What is your name?
What is your genre of music?
Indie-folk – although at a show I did last week I got called folk-punk, which is fun.
Give us a little bio about you.
Holly is an indie-folk singer-songwriter who grew up in the moors of the Durham Dales in the North East of England. Her 2017 debut EP ‘Ilex’ launched her musical career with support from BBC 6 Music and a feature on Tom Robinson’s BBC Introducing Mixtape. 2018 saw this success continue with festival slots at Hit The North and Evolution Emerging, as well as supporting the likes of CoCo and the Butterfields, Joseph J Jones, X Factor’s Sam Lavery, and Hannah Trigwell. Described as Laura-Marling-meets-Courtney-Barnett, her sophomore EP ‘Slow Down’ was released in August 2018 and reached #6 in the iTunes charts with continued support from BBC Introducing as well as radio play further afield in Europe and the USA, and was followed by an impressive UK tour with Matt Dunbar. To celebrate the release of her latest single ‘Stick Around’ in December, Holly was joined by a full band at her biggest headline show to date. There’s no slowing down in 2019 either with the release of a full-band live EP, Holly is taking her heartfelt live shows to an international level with a solo Canadian tour, and an upcoming full band studio single, ‘Getting By’, out 6th September.
What made you go into music?
I’m not really sure. It’s something I’ve always loved and things started to just fall into place and now here I am, a full-time musician!
Are you a signed?
You released your new single ‘Getting By’, tell us more about the single ‘Getting By’ is the first studio single where I’ve been joined by my band, which is really exciting. It’ll be released on 6th September, but it’s available for pre-save and pre-order now!
What is the meaning behind the single?
It’s a song about the contradictions of living life with mental health issues, how things can be really great and really bad all at once, and about how sometimes all you can do is survive, and that’s okay.
What was the writing process like?
This song broke a short spell of writers block for me which was good. I’d had the first few lines written for a while, but once I got the chorus written the rest fell into place
What was the recording process like?
Really fun! My friend Matt produced it, and he’s brilliant, and it was really fun to be in the studio with the band – I’ve not had that before!
Will we see any music video for the track?
Will we see an EP or album? If so what can we expect?
No official plans yet, but this is definitely the start of a new body of work that I’m super excited about.
Do you have any shows coming up? If so where will you be heading? Yes! The rest of the Canadian tour (which I’m playing solo acoustic) but then when I’m back in the UK we have some band shows in the works.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists? Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you?
Not at the moment but me and my friend Matt Dunbar wrote and sang on a song together on his last EP, ‘This Room Burns Bright’, a song called Your Place and that was really fun – and pushed us both to write in ways we wouldn’t necessarily when we write on our own, so that was interesting.
Who are your influences?
I listen to and love a lot of music, all of which probably influences my writing in some way, from the 60s stuff I used to listen to with my dad to my favourites now like Courtney Barnett, The 1975, Sam Fender, Boygenius – there is a lot of great music out there.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Anything and everything! Life, friends, feelings.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I got asked this in a different interview once and all I could think of was doing my washing and having a bath, but I love reading and walking and building things, so maybe that’s a better answer haha
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
I’m not sure there’s really one song. I went to a Shura show with a friend of mine that made me make up my mind to go play my first open mic, so maybe that!
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Just be honest, I think. Make what you want to make, because you want to make it
What’s the best advice you have ever been given? What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“Go as far as you can see, then see how far you can go.” My gran told me that one years ago, and I think about it a lot.
You’re coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first? 2/ Who do you see first? 3/What do you eat first?
I can’t wait to get home, see my family and friends, and have a chinese takeaway and a nice pint.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
First thing I thought of was a bottle of water and a bunch of spare guitar picks. I always bring spare batteries, a lead and some throat lozenges too. Not a very rock and roll answer but that’s five things!
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Yes! I’m @hollysounds on pretty much everything, or just search ‘Holly Rees’. I’ve also got a website and mailing list at hollyrees.co.uk!