Sophie Hunt met up with Holly
During these busy few weeks over the festive period, it’s important to make time for yourself. Shopping and socialising at events become a weekly thing throughout December and it’s fair to say it can get mentally draining. One of my many methods of self-care always involves music. My love for music is ever growing as there is a genre for every mood and an artist for every event throughout the year. Despite the chaos, it is important to appreciate the smaller things in life and take a step back to relax and one artist who helps me do this is twenty-three-year-old Holly Henderson.
Singer, songwriter, composer and all-round great girl, she produces steady alternative rock music and also dips her toes into producing commercial music for many big names including Gordon Ramsey. Her home in Kent is her creative space and I was lucky enough to meet with Holly for a little chat. She is an artist growing in talent and as her audience grows, I wanted the readers of Wildspiritz to know more about this well deserving artist. As Holly and I met for a coffee she let me know about the style of music she produces.
“I work on a variety of projects and I think it’s slowly becoming my ‘thing’ now that the fact I tend not to stand still in any particular place musically. When it comes to working wise, I get around and explore many options. For example, this week, I was working on ambient music for a TV show, some country music for a client in Nashville and a dance track for a German Client. Doing all these other jobs does mean it has an effect on my solo work, unfortunately. If I was going to sum up the style of music all in one phrase, it would have to depend on the release, because I like to come from a different place every time. For now, I would say its Alternative, however, sometimes it can be cinematic sounding, sometimes Pop.”
With Holly quickly becoming a recognisable artist I was keen to know if she remembered her first performance in front of a live audience. This is always an interesting discussion because everyone can learn from their first performance.
“It was horrible. It was my first band, 3rd Generation Kids. We played at the United Reformed Church in Maidstone, we actually had a good bassist and the drummer was alright, but I and the singer were terrible. He’s a doctor now, and I dropped music at school as a subject because I thought it wasn’t meant for me. Ha!”
Aside from your first performance, your first gig is always an eye-opener, so I asked Holly what her first concert was.
“Other than a few local gigs at pubs etc., I’m pretty sure my first gig was probably the Green Man Festival, John Grant and Flaming Lips played.”
Being an artist within the alternative rock genre comes with a lot of pressure to provide something unique and individual. Holly seemed quite calm and relaxed as she told me more about how she manages the workload to provide for her audience and stays so calm and content.
“I’ve managed to weave my social media around the fact that I’m always working on new stuff, like a promotion site, so it’s become almost expected by my followers that I bring out something new. Even if it’s just an idea I’m throwing around maybe once a week, but I really like the pressure of that. It keeps me motivated to stay on track and keep working.”
When I first discovered Holly, something that immediately caught my attention was her style and fashion. She has such an elegant and stylish sense including her tattoos. I have a few myself and although they don’t have much meaning they are still important. I asked Holly about the meaning behind some of her elegant tattoos.
“I have 6 currently. One is a bee, there’s a moon on my back and Van Gogh’s signature on one hand and a paint brush on the other. I have Athena and Nefertiti on my left arm, it started as just Nefertiti because I think it’s important in the current climate to be even more open and proud to have a part Middle Eastern heritage. She was the Queen of Egypt and Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom and War, powerful female icons, so nothing more sophisticated than that really. I’d possibly like a tattoo of my Mum at the top, then it would be a pretty complete ‘strong woman’ sleeve, but I haven’t decided yet.”
Earlier this year, Holly teased with her fans about the release of an EP titled ‘Rust.’ With a new sound on the horizon, I was eager to learn more about it and the inspiration behind the tracks.
“With these tracks, they are all relatively dark I suppose compared to previous releases. When I was creating these tracks, it was the first time I didn’t really hide behind the lyrics to make my point. They’re all quite open about being in a weird hollow place mentally, feeling stuck and everything being out of your control, having to rely on other people even though you don’t trust people’s intentions etc., vicious circle stuff. Mystery Man is a little different as that was written a little earlier, and is about unrequited love, aw.”
With nearly 5,000 followers on Facebook, Holly’s audience is growing each and every day. With this in mind, Holly told me more about what her fans could get excited about and what was coming up over the next few months.
“There's a lot of stuff happening in the end 2018/ beginning of 2019, including the release of the album which will be nice. Plus, all of the things that go with that, including a video coming very soon. There are also some really interesting things I’m waiting to confirm that will take me in a direction I’ve never considered before, so I’m really looking forward to being able to talk about that soon.”
Some of the music Holly produces is styled in a very relaxing, chilled out manner, and perfect for that summer festival day. While we dreamed of warmer weather again, I spoke to Holly about her plans for performances at festivals ahead of next year.
“I definitely have a few things lined up but I’m mainly looking forward to playing over summer with my band. We will be able to do the album material, as well as some brand new stuff which I’ve been writing that has a very Motown/funk edge, so that’ll be really fun in the Summer.”
As 2018 is drawing to a close, it has been a big year for Holly. I was keen to know what she thought had made her year extra special.
“Getting to expand musically and start working on composing for TV has really been a highlight. My dream has always been to work on films musically and incorporate what I do with my solo stuff, into something that could be in a soundtrack, so I really hope to be able to pursue that more in 2019. Being able to actually finish the album this year was great too. It has been a cool journey and working with those guys has really been an honour, definitely not something I ever thought could happen, so I’m excited about people hearing that now.”
Although Christmas was closer than ever, I asked Holly what her plans for New Year’s celebrations would involve.
“I’m not too sure yet! I have a few plans but I’m considering heading to LA actually which would be a really nice way to see in the New Year.”
As my time was drawing to a close, it was nice to look back on the conversation we have had and know that Holly is still as determined as ever. We ended our little coffee lunch with some final thanks she wanted to pass on to her fans.
“Thank you for having me. As I’m looking into the next year at what might happen, I know none of it would have happened without everyone’s support. I am unbelievably lucky, especially as someone that constantly shifts around musically, to have fans that are so open and enthusiastic about my music, even if it’s a departure from a previous release. I know a lot of musicians who feel restricted by their fan base, and I consider myself very privileged to have the total opposite. Thank you!”
One of the main things that highlights Holly as such a talented artist is the variety of music she can produce. Her sound sees no limits and she is very hardworking and continuing to work on both solo material and commercial tracks. Holly sees no limitations in what she can produce and that is something to be admired.