Holly Rees

(C) Ryan Peebles

(C) Ryan Peebles

Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned Newcastle based singer Holly Rees to find out more…

Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I’m from the North East of England – grew up in the Durham Dales but I’m now based in Newcastle, and I love it. I first got into music being a big nerd playing cornet in the school band, and trying (and failing) to play guitar in a series of stereotypically bad teenage bands.

Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Ooh that’s a tough one – I’ve always been into a pretty weird range of music. Right now I’m really into Phoebe Bridgers, Courtney Barnett, The 1975 etc but growing up I listened to a lot of sixties stuff with my dad (which I still love), and I was a big Fall Out Boy/Green Day/Blink-182 kind of messy teenager.

How would you describe your sound?
I think someone somewhere along the line penned it as indie-folk so I’ve rolled with that ever since. A recent review called it a cross between Laura Marling and Courtney Barnett which I LOVE so I hope that?

(C) Jay Dawson

(C) Jay Dawson

What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
Two weeks ago I released a live EP called “Text Me When You Get There” – The Live EP which we recorded at my last UK headline show, which I played with my full band and had an absolutely mint time. I’m so excited to have captured some of the night and to share the full-band live sound.

What’s your local music scene like?
I really love the Newcastle music scene, I think it’s brilliant. There are some really mint grassroots DIY venues like Little Buildings which really support emerging musicians, and the scene is just so supportive of each other – it’s really special.

What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I’m lucky enough to have just played a really big festival – I flew out to Toronto last week to play Canadian Music Week, which was absolutely amazing. Got some really fun shows lined up though - I’m currently on a 40+ date tour in Canada, which includes a few more festivals. I’m super excited to play Calgary Stampede, and there’s a festival up in Flin Flon in August which sounds like it’s going to be amazing.

(C) Will Gorman

(C) Will Gorman

Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Oh I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before but I’d love to collaborate with any of the Boygenius ladies – Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus or Phoebe Bridgers. Or Courtney Barnett of course!

Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Oh man, I’m sure there’s plenty. The only thing that’s coming to mind right now is the other day my bassist messaged me asking if we could add a song I wrote called Pronoun to our live setlist when I get back from my solo tour, which is great except it’s actually already on our setlist… we even played it at that big headline show in December! He makes me laugh so much.

What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
Ooh I’m not sure. Just that I’m super grateful to them for reading and I hope they give some of my tunes a listen!

You can find out more about Holly on her website or via Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, Spotify or Twitter.

Jenny Pugh