We had the good fortune of connecting with Hollyanne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hollyanne, why did you pursue a creative career?
I come from a musical family, it all started with my great, great Grandfather, he was a Bugle player in WW2, and his ‘musical genes’ have passed down to me via my great grandmother, who was an Organ player for her church, her son, my Grandfather took me to jam sessions as a child, he plays rock keyboard, sings and also the mouth organ. Lastly, my Mother shes a singer and I watched her play in bands, singing and music just felt like the right path. I’ve always been told I’m ‘dramatic’, my qualifications are mostly Performance related. I enjoy performing to an audience, it feels like I was meant to do this, my soul chose this body and this life to entertain people, and most of all performing makes me extremely happy, that is important.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I draw a lot of inspiration from music that I really love and inject this into my own sound. I beleive our musical brains are like sponges, and everything we hear growing up inspires us, we take it in by osmosis, which is why I think one can never truly say where their inspiration comes from. Im like a magpie, I love colours and glitter, so anything that would catch my eye on stage, Im wearing it!
I started my career in a rock band, and i’ve been in Folk bands, sang samples for House music, I came 2nd in battle of the Bands with my teenage band ‘N.E.D’, we decided to record an EP at a local studio, this really got me thinking…I truly want to do for the rest of my life, being in a studio felt so natural to me. My band and I broke up shortly after our EP, and it knocked me back for a couple of years, so I concentrated on acting for a while, but after my Diploma , I met some guys who studied at Leeds Conservatoire, and I then decided I would study there, and so I did, it taught me a lot. During my studies I was met my current writing partner , Jamie Vee, I had just gone through hell with an Ex partner who had practically ruined my life, and going to the studio every day and making music with Jamie was so cathartic, its a clichè but writing music can really heal the soul, the songs on my current album ,called, ‘Years’ tell my story between the years of 2015 – 2021, from being very very sick emotionally, the rollercoaster ride inbetween, then finally begining to find love and peace again. The journey wasnt easy, I had to really kick myself up the backside and make things happen, be true to myself. becoming a self employed musician was the best thing I ever did for me.
We have just begun writing a new album which is very 80s/disco inspired, I would say my music different because I bring (along with Jamie by my side, my fellow song writer and keyboard player) the young and old fans together, the older fans love the disco 80’s sounds coupled with the nostalgia it brings and the young ones love the dance vibes as well as the modern twists I bring to my performances. I love the 80’s and 00’s the most, people scoff at Spice Girls and S club 7, but to me, they were so inspiring and uplifiting, with postive and lifelong lessons in their music, as well as their musicianship and professionality that shone through in their performances.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Okay so we’ve got a week, here goes…
Monday – We’d go to The Piece Hall in Halifax to get ice cream and enjoy the sun. (If it were out as I do live in the rainiest county in the U.K, statistically, so let’s imagine it’s sunny for the whole week ha ha). Then on to the roller skating hall at the YMCA building and dance and fall over. Hopefully, a hospital trip would be avoided..but I am accident-prone.
Tuesday – We’re going to Lucias for dinner in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, because it offers the best modern Italian food I have ever tasted and people really dress up to go there, we would visit Valley gardens and walk them around the botanical gardens, and get more ice cream. Next up ..Everyman cinema, which has sofas and you can drink Gin and eat pizza while watching the best films.
Wednesday – let’s go to Shibden Park, In Halifax and show Shibden Hall, Anne Lister was born there in the 1700’s, I love and am proud of my Yorkshire Heritage so will want to show this off a little, we could walk around the lake and also take a rowing boat for a while…and then guess what…there’s a cafe and we can have more ..you guessed it…icecream…. maybe my friend is more hungry for something savoury though so we’ll go eat Sushi in the city centre.
Thursday -A road trip to Xscape in Castleford, to ride the indoor Sky ride coaster, off to the arcade, the trampoline park and then 5 Guys for lunch, we couldn’t travel all the way to Castleford and not get 5 Guys!!! Then perhaps a trip to the 4DX cinema and home, we might be a little tired after all this excitement.
Friday – Were going to my, second home town, Birkenhead in Merseyside, where the other half of my family lives. I grew up here for a quarter of my life, so it’s very special to me. We would visit my dad and go for a walk to Bidston Hill and I’d show off the amazing views of Liverpool docks from the top of the hill, next would be a ferry ride to Liverpool city centre. We’d visit Bold Street coffee and eat at Yo Sushi before shopping. We’d sleep over at the Titanic Hotel, wake up have breakfast, and go to the British music exhibition or take a trip up Radio City Tower and look at the sun setting. Normally I would have a gig booked on weekends, so maybe we would go to Liverpool arts bar and do an open mic session.
Saturday – It’s time to visit the old city of York, we’d eat at the Slug and Lettuce, say hi to my friends at YO1 Radio, and go to some old sweet shops, down ‘The Shambles’ which is believed to have inspired ‘Diagonally’ in Harry Potter. Time for food? Let’s go to Wagamammas and eat vegan Katsu. Usually, gig time again for me, so let’s go to The Dog House in Selby, and either listen to or play some music together we’d visit my other musical partner, Mike and say hi at his music shop…he may even suggest another open mic at the Last Drop Inn and sing along with us.
Sunday – Normally a rest day for me, so we can chill out in my home in the countryside, where I am extremely lucky to reside, and we would sunbathe and recover from the week’s activities, we would certainly be uploading all our photos to social media. Then it’s sad but it would be time to say goodbye
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Firstly I would like to thank local radio DJ and presenter, Emily Pilbeam at BBC Introducing, as she was the first person to really hear my music and play it live on the radio, she has been such a support and it has been a privilege being associated with the BBC name and brand. Secondly, I would like to give a HUGE shoutout and thanks to Pez Tellet and my godfather Jinx, who have both supported my music over the years, Pez took a huge chance, giving me the opportunity to play on his stage at Summerpops in 2021, to support The Christians, and again this year supporting Hue and Cry. He is such a wonderful and kind man, and I will be forever grateful for his support and friendship.
I would like to thank Fonz Tramontano, for contacting me online a few years ago. He had heard my music on a Spotify playlist and he got in touch and asked if I wanted to lay down some vocals for a song he had composed, I said yes after listening to some of his amazing music, and now we have made 2 songs together, plus one remix of a Hollyanne track that was unreleased (officially).
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/19lJndpdsaPTF7yDEgA3b2