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Q&A with Holly Holden

Music Interview

What are you listening to right now?

I’ve got an incredible compilation of 1960s recordings by Cuban legend Celia Cruz on repeat in the car. I’m also deeply in love with a very old vinyl of Trio Los Panchos with Eydie Gorme, an unexpected gem I picked at random out of a box in a record shop in Bogotá.

How did you get into music?

Just doing it all the time. I was in every choir and orchestra at school and did singing lessons and dance classes every weekend. When I was eighteen bought guitar and started writing singing my own songs. I’ve lived a pretty nomadic existence since then and I’ve learned everything I know from musicians I’ve played with in different parts of the world.

I’ve always loved making music more than anything, its always been who I am, but it took a long time for me to have the confidence to say to myself and other people that that’s what I do. It took that change of outlook for things to start happening.

What have you been reading lately?

I’m reading 2066 by Chilean author Roberto Bolaño. It’s his epic masterpiece, almost 1000 pages long, so it was on my book shelf for about six months before I was was brave enough to take it on. It looks intimidating but it’s so rewarding, unlike anything I’ve ever read. I really recommend it.

Who is the most influential person in your life?

I was very close to my grandmother, she was such a genuinely good person, kind and gentle and so much fun. Even though she isn’t with us anymore she still influences and inspires me to find joy in the little things, to be forgiving and to cook with loads of butter.

Which song do you wish you had written?

50 ways to leave your lover by Paul Simon.

We’re at the bar. What are you drinking?

Red wine in winter, and in summer it’s always rum.

Who would you dread getting stuck in a lift with?

Theresa May, because it would be impossible for me to hold a conversation with her and agree about anything. She wouldn’t have any useful ideas about how to get out but she’d be infuriatingly stubborn about imposing them. I might quite relish the opportunity to give her a piece of my mind though.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a naturalist explorer, the next David Attenborough. I was totally obsessed with the Amazon rainforest and imagined myself roaming through it, discovering new species and having adventures.

If you were a London tube station, which one would you be?

 Ladbroke Grove – the colourful, carnival capital. It’s where I’m from. Even though I’m living in Stokey at the moment, whenever I go back to the grove I know I’m home.

Are you heading to London?

It’s where I live! But we do have some shows coming up. I’m playing with my band on 22nd March at Spiritual Caipirinha Bar, a very special independent music venue in Camden. We’ll also be doing a special London launch for our EP in Spring so watch this space for details.

How can we find out more about you?

Go to www. hollyholdenmusic.com


Tony McDonagh
About Tony McDonagh (74 Articles)
National and Regional Radio & Press PR co. Working with some of the best established, independent and up and coming artists around London.