Kevin Holliday Interview

Kevin Holliday just wrapped up his nationwide tour, and during his stop in Atlanta, we sat down and discussed creativity, collaboration, and connection. In the context of Kevin’s songwriting, he is loosely planted in an alt R&B style, while fusing different styles and influences from his musical lineage. Kevin and his band put on a fantastic performance at Aisle Five in Little Five Points, Atlanta, GA. Check in on him in early 2023 for his new album release. November 15 Kevin is dropping his remix of Jones on the Phone, and the pre-save link is below. 


Rei: There’s a certain sentimentality towards love in your music, do you like to appeal to universal experiences?

Kevin: Hell yea everyone can relate to love. I feel like I’ve been through alot, in terms of life and relationships, so I like to put that in the music. It’s something everyone can relate to. I think that's what people really want, to hear themselves in the music. 


Rei: Is there a particular person that you sing about in your love songs or is it more of an amalgamation of people? 

Kevin: Both. There’s definitely one person I sing about a lot. On my newest album-

Rei: When’s that coming out?

Kevin: Early 2023. I wrote it pretty much about that person. Sometimes I’ll write about third person [narratives], like stuff I’ve heard or something that friends will tell me. Sometimes that’ll spark something ya know?

Rei: Yea for sure, I’ve got some questions about some influences I hear. Is Channel Orange an important album for you? 

Kevin: Absolutely, and anyone in the R&B/alt R&B space or anything like that is at least influenced by Channel Orange in some capacity. I mean Frank, he’s Frank. 

Rei: I've noticed that you are careful in selecting your collaborators, what do you look for musically and energetically in a potential collaborator? On a lot of your features, they don’t phone it in.

Kevin: First off, I just have to fuck with you. If I don’t vibe with you, I’m not gonna work with you. I’m selective in that way because that’s where the best stuff comes from, like from genuine connection. So if I’m just fucking clout chasing trying to get someone bigger than me to get on my song, then it’s coming through as not genuine. That’s what I’m concerned with. Making genuine art that cuts through the bullshit.

Rei: How'd you get connected with your live band? They’re really good.

Kevin: Yea they’re amazing; they’re like my best friends. I met Kaizo in college, at Wesleyan, it’s like in Connecticut. Jacque, I just met in New York. He’s friends with one of my friends, and he just put us in contact.

Rei: What are some jazz artists you fuck with? Miles Davis, cool, fusion?

Kevin: I really really really fuck with Miles Davis. Bitches Brew is like- But I’m definitely not a huge-huge Jazz person, but Miles Davis for sure. 

Rei: What is your take on bands like Standing on the Corner? You seem to fuse genres in a way that reminds me of them. 

Kevin: Standing on the Corner is cool. They’re dope. 

Rei: Who are some vocalists that inspire you?

Kevin: Definitely Solange. One of my favorite artists is Pharrel. I love Tyler.

Rei: I definitely hear the IGOR influence in your sound.

Kevin: That’s like literally one of my favorite albums ever. 

Rei: What’s your process for songwriting ?

Kevin: I usually don’t ever write anything down.  So like I’ll write a verse at one time.  Stop, then come back. Record a chorus. Stop then come back.

Rei: It’s almost like a journal?

Kevin: Yea, and at first I kinda struggled getting everything to relate with each other. It was kinda a challenge getting through that.

Rei: There's an element to collage in your production, what do you look for in a good instrumental?

Kevin: I don’t want it to sound like anything-I don’t want it to sound like anything I’ve heard. It’s gotta be something new or a combination of some stuff I’ve never heard. It’s like painting, you gotta layer and layer and layer. When you’re done with the painting, it feels almost thick. I want to get as many influences or different types of avenues that make sense in the context of the song. 

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Written By Rei Low: