Holander is hard to miss. With bright, vibrant hair colors and dyed eyebrows, her fashion makes a statement where ever she goes. But it is her music where her vulnerability and expression truly play out, with catchy lyrics set to infectious pop beats. I chatted with the glitter-studded LA artist about her writing process, attending USC, and her seasoned dancing chops below:
CRAVE: I love your personal style. From the glittery, grungy clothing to the popping makeup- where do you find inspiration behind your fashion and brand?
HOLANDER: I used to hate the color pink but one day, I just had this crazy, sudden urge to dye my hair pink. (At the time, the boy I was with told me it would be tacky, so you can bet the minute we broke up, my hair went pink). When it comes to my clothes, I really love rave fashion. I don’t even go to raves but the culture within raves to allow spaces that celebrate femme-identifying bodies dressing themselves as extra and in whatever way they want. The flamboyance of the freedom in that fashion really inspires a lot of my live show looks.
CRAVE: Who are some of the music inspirations that you look up to? Have you found that they’ve influenced your personal sound, and how so?
HOLANDER: I love this wave of grungey low instrumentation with high, ethereal vocals so I’m a big fan of Terror Jr., I think they really nail that balance and duality. Lorde’s songwriting is very visual, she finds new ways to express age old experiences and she’s definitely inspired the visceral imagery of some of my lyrics. When it comes to live shows though, KITTEN was a huge inspiration; the energy and electricity is something I really love bringing to my own shows. I would be hunched over computer screens watching MisterWives footage too but hands down when it comes to my dancing, my momma is the #1 influencer. Most recently though, Julia Michaels has really been a fun contemporary for me; watching her play around and break rules with her music is awesome.
CRAVE: I know you prioritize embracing vulnerability as empowerment. How do you see this play out in your music? What are some of your most important core values that you try to promote?
HOLANDER: Internally, I can’t help but lean towards finding the empowerment in situations. I’m an optimist, I like finding bright sides and humor in what I can. I like to take back control, within writing, within these fantasy worlds I build in these songs, I want people to feel empowered to take back control because I know that’s what they do for me. My songs are the ideal version of myself, so even I listen back to them to find strength. My core value, at the heart of what I’m trying to create and represent, is everyone feeling safe to sing, cry, dance and wear their hearts on their sleeves. No matter what body or place or society they were born into.
CRAVE: You have an upcoming show at School Night for your EP release. What has the preparation for that show entailed? Tell me about how it feels to be performing at your own EP release show.
HOLANDER: I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had several shows already this month that have kept me on my game but I always try to work in regular solo and band rehearsals. It’s been a hectic few months and it may not be the most interesting answer, but right now I’m just practicing self-care.
It feels like all of the work I’ve done this year is culminating into this moment. I’m excited to finally share the EP live with everybody and just celebrate it as a body of work, and a story.
CRAVE: In your music video “Headphones”, you display some dancing skills. Was that something you learned for the shoot, or do you have a background with it?
HOLANDER: I grew up dancing; I did ballet throughout elementary and middle school and played around with the whole spectrum of dance classes but nowadays, most of my dancing is what’s improvised on stage, so this shoot was a really fun change of pace. My choreographer and co-star, Larkin Miller, would only choreograph when I was there, he’d work through it with me in our session, so it was his dance but I got to experience the moments of inspiration and put my own twists on to so it became very intimate as it unfurled. We ended up, 4 am, doing a guerilla style shoot before anyone was awake, Larkin, me and our videographer Justin Enrique on this tennis court just bopping around with excitement in the cold.
CRAVE: I know that you have had acting experience in the past. How would you contrast the experience of pursing music against professional acting?
HOLANDER: I like how music is my own words, my own creations. I’m a writer at heart, that’s where my core is, so being able to perform my own words is just amazing. And then to get to perform my songs in front of an audience that I can interact with, with fans I can get to know and a DIY scene to build from, that extra level of connection to the audience is really fueling.
CRAVE: You attended USC. How do you feel that experience influenced your musical career? What did you study?
HOLANDER: I got to meet a lot of other artists and cool musicians who were in the same headspace as me, there was an inherent community and I still get to do shows with some of those same people today!
CRAVE: What is your personal favorite song of yours? Why?
HOLNDER: Wow, that’s a really hard question. It definitely rotates, it’s less which song is my favorite and more which fits my emotional state. Right now, it’s Headphones because the raw emotion just really comes through; it’s such a snapshot of that time in my life and something about it just gives me a rush, there’s a deep happiness about it. I’m really proud of my whole EP, Glitter Grunge just is everything I wanted to create.
CRAVE:What does your writing process usually look like?
HOLANDER: It depends. I’m really into writing melody first right now. I use my voice memos and record myself singing different melodies and piece together the ones I like and from there, the words start tumbling in and it just becomes a puzzle of writing everything down and pulling a final image out of it.
CRAVE: What is up next for Holander?
HOLANDER: I’ve really been in a writing mood. The EP just dropped and I already have several songs slated for next year but after the release and the small SoCal tour, I’m taking time to just enjoy and share Glitter Grunge
You can follow Holander at @HolanderMusic on Instagram, and find her debut EP Glitter Grunge on Spotify.
Interview by Kylie Ketchner