Get To Know Kevin Holliday [Interview]

Ian Hansen

Kevin Holliday is someone who defies the word genre. It is more of a feeling through the atmospheric production and calming vocals he brings to the table. He sort of blends R&B and 70s disco together in a unique style of his own, and it is executed to perfection. After releasing five singles and an EP in 2021, the Brooklyn-based artist just recently released, “Expensive Taste” in January. Get to know more about Kevin Holliday below:

You had a big year last year, and it has been awesome to watch.

Yeah, I’m just trying to keep the momentum going man.

You just released “Expensive Taste.” Take me through that track and the creative direction for it.

It was definitely inspired by late 70s disco funk. Just that era in general. Specifically, when we were thinking about the production, we were looking at, “Off the Wall” by Michael Jackson. That’s like one of my favorite albums ever. I just wanted to channel that energy and put it into a modern context. That was the thought process behind the instrumental.

From a songwriting perspective, what do you want fans to grasp from your music?

When I first fell in love with music, I gravitated toward artists that really wore their heart on their sleeves. They weren’t afraid to say anything or do anything. More than anything, I want people to relate to the music and know that they aren’t alone. You can always express your feelings and people will relate as long as it’s genuine.

How therapeutic is it to be able to wear your heart on your sleeve and kind of let out emotions through your music?

Music for me, I initially got into purely for the self-expression. I can’t believe people are connected with my music in a way that’s like tangible and I can see it. That’s the most flattering thing. I just need it as a platform to get all of those things out of my head.

As far as your sound goes, it is really unique and special. How did you find it over time?

When I first started making music, I was trying to sound like certain people. I feel like things didn’t start to happen for me until I was like genuine about my experience. I think my sound comes from my family and upbringing. When I was a kid, I would hear my parents playing Prince, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, and all of these amazing musicians so that is what my mind gravitated to. Once I dug into that foundation I already had and reach in to create something new, that is how I found my sound.

What got you into making music and doing it for a living?

The specific album I heard that made me want to dive in and make music was Cherry Bomb by Tyler, The Creator. He was throwing paint and the wall and seeing what stuck. It was so raw. That album made me really curious about it.

Your biggest song, “Tennis Courts.” What did that song mean to you and get that reception?

It was cool. I made that song with my friend and it was when Covid was bad so we did everything remote which was a strange process. I usually freestyle most of the song. I want it to feel free form. I want that feeling to come across in the actual music. He sent me the beat and I sent him the song in a couple of hours. It was a quick process. My best songs are like that. When it’s free flowing, I know it’ll be a good song.

How was that song a good set up for your EP, Omni and what did you want to accomplish from the EP?

I initially wasn’t even going to put “Tennis Courts” out. I made it quickly and kind of brushed it off. I showed my friends and they said, “Are you serious, you aren’t going to put this out?” I did end up thinking it would be good as the centerpiece of the project. It captured the sound I was trying to create.

It’s 2022, what kind of goals do you have this year?

I want to go on tour. I want to go on a smaller east coast tour or open for a bigger act. My main focus in 2022 is creating a connection between my live shows and my fans. I feel like the next step is creating that core fan base that is telling people about the music.

What’s it like being in Brooklyn around a pretty big music scene?

It’s sick because I feel like the music scene is very collaborative. You can just hit up local artists you like and next thing, you’re collaborating. Everybody is very down to help out if you have a vision.

You talk about smaller collaborations, what are some collaborations you want with bigger artists?

One of my huge influences is Andre 3000. If I were to work with him that would be an absolute dream come true. I’m a huge fan of Kanye. I love Solange. There are so many artists I’d love to collaborate with.

What do you like to do outside of music?

I love to cook. A lot of times I’ll host parties and cook for my friends. I’m either making music or cooking.

What are your top three dishes to make?

I like to make jerk chicken, shrimp scampi, and lasagna.

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