Interview with Musician and Songwriter George Holliday about his sounds, debut single and The Jazz Van
Musician and Songwriter George Holliday from UK, well known as an owner of The Jazz Van Writing Studio, is ready to share his music into the world.
ML&L - For those who might not be familiar with you, can you introduce yourself and give us a brief insight into your music and art?
George Holliday - Hi! I am George Holliday, predominantly a songwriter and producer.
My intention has never been to be an artist as such, but I am just about to release my second single,
and am very excited to do so! I think the best thing about releasing songs without the intention of being an
artist, but to promote the songwriting instead, is that there feels like so much less pressure on how it is received.
In my pursuit of a songwriting career I have just bought a bus too! Which I am currently converting in a studio on wheels
that I intend to live in and travel around the world with my friends, meeting people, taking on new cultures, and predominately
giving musicians the opportunity to travel and write that maybe wouldn’t normally get the chance.
ML&L - How come up the idea for The Jazz Van? What inspired you to make mobile songwriting bus Studio?
George Holliday - The inspiration initially sparked from a conversation with my cousins about how frustrating it is,
as a pianist, not to be able to put a piano on my back and just go! The idea began as a Van, and I remember my mum gave me a
call one day all excited saying, “George, I think I’ve found the one….. it’s a bit bigger than you were talking about though…”.
The following week I got haggling with the people selling and next thing I know I’m putting the deposit down. As the idea has developed
since then, I have realized the possibilities of being able to provide unforgettable experiences to musicians that maybe don’t have the finances
to travel, and with the bus we will be able to provide them with the most inspirational scenery and road trips to get really get the creative
writing juices flowing, so that’s the plan! I really can’t wait until it’s finished. It will sleep 4 people, has a full double bedroom, bathroom
and kitchen so it’s quite a beast. Next step is finishing it, and then applying for funding to plan the first few sessions. Oh.. and The Jazz Van is
nickname, we will be launching a brand new company name real soon so head over to @thejazzvan on Instagram real soon as the Handles will all be changing.
ML&L - How has that decision affected your life?
George Holliday - My life this last 6 months has really taught me to live on a budget!
And I have taken quite a hit with the amount of songwriting I have managed to squeeze in..
All my savings and income has been going both straight to the project, and some other investments that will
help fund the bus on the road. It has also affected my life with all the craft skills I have gained to make
each step happen in the first place. For example, by the end of this week, I will have learnt how to tile a kitchen!
I love that though, getting really stuck into something and learning so many new skills that you never thought you would learn.
Banx & Ranx + Ella Eyre - Answerphone ft. Yxng Bane (George Holliday Cover)
ML&L - What do you look for in a song when you're thinking about covers?
George Holliday - That’s a good question. I think the most fun way to approach the covers I do on YouTube is to find a lyric or
subject of a song that I can really play with when making all my samples. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t seen the videos,
but what I do is take the subject of a song, for example, this week it was Ella Eyre’s new song ‘Answerphone’, and I sampled lots of
sounds of my phone to create all the beats. So when I am looking for a cover I have to see a potential way I can take the lyrics quite
literally and use them to recreate the music in a fun way.. I hope that makes sense!
ML&L - What's driving you to make tutorial videos?
George Holliday - Initially it was a lot of requests.
When I started on YouTube I was making vlogs just to document what I did so I could personally
look back on times when I was starting my career, maybe show my grandchildren one day and cringe!
But I found people were asking, ‘what exactly happens at a sound check?’, and so my next videos would be
explaining just that when we were out touring. With the build of the bus at the moment, the
tutorial videos have been the first to take the hit sadly.. but I’m hoping to bring them back when we are on the road!
ML&L - "In The Darkness" is your debut single. What does the song mean to you?
George Holliday - Yes. It’s quite a dark song actually. I wrote the lyrics to let off some steam about some cyber
bullying I received back at school. It’s a very real problem at the moment going into 2018, mental health problems related
to social media, and I wanted to give people experiencing a similar thing, some comfort in knowing they are not alone.
The school I went to wasn’t very open to creative people, and anybody putting their face online got laughed at, it was a
very new and weird thing back then. I think mental health issues related to social media are a very common problem we need
to address together at the moment and the best way to tackle it, I believe, is to let people suffering realize they are not alone.
Life isn’t about likes, or popularity online, but it’s very easy to get hooked on that lifestyle, so we need to be there for
people going through the dark side of social media.
George Holliday - In The Darkness (Official Music Video) | DEBUT SINGLE RELEASE
ML&L - Tell us the backstory of your song "In The Darkness".
George Holliday - I remember a moment quite specifically, when I posted a music video and a song I had written online. The next day I felt like a rabbit in headlights,
I didn’t really make a big thing about it but everybody was talking about it, in what felt like a bad way. Of Course nobody said anything to me in person, it was all online when
the 'keyboard warriors’ came to life. And it had quite a damaging affect on my confidence, I just hid away for my reminding time at school,
which was really sad to look back on really. Luckily I have got over the feelings and emotions towards these times and I’m not really afraid of
what people think, but I’m devastated for families that you see on the news that have lost a child through cyber bullying and if this songs can
help some people in need of some support in some way, that would be amazing.
ML&L - What would you like people to feel when they listen to your music?
George Holliday - I think this will develop over time. The next single I have coming out is also quite driven towards mental health,
but I have some really fun upbeat ones coming in summer, so I think overall,
if people can connect to my music by just feeling something emotionally, happy or sad, then I will be thrilled.
iPhone Ringtone Remix (George Holliday) | 2018
ML&L - Any advice for the young talented individuals like you?
George Holliday - First, thank you! I would love to see more individuals taking the plunge and putting their creative projects out into the world.
I think the biggest mistake people make, is that creative people hold back a little too much and worry too much about what response they will get, rather
than the possibilities of what can come from putting their talents out there in the first place. I first hand fully understand why there are those worries,
but at the same time, when you cross the bridge to not caring too much about the response, and see it more as milestones in your creativeness, the benefits
start becoming real. I mean, if I never released ‘In The Darkness’, I wouldn’t have gained the writing sessions with new artists that have reached out to me
through social media, I wouldn’t have had my first experiences of BBC radio interviews as a solo artist, I wouldn’t be typing up this interview on a train back
London after an amazing writing session in London with Sigma and Rudimental’s singer, it’s amazing! All that can be guaranteed by not putting something out there
into the world, is that no opportunities will be coming your way, which would be a great shame because there is so much talent out there behind closed doors.
I’m really not the best singer, by any stretch, but the fact I have released this song has brought amazing opportunities my way, and I want to help people with
the confidence to do the same!
ML&L - Is there anything you'd like to add?
George Holliday - I just want to say a big thank you for asking to do this interview and watching the videos. If anybody would like to speak to somebody in confidence that
has gone through similar experiences with social media and cyber bullying, my email is always open for a chat (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks so much guys! Take Care!