“The current state of R&B is lacking story tellers right now,” said 23 years old singer/songwriter J. Holiday. The heavy music Line Group/Capital Records debut album entitled ‘Back Of My Lac’ in stores October 2nd , will spotlight a fresh new talent whose influences includes Marvin Gaye, Jodeci, Tupac Shakur and The Fugees. This gifted and ambitious D.C vocalist’s only purpose is to bring good music back to R&B. His music is more than just a face or a name, his music is about passion, loyalty and real struggles. Not only is this preacher’s son true to himself, his music is sure to touch those who are looking for a fresh start, an honest voice and real R&B music. The J. Holiday movement has just begun and fans of all ages can expect positive messages, real love songs and real issues.
Singersroom: Who is J.Holiday?
J. Holiday: I go by the name of J. Holiday and I am twenty-three, I am a left handed vegetarian, everybody tells me that’s a good thing; I am from Washington D.C. and I am very passionate about music, especially R&B. I am a laid back type of person so I am not too in your face, you know what I mean, I just want to do music, I know a lot of artists say that but I am one that really means that.
Singersroom: J. your album is entitled ‘Back Of My Lac,’ why such a title?
J. Holiday: Actually that’s the title of one of the songs on my album and that song gives people an insight on me, and just kind of what makes me. The song basically says it’s what I do whenâ¦I don’t want to be bothered by nobody else. Like talking to nobody, I just want to go and be alone, that’s what that song is about. So I figured why not with everything that I’ve been through on this journey to become a superstar…why not name the album that, cause that song is a very special song to me.
Singersroom: So J, when you don’t want to be bother what do you do?
J. Holiday: I get in my lac (Cadillac), I drive somewhere, I get me a bottle of somethingâ¦and I park and I just sit in the back and just think.
Singersroom: Don’t get me wrong but here you are, another pretty face; aren’t you afraid that people might say here is another pretty face, let’s see how long this one will last?
J. Holiday: No, I am not worried about it and the reason why I said I am not worried about it is because I think my music speaks for itself and if it doesn’t speak for itself I invite anybody and everybody to come and check my live show because I’m really singing and I am really passionate about this. The main thing [is that] I am not in it for the fame. I really love to singâ¦I am not worried about it at all. I am just happy that I am finally getting some recognition; I have been at it for a while.
Singersroom: Was it a long ride before you finally got the recognition that you deserve?
J. Holiday: Well, I think with the industry you have to not expect too much because you can’t expect too much without working for it and I don’t have a problem with working for it. It was a long road and it was a hard road but I learned a lot and it makes me who I am now. It doesn’t bother me, you have your ups and your downs but everybody does!
Singersroom: Who influences J holiday?
J. Holiday: Well I listen to a lot of Marvin Gaye, I shout him out all the timeâ¦He was a big influence just because his music just spoke to me and just the passion in all of his songs that he sung. I’m also feeling his lyrical content and the things that he used to talk about, from having a song called ‘What’s Going On’ to having a song called ‘Sexual Healing,’ only a true superstar can do something like that and I like to say that I would love to be looked at like Marvin Gaye one day. He was a major influence, Sam Cooke was a major influence, Donnie Hathaway, Jodeci, Tupac Shakur, The Fugees; I listen to a little bit of everything.
Singersroom: A lot of people now-a-days are saying it’s not worth buying new R&B albums it’s better to buy old school R&B because it’s better, what would you say to them?
J. Holiday: I think that people are gonna start seeing that, that’s where my influence was because at the end of the day that’s what I do. I listen to more old school than I do [with] new school so I understand where people are coming from when they that.
Singersroom: Are you ambitious?
J. Holiday: For sure
Singersroom: So being this ambitious person, what do you want to achieve with your life?
J. Holiday: I want to be as positive as possible for the fans and make good music for the fans because I think that has gotten lost in music. It’s not necessarilyâ¦people making music for the fans anymore. It’s just kind of let’s make music for the club and get this couple of checks really quick! I want everybody to know what my purpose is; that’s the main thing I want to get across. I want people to understand my purpose and my message and [that] I am trying to bring good music back to R&B.
Singersroom: You have said that “the current state of R&B is lacking story tellers right now,” don’t you think that it is a bold statement coming from someone who doesn’t even have an album out yet?
J. Holiday: I don’t think it’s a bold statement because if you listen to what’s been put out or what has been put out within the last three or four years, you can really see that there not really saying anything in their songs. They have good songs but they’re not great songs or their using their songs to sell themselves first…so I am not going to necessarily say it’s a bold statement.
Singersroom: What’s the difference between your music and what’s already out there?
J. Holiday: The difference is that my music is [very passionate] and I am more than just a face or a name. I am a movement, I am trying to definitely bring R&B back and I try to convey that in my music. Like I try to [have] positive messages in my songs and I have an album that’s full of good songs versus three good singlesâ¦and that’s what a lot of artists have been putting outâ¦three good singles, like you paying fifteen dollars for three songsâ¦you’re gonna get exactly what you pay for with me.
Singersroom: In ‘Be With Me’ produced by Rodney Jerkins, you sing about wanting to be more than just friends with the object of your affections, does it mean that J. Holiday is in need of affection?
J. Holiday: [laughing] Yeah I am single.
Singersroom: So J. you need affection, right?
J. Holiday: From my experience, I think [that] when people have relationships now-a-days it’s more just an attraction or infatuation versus you really trying to build a good relationship. The message I am trying to put across in that song is stop being about the money and this and that, listen and make real love songs that people can relate to.
Singersroom: To continue on the subject of love in the song entitled ‘Bed’ you said, “I wanna put my fingers thru your hair, wrap me up in your legs and love you till your eyes roll back, I’m tryna put you to bed.” So J, do you have a special lady that you would like to put to bed?
J. Holiday: [laughing] Oh man I am so focused right nowâ¦. l haven’t even had time to try to pursue any kind of love.
Singersroom: So pretty much for all the ladies out there, there’s still hope?
J. Holiday: [laughing] Oh yeah there’s still hope.
Singersroom: Why is your album so personal to you?
J. Holiday: The songs on my album are personal to me because I can relate to them, or people around me can relate to them and especially the fans can relate to them. So that’s why it’s so personal to me because they’re real songs about real issues and real people. —— By: Interview By Valerie Varasse