Meet New York City’s own self-proclaimed ‘rhythmic disciple’, HOLDN, a woman who has made quite the arrival upon her first step into pop music with her debut single, ‘BURN’. She brings a full plate of emotion and honesty with a sharp-toothed side of unapologetic wit to the pop table, while graciously luring you in with her mysterious aesthetic and soulful, yet haunting, melodies. Hailing from the alt-rock world, she has previously stepped into the spotlight at festivals such as Vans Warped Tour & Skate and Surf Festival and onto stages across the country including Webster Hall, Starland Ballroom, and many more. She is tasteful, yet daring; but also shockingly enough, HOLDN is an ‘alter ego’ who just so happens to be herself in its most revealing form.
Check out our exclusive interview with this rad babe below. And be sure to click the play button above to watch the newly released music video for “BURN”, now available for purchase!
What initially inspired you to become an artist?
I have always loved music. The stage is the one place where nothing else in life really matters for duration of the time I’m performing and that feeling became like a drug to me. I needed to keep doing it. I needed to keep creating, so I became an artist.
How does music affect you and the world around you?
I’ve always said music is my safe space. It gives me the opportunity to be the most raw form of myself. I’d like to think that radiates through my personality when I speak about or perform my music. I want to be engaging since that’s what this is all about. Relating to each other.
Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration?
Everything and anything. Lately I’ve been trying to write from another person’s point of view or how I view someone else’s situations or their life instead of only writing about my own experiences.
Where did the name “HOLDN” originate from?
HOLDN was inspired by the book ‘Catcher in the Rye’ by JD Salinger. For anyone not familiar, Holden was the main character in the book who other characters really couldn’t relate to whereas in real life as readers, I’ve found that most readers relate to Holden the most. Just shows that most people only want to relate when it’s convenient for them and not when things get tough.
I love your alt-rock sound! Are there certain bands/artists that influenced your sound?
Thank you! I’m inspired by so many different genres of music. If you hear me jamming on a Sunday afternoon, odds are i’ve got a blues in A minor backing track on while I solo over it. Improv is one of the best feelings! A few bands/artists that have influenced my sound have been The Weeknd, Broods, Kehlani, and even a little bit of Sara Bareilles.
What city has been your favorite tour stop so far?
NYC has always been my favorite. It’s technically a hometown show and shouldn’t even count as a tour stop, but NYC is my favorite. The other cities are just going to have to prove me wrong, haha!
Name one person dead or alive who you’d love to cut a record with and why?
I know this says one person…. But I’d love to collaborate with Aaliyah and Amy Winehouse. Separately of course… or maybe together.. I’d take it! They’re both incredible artists who left behind such a legacy.
What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion?
Great energy, solid musicianship, and a damn good time! Always have to make sure everyone is having fun. Not only does having fun ease any nerves for anyone performing, having fun on stage makes the audience more comfortable and entices them to loosen up a bit.
What guilty pleasure songs would we have found on your MP3 player in high school?
Guilty and proud! There’s this song called ‘About Us’ by Brooke Hogan ft Paul Wall that I still bump heavy. Other than that, a few others are Independent Woman – Destiny’s Child, Lip Gloss – Lil Mama, Anything by the Pussycat Dolls, and that We Like to Party song by the Venga Boys that everyone knows.
What’s your interpretation of a Raw Femme?
First of all, I think it is AWESOME that you guys showcase some of the coolest chicks in the game doing what they love and grinding away. It’s rare and appreciated that you all take the time to accurately and creatively showcase the talent you display on your platform. But to me, a ‘Raw Femme’ is someone not afraid to embrace and articulate them self through their art, their actions, and their persona unapologetically.