“It was an important record for me,” Henderson tells the Billboard Pop Shop podcast of the rhythmic track. “It was a note to myself to take down some of those emotional walls and to let yourself fall in love again and get lost with someone. It was an encouragement piece for me… If you want to find love, then sometimes you just kind of have to let go.” (Listen to the full interview with Henderson, below.)
The song is from Henderson’s upcoming EP, Echoes of Departure and the Endless Street of Dreams, Pt. 2, which is due out later this year, and follows last year’s Pt. 1 of the two-part project. Henderson describes the new EP as “real music,” “doesn’t have a bunch of shiny stuff attached (to it),” and “very minimalistic.”
Of the Echoes project, Henderson says “I’d been attached with Big Time Rush for so long, and a lot of really straight up pop records, I wanted to show a different side of me. It was important to do that.”
Speaking of Big Time Rush… the pop quartet was not only a chart force (with a pair of top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 and over 5.8 million songs and albums sold in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music) but also TV stars, with their own Nickelodeon musical-comedy series that aired from 2009 to 2013. The act has been on hiatus since 2014.
So, what’s it been like for Henderson to fly solo after Big Time Rush? Difficult? Freeing?
“Difficult and freeing are two great words,” he says. “It really is. It is absolutely amazing to be able to kind of really do my own thing. It’s amazing how many things were taking care of… you know being part of such a big project (Big Time Rush) and a lot of things that I had just not thought about.
“So, the things that I’m thinking about now is like every little aspect of a song, about how we present the information, about what stuff looks like, how it all ties in together. I mean this is I think why I get no sleep now. It’s all me.
“It is so difficult. There are so many different aspects that I never even took into account. But again, that’s exactly why all this stuff is so personal and there’s a level of connection now, even with the music. And even with me as a human being, and with the fans. There’s something so beautiful about the whole process, things that I had not even done before. So now… it’s opened up a whole new world.”
Henderson’s next single will be “End of the World,” a track he was inspired to write after binge watching the first season of the dark British comedy series The End of the F***ing World, which is adapted from a series of comic books by Charles S. Forsman. The Hollywood Reporter described the show as “a twisted, funny anti-romance.”
“It’s a very sweet song,” Henderson says. “I think this is kind of like my first proper ballad that people get to see or hear, and it’s a really special one.”
He says End of the F***ing World “touched” him. After watching the first season, he came to the recording studio the next day and thought that there was “something really cool about these characters and the way that they belong to each other.” The song “is kind of like that really tough relationship, that you guys are at each other, and you guys know how to get under each other’s skin, and you know it’s just like there is some days that are just really really bad. But at the very end of the day, that’s the one person that you’d have by your side when it comes down to it. You love them no matter what.”
Expect to hear both “Pull Me Deep” and “End of the World” (along with some never-before-heard tunes) when Henderson hits the road on tour starting April 11. He’ll be supporting Jake Miller, starting that day at Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and the trek continues through May 17 at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles.
In addition to the interview with Henderson, Pop Shop hosts Keith and Katie discuss Juice WRLD scoring his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with Death Race for Love, Maren Morris notching a big streaming week for country music by way of her new album Girl, and how New Kids on the Block are back on the Billboard 200 thanks to a reissue of their first No. 1 album, Hangin’ Tough.
The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard‘s weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard‘s senior director of charts Keith Caulfield and deputy editor, digital Katie Atkinson every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)