect these seemingly disparate elements. Through soft acoustic guitar picking and deftly accented trombone sighs, Heynderickx’s music immediately recalls folk music of the '60s and '70s mixed with a love of jazz radio. But Heynderickx’s singing—her vocals that range from sultry to operatic—belie a tenacity in her soul.

It’s a balance then, between exposing and protecting herself on I Need to Start a Garden. Heynderickx vacillates between powerlessness (opener “No Face”) and empowerment (lead single "Oom Sha La La"). But her generosity of spirit remains the constant throughout the whole album.

You can hear that exceptional care in “Jo”, as she whispers, “You tended your garden like heaven and hell / and you built the birds houses to see if it helped at all.” Aware of the birds, the garden, and anyone listening acutely, Heynderickx’s music serves as an invitation for all to join her. Because the beauty of a garden is that, while it’s often started for deeply personal reasons, its bounty is best consumed and shared with others.

I Need to Start a Garden was produced, engineered and mixed by Zak Kimball at Nomah Studios in Portland, Oregon. Haley Heynderickx co-produced the album. It was mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk at Stereophonic Mastering in Portland. The record features Lily Breshears (Bass, Keys, Backing Vocals), Denzel Mendoza (Trombone, Backing Vocals), Phillip Rogers (Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals) and Tim Sweeney (Upright Bass).



Newport Festivals Foundation has made a donation on behalf of Haley Heynderickx to My Voice Music in Portland, OR. This donation will allow My Voice Music to purchase the 15 djembes needed in order to continue their important work with undocumented migrant youth held in detention centers seeking asylum.

This program is part of MVM’s social outreach programs which use music as a therapeutic tool to help over 1,000 youth each year to cope, to heal, and to discover the joy of creating music during crisis and recovery from significant trauma. A drum circle is one of the best was to facilitate making music with such a large group of people. After the drum circles, youth will have time to spend one on with their Spanish speaking Teaching Artists to write and record their own songs, poetry, and messages to friends and family.

Quote from Haley Heynderickx

My Voice Music is more than an after-school music program -- it's an opportunity for young people to engage and communicate on a wide spectrum of emotions. As they learn new instruments together, they simultaneously practice new creative listening skills and vulnerabilities as they begin to write their own original tunes. As a previous instructor at MVM, I had the joy of witnessing many students grow into themselves and their newfound, uniquely built self-confidence. I believe this to be continually lacking in schools across America today with a decrease in accessible and affordable creative outlets. This is why it is a great honor and joy to support MVM in this way to help provide opportunities for future students.

Quote from Ian Mouser, MVM Founder/Executive Director

Thank you to Newport Festivals Foundation for this donation and Haley for recommending My Voice Music. While working with My Voice Music, Haley was an inspiring teacher who connected with and inspired our students with her soft - and -remarkably powerful presence. This generous contribution will help My Voice Music continue our Songwriting and Recording Programs for youth living inside institutional settings.