Joshua Henry on the Joys of Working with Lin-Manuel Miranda and his Debut EP, “Guarantee”

In this episode of the Essential Conversations podcast, Joshua Henry talks about playing Aaron Burr in “Hamilton,” working with Lin-Manuel Miranda and embracing songwriting during the pandemic.

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Joshua Henry is an award-winning singer, songwriter and performer whose talent and dedication to his craft have led him to being cast in all of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musicals — from In the Heights to Hamilton.

Henry’s journey as a performer started in the theater program at the University of Miami.

He graduated from that program in 2006, and was part of the ensemble for Miranda’s In the Heights in 2007, and rejoined the cast when the show was on Broadway in 2008, which earned him his first Tony award.

He went on to appear in Green Day’s Broadway musical, American Idiot, then portrayed Haywood Patterson in The Scottsboro Boys, a role that earned him a Tony nomination.

“At this moment in my life, music is the most important thing, the most important medium.” –Joshua Henry 

Perhaps most famously, Henry portrayed Aaron Burr in Hamilton’s first U.S. tour.

Of all the musicals Henry has performed in, he says Hamilton was his hands-down favorite.

And working with Miranda, says Henry, is as great now as it was when he first began working with Miranda in 2006.

“He is one of my favorite people. Not just because he’s brilliant at what he does, but, I’ve known him since 2006 before everything blew up. So, I saw him be the same person then, and he’s the same person now,” he says.

“It’s like seeing someone that you came up with become one of the biggest forces in the world. And now, they still want to work with you, they still want you to be there with them.”

During the pandemic, when Henry found himself with an unexpected amount of free time, he dove back into music, which he describes as his first love, above acting for stage and screen.

During that time, he started doing 20-minute daily writing sessions.

He then began working with producer Nephew, and in a few months, he had pieced together his debut EP, Guarantee, released on Feb. 12.

“At this moment in my life, music is the most important thing, the most important medium,” he says.

In this episode:

  • Joshua Henry on playing Aaron Burr in Hamilton
  • The joys of working with Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Writing and recording his debut EP, Guarantee, during the pandemic

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  • David Leins
    David Leins is a Podcast Coordinator and Producer at WDET. He also oversees the StoryMakers program. When he isn't making radio and podcasts, David is probably on a hike somewhere marveling at the trees.