10 QUESTIONS with VIC: Featuring HOLLYWOOD HOLLAND
By Vic Gerami
Even with two back to back hit singles, ‘Ladies Night’ and ‘Countdown,’ Hollywood Holland is still a midwestern 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).
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.
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