Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lots Holloway takes inspiration from icons such as Talking Heads, David Bowie and Kate Bush to explore the issues and pitfalls faced by her generation and ties it in with a feeling of togetherness, determination and empowerment. We caught up with her to chat about her influences and debut single ‘World’s On Fire’.
The world is beautiful, its humans that are the problem.
Tell us bit about yourself - what were you doing before your music career began?
Hi, I’m Lots Holloway, a singer-songwriter. Well in all honesty, most of my life has been spent working towards a career in music. I started playing drums and writing lyrics when I was about 8, then taught myself to play guitar and piano around 12, then started arranging and crafting entire songs around 14. So before all of that, I guess I was just being a kid and getting into trouble.
What was the first style or genre of music you really got into? Was there a particular song or artist who inspired you?
I’d say a lot of the popular music in the 60’s and 70’s. My parents used to listen to, and expose me to a vast collection of music - which was probably why I was so stimulated and excited by music in the fist place. We used to listen to The Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, The Kinks, David Bowie, Queen. So there was always a lot of great music that made the soundtrack my childhood, but I do specifically remember Jimmy Page’s opening guitar riff in ‘Stairway To Heaven’ absolutely being the reason I wanted to play guitar.
You learned to play many instruments in your childhood, first the drums - was there any particular reason you went for the drums first?
I was quite a wild child, so mostly the idea of being allowed to make loads of noise by hitting stuff - that, and the Neil Peart drum solo in ‘YYZ’.
Guitars followed and then the piano. What’s your favourite to play?
I enjoy playing guitar the most, although it’s probably the one I am least skilful at. I like the freedom on stage with a guitar, I find it too hard to be constrained sat behind a kit, or sat at a piano.
How do you create your music? Is there any kind of routine that helps?
I wouldn’t say there’s a routine to capture creativity, but once I have stumbled upon inspiration there’s a way I will normally work. To me, it often feels like (once I have a spark of inspiration) the song is already written and I am just trying to work out how it goes, almost like unwrapping a present.
Tell us about your new debut single ‘World’s On Fire’. When was it written and how does it reflect your observations about our world today?
It was written last summer (2016), in amongst the crazy multitude of things that happened last year. In my opinion, I feel like the world has hit a brick wall. Throughout my childhood and teenage life, it felt like we were moving in a positive direction (even with some awful tragedies) in terms of human rights and humanity and recognising differences - and now I feel some of us are almost taking a U-Turn on the wonderful movements we were making. The world is beautiful, its humans that are the problem.
What do you think it will take to put out the fire?
Looking inwards. Our society loves to place blame, but if we all look inwards and endeavour to make small adjustments we can get there. Everyone should be more accepting and less judgemental. If people would just stop and consider each situation from an alternative point of view, I think we’d quickly realise how similar we all are.
‘World’s On Fire’ is the first track released from a recording session in Bryan Ferry’s personal studio which included retro synths and iconic instruments owned by Brian Eno. Tell us about that recording session. How did it go and what was it like working with Mike Hedges?
I had a wicked time in the session, I made memories I’ll never forget - it was such an experience for me to be inside the walls of someone else’s genius. I have also always loved Brian Eno’s work, especially his work with David Bowie so to use his instruments was surreal. Mike was a great guy, he made me laugh a lot and was such fun to be around. I sought as much knowledge as I could out of him.
What response do you hope to get for ‘World’s On Fire’?
I would like for the song to travel around the world. It’s a song with international appeal. I am really happy it is the first single, it feels like the beginning of something to me.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
Paul McCartney - I would love to take a glimpse into his musical genius.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
“Slow down”, is what I would say and probably to my 12-year-old self. I feel so calm and connected to time now, but if I could have given myself even half of the insight I have now, I know things would’ve been a lot different.
How is the rest of the year shaping up for you? What’s planned for early 2017?
I am heading back into the studio to record more of the songs and will be working towards the album, so along with that comes more videos and live shows.
Watch ‘Worlds On Fire’ on YouTube below. For news and tour dates follow Lots Holloway on Twitter.