Today’s artist spotlight is on the English singer/songwriter living in New York City, Greg Holden. Holden is no rookie to the industry, but is finally starting to really make a name for himself. He is the king of finding success in unlikely places. He went to New York City without anything waiting for him but a dream he desired more than anything else.
He began music as a way of escape. In his album promo video Holden said, “I was always looking to get out. Didn’t really have a great childhood, didn’t have too many friends. I was always chasing something else.”
Holden started to gain traction in the industry when he co-wrote the song “Home,” as the single for the American Idol winner, Phillip Phillips. Around the same time he also found success with his song “The Lost Boy,” which made No. 1 on iTunes in Holland and garnered $50,000 for the Red Cross, according to his website. The song then was featured on Sons of Anarchy and sold 30,000 downloads in the U.S., debuting at No. 36 on Billboard’s Rock chart, according to his website.
The support Holden received during this period in his life was validating, but he “got thrown into writing songs for other people when really I wanted to be the guy out singing them,” Holden said. Ironically, during a time when he was garnering the most success he had ever experienced, his resolve as an artist was tested more than ever.
According to Holden’s website, his career came close to an end. Over the past couple years he wanted to give up on the music business on multiple occasions.When his label fell apart after he spent a ton of his own money, as well as around $30,000 crowd-sourced money, on his album and he was left unable to promote it, Holden almost faltered. The next challenge came when, during his sold out tour in Holland, he was going into debt despite the success of the ticket sales. Holden recalls, “I was driving to my sold-out shows thinking, ‘I’m coming off this tour and I’m giving this up.’”
But with the success of “Home,” he had more money to support himself. He decided to make a bold move and travel to India and Nepal on a journey that would reinvigorate his passion and inspiration as an artist. This journey put things in perspective and you can hear it on track like “Hold on Tight” where he sings, “Don’t take your life for granted.”
He is folk for a new age, with lyrics that can thrive in our generation, a tone that is strikingly his own and a rock sensibility that strikes you immediately. There is a retro vibe with a modern outfit in his music, which gives it authenticity—you can hear his roots. He sings what is on his mind unapologetically, like in his song “I Don’t Believe You,” (also the name of his last record) where he sings, “Your premise your presence your press Am I the only one who thinks you’re a mess? You’ve been rich all your life and made up sacrifice And just bought your way into success.”
But on his new venture, Holden is turning a new leaf. Maintaining the philosophy of speaking ones mind, Holden is touching on what is currently inspiring him. Positivity surrounds his upcoming release, “Chase the Sun,” which is due out on Warner Brothers Records April 14.
The video for his new sing “Hold On Tight” has already garnered over 150,000 views on YouTube. It exemplifies exactly what his new album is about—positivity and openness. The video shows how kindness toward others creates a ripple effect of kindness within humanity. The positive nature of his new record seems to have a reciprocal nature for the audience.
Speaking on the purpose of his music in his promo video Holden said, “The point is not to be clear about it (who the song’s about) or not to put anyone else’s imagination of it into a corner when they hear the song. I want them to take their own meaning from it.”
Fans of Frank Turner, Oasis and Mumford and Sons will especially enjoy Greg Holden’s music. His music can be found on iTunes and Spotify.