NBC’s The Voice has brought us many talented new acts over the last few years and more than often it’s those who don’t last the longest in the competition who end up impressing us even more than the finalists. Holly Henry impressed us early on with her take on Coldplay’s “The Scientist” and managed to turn every judge’s chair during the blind auditions. Her tenure on The Voice came to end much too early for fans of the angelic voiced blonde, but an early exit isn’t always such a bad thing. I was fotunate enough to chat with Holly recently about her experience on The Voice and more importantly the future of her very bright career.
Brandon: How’s life for Holly Henry post The Voice?
Holly: It’s going pretty well, trying to stay busy as much as possible.
Brandon: I see you’ve been posting some covers on YouTube lately, but I also heard rumors of an EP coming out soon? What do we have to look forward to?
Holly: Yeah, the EP will be fully acoustic and I hate to use the word raw *laughs*, because I feel like every artist uses that to describe their music, but it’s incredibly stripped down and its pretty much me, my guitar and really the only type of percussion is clapping, so yeah it’s got quite an indie sound I would say. It will be out some time in December.
Brandon: Is it going to be all originals?
Holly: All five songs will be originals. They are all very much like my old music if you are familiar with the stuff I have on Bandcamp.com. There are lots of layered vocals and it’s very haunting and atmospheric in a sense.
Brandon: Being a ukulele fan myself, I love your Unlikely Ukulele Covers on your YouTube channel. In fact your cover of Bjork’s “Human Nature” could be one of the best Bjork covers I have heard. So we know you play ukulele and guitar now, how many instruments do you play in total and which one is your favorite one to play?
Henry: Thank you! I never really learned from anybody, so I feel like a lot of people would tell me I don’t really play any instruments, since I play by ear, but if you consider that playing *laughs*, I play banjo, guitar, ukulele and piano. Piano is the one I am most comfortable with, ever since I was little, I would thump away at the piano. It’s kind of strange, since most of my music is played on guitar.
Brandon: Well anyone who doesnt consider that playing – with all due respect – can shove it *laughs*
Brandon: I know artists who don’t read music, I don’t read music, I don’t care, you are still a musician!
Holly: Thank you so much.
Brandon: We were big fans of yours on “The Voice”, in fact I think your version of “Creep” didn’t get enough credit, but looking back, would you change that song choice or anything for that matter?
Holly: Obviously I would definitely change it. If you have heard, I have another version of “Creep” and it’’s completely acoustic (on Soundcloud) and that’’s how I would have preferred to do it. I’’m not even remotely a rocker. They would tell me that I needed to project and be louder and I just don’’t sing like that. It was definitely a tough arrangement for me, because I am not a powerhouse singer. I’’ve never thought that it was a bad thing, I think it’’s cool when you have a softer voice. So yeah if I could have changed it, I would have done it acoustic and softer. During the performance, I was practically having a panic attack *laughs*, my arms were completely numb.
Brandon: It’s too bad they didn’t let you, considering they let Melanie (Martinez) from last season strip down songs like “Seven Nation Army”. I really thought you still sang “Creep” well though, even if it was out of your comfort zone. I was surprised someone didn’t save you from going home.
Holly: Well thank you for that, but in some ways it was ok by me. I have always suffered from anxiety, but I never really realized how bad it was until I went on The Voice. As much as it was a beautiful, wonderful experience; I was having panic attacks all the time. It just wasn’’t good for my health, so the fact that I left when I did was actually a blessing. I now have this great fan base and can do my own thing. So, yeah I am cool with it; I miss everyone and I miss the experience, but ultimately it was a good thing.
Brandon: I think it’s really awesome that you’re honest in saying that. I remember talking to Cassadee Pope after her experience there and viewers can’t fully understand how much you guys go through, it’s not for everyone, especially if anxiety ends up playing a part.
Holly: Certainly. The other contestants were much better equipped to handle it than I was. I am a sensitive human *laughs*, I am a delicate flower, I really am. I need my sleep, I can’’t drink caffeine, you know? Little things like that.
Brandon: So looking ahead to the future now. You mention the EP coming out at the end of December, are you planning on a full length album soon or are you going to release multiple EP’s like a lot of artists are doing these days?
Holly: I do like the idea of releasing an EP every now and then, it’s simple and it gives people satisfaction. I am also though -– I don’’t want to say I am an artistic person, that sounds so pretentious –- but I am a fan of concept albums, like making a work of art in an album. I think that’’s a really beautiful and interesting idea. That does take a lot of time and money though, so in the near future, I don’t see that happening, but I definitely want to do that in the future.
Brandon: You’re going to be featured in the issue before our annual Lemonade Awards issue, so in the spirit of that, what has been your favorite music of 2013?
Holly: Oh wow, that is such a hard question. Hold on a second let me go look at my iTunes.
Holly: AM by The Arctic Monkeys is just wonderful. I am obsessed with them. You can tell it’s Arctic Monkey’s, but it has a completely different sound to it. The song “Do I Wanna Know?” is just….ohh…..so amazing.
Brandon: We talked a little about your ukulele covers earlier, but when it comes to all the cover songs you do, what/who is your favorite song/artist to cover?
Holly: The only cover I have performed a few times live is “Blue Jeans” by Lana Del Rey and I love playing that song, because it is easy for me to sing with my voice. I love to sing any Lana, because she’s such a huge influence to me.
Brandon: I actually watched your cover of “Blue Jeans”, since it is such a fun song to play.
Holly: I just love it when artists are like she is. They aren’t afraid to be themselves and be weird. You hear her and you’re like “That’s Lana”, nobody else is like her, I love it.
Brandon: Last year she was up for Album of the Year at the Lemonade Awards, but I couldn’t swing my fellow panelists over to vote for her. I however agree with you, she is something completely different right now and I love her stuff.
Holly: It’s weird, I feel like people either get her or they don’t. I know so many people who just don’t like her at all. I feel like some people who aren’t as opened minded just think she is weird for singing about her “Sugar Daddies” and whatever. When it all comes down to it though, the album is produced so well and yeah, people may not ever completely understand her, but I kind of like that.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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