By Vic Gerami
Even with two back to back hit singles, ‘Ladies Night’ and ‘Countdown,’ Hollywood Holland is still a mid-western girl in a big city. Holland earned the nickname “Hollywood Holland” after packing up everything she owned in her Mercury Cougar and road tripping to California to chase her dreams.
Her lyrics are positive, self-empowering, and fun-focused with a touch of sarcasm and humor, like Holland herself. She mixes energetic pop with hints of country, a nod to the music that influenced her while growing up in Minnesota. Holland’s latest single, ‘Journey Alone,’ drops in time for Pride Month, in June 2020 as a tribute to her LGBTQIA+ fans.
I chatted with Hollywood Holland on the phone during this global pandemic to see how she is doing, how she is coping with the COVID-19 crisis, about her work and what she is looking forward to after the CoronaVirus.
Modesty aside, how would you describe yourself?
I’m down to earth. Someone that could be considered everyone’s best friend as I’m very friendly, easy to talk to, & welcoming. I’m kind, empathetic, & generous. I’m sweet but can also be sassy. I’m sarcastic, quick witted, & like to joke around a lot. When you get to know me, you’ll find I’m very silly, & crazy, but the good kind of crazy always reliable for a good laugh. People joke that I’m a mixture of Carrie Underwood & Cardi B (Holly B).
“Now after losing my way & getting back to what makes me come alive, I’m ready to share my music with the world & inspire them as well to stay true to themselves”
Before we get in too deep, I want to know how COVID-19 has impacted you personally and professionally.
Covid-19 has taken an economic hit to me like most people. I feel like it has put me in a feeling of a standstill with my music as I’ve felt an internal loss of motivation to be promoting my music when there is such tragedy going on. However, on the other hand it inspires me to try to be a source of hope & positivity for others to stay strong through my writing & songs.
It has forced me to slow down as I’m constantly on the go and traveling. It is giving me time & space to look within & take care of myself even more so internally & externally creating an optimum state of health as much as possible. I’m trying to reach out more often to my friends & family which is really nice because a lot of them are so far away from me & it can be hard to reach each other on the phone when we are all normally so busy. It really reiterates what is truly important in life which to me are the connections & bonds you have with your loved ones.
Tell me a bit about your background growing up in Minnesota.
I grew up in the middle-class suburbs the youngest of 3 children. I was very athletic involved in many sports such as gymnastics, soccer, basketball, cross country running, & competition cheerleading ( I was the one they threw up in the air.)
My Mom suffered from many medical problems including horrible arthritis which caused her to be unable to work. I had my first job with my siblings having our own paper route as well as working at a local car wash. I really learned the essence of hard work & appreciation at a young age.
My Dad was in a band as a singer & guitarist when he was younger & my Grandma was a professional organist, & I inherited their musical genes. I was in choir, musicals, & voice lessons. At 6 years old I told my Dad I’m going to be a famous singer & move to LA when I turn 18 & kept that belief. I was voted in my graduating high school class of 2,000 students to never return to Minnesota. They all knew that I had bigger dreams than staying in town, getting a 9-5, & starting a family which was the typical Minnesota lifestyle.
My Dad told me just like his parents told him I don’t want you to be a starving artist, so I had to pursue a college degree first. So, I went to college at San Diego State for 2 years where I would drive top every week to take voice lessons in LA, then I transferred to Chicago & completed my 4-year degree in 3 years. They had a program called semester in LA where I was selected along 12 others to study on Raleigh Studios lot in Movie Marketing where upon completion I graduated & stayed in LA to pursue my entertainment endeavors. I was quickly distracted with acting & on camera hosting as many people told me “you would be so good at it you’re so personable.” However, after pursuing that route for a while I realized that this isn’t my passion & got burned out. I then went on sort of a eat, pray, love route went to Bali & received my yoga certification & with some soul searching fell back into music my true love & passion. Now after losing my way & getting back to what makes me come alive, I’m ready to share my music with the world & inspire them as well to stay true to themselves.
“I have a lot of gay friends & I’ve always just connected with them”
Your last two singles, ‘Ladies Night’ and ‘Countdown’ were both big hits. How would you describe your music?
My music is up-beat, fun, positive, & the lyrics are centered on motivating & inspiring others.
What’s new on your play list?
Some of my favorite new recent downloads include:
Never Seen The Rain- Tones And I
I Love Me- Demi Lovato
Brave- Don Diablo & Jessie J
Carrie Underwood- So Small
You are very popular with the LGBTQIA+ community. Tell me about that.
I have a lot of gay friends & I’ve always just connected with them. I tend to refer myself as just a fun-crazy gay guy trapped in a straight girl’s body. I tend to find most gay guys I meet to share similar qualities to myself such as sarcasm, sassiness, a love for song & dance & not afraid to break out into it at any time, & also to stay true to yourself regardless of the opinions of others. Not afraid to be so extra!
What is your favorite charity or cause?
My favorite cause is anything supporting mental health. I’ve had my own battles with feelings of anxiety/depression that I’ve overcome & know how important it is to learn the tools to take care of your inner world & live a happy life through self-love & self-care. I also used to work as a yoga therapist at an outpatient rehab center & really feel for those that are struggling with inner demons.
“Every time you feel like complaining or feeling sorry
for yourself think of what you do have to be grateful for”
You are about to drop a single inspired by this global pandemic. Can you share any details?
My single is called ‘Journey Alone’. The song was created at the end of 2019, but it also relates so perfectly in my opinion during this hard time where we are all sitting in quarantine & practicing social distancing.
The song is about self-care. It’s about removing toxic people from your life & spending some time alone to look within & discover how to create a healthy internal environment for yourself which then carries itself out with you into the external world. Sometimes we love & care about people in our lives, but due to their own self-destruction & trying to help them it causes chaos in our own lives.
It’s about creating boundaries. Happiness is an internal job & we are the only person that can heal ourselves & make ourselves feel whole & complete. And sometimes it really takes a lot of time alone to be able to get quiet aside from outside noise, hold a mirror up to ourselves, heal, & grow. During this quarantine where we are literally forced to spend a lot of alone time, it’s a great time to learn how to be alone, self-reflect, & think about healthy ways we want to spend our lives & who we want to be in this world when this is all over.
What would you like to share with your fans and others as we go through this crisis?
Through going through hard times in the past I’ve learned that tough times don’t last forever, but tough people do! Never give up hope that there will be a brighter future. Although this time is difficult try to find the positives in this situation such as more time to make connections with those you love even if most of that time is spent talking on the phone.
If you aren’t working use this time to find or work on a hobby, maybe even creating your own business, or on self-improvement including getting in great shape. There’s so many home workouts & you won’t be tempted to go out eating & drinking excess calories with your friends.
Every time you feel like complaining or feeling sorry for yourself think of what you do have to be grateful for. There is always something to be grateful for it can be even the smallest simplest thing. And when you’re also having negative thoughts think about what you can do to help someone else. This too shall pass.
Tell me a secret-a good one!
If I told you then it would no longer be a secret 😉 I’m the type of friend that you can always count on to keep a secret.
What everyone doesn’t know about me is I sleep topless with a baby blanket & 1 foot out of the covers.