Lots Holloway Reveals Her Jekyll and Hyde
English pop singer-songwriter Lots Holloway has exploded into the music scene seemingly overnight and is being flooded with interview requests and Twitter followers (almost 95K at last count). That’s quite a lot of attention for one woman with only two songs released. Her debut single “World’s On Fire” and its B-side “Is Anything Real Anymore?” struck a chord with young listeners also overwhelmed by the craziness of 2016 and chaos of today’s political society.
Thankfully, Holloway took the time to speak with Rawckus about her music, being outed as a lesbian by the press, surviving on beans and beer, and transforming from Jekyll to Hyde.
Rawckus: Okay, the first thing I need to know is are you Charlize Theron?
Lots Holloway: You mean Charlize Theron, Esquire’s “Sexiest Person Alive 2007,” Charlize Theron? Yes, yes I am, but only on the weekends.
“World’s On Fire” and its B-side “Is Anything Real Anymore?” were inspired by your frustration with today’s politics and frequent terror attacks. What advice do you have for young people frustrated by everything going on, but don’t know what to do?
LH: “World’s On Fire” is directly linked to everything that happened in our world and to our people in 2016, and “Is Anything Real Anymore?” is more an observation of the social climate we find ourselves in. Both of the songs are approaching difficult topics we’re currently facing.
I don’t have any solid, scientifically supported advice, but in my opinion I would only suggest young people find a way to detach themselves once in a while. Turn your phone off, turn your TV off, switch off from the news, from the magazines, from the papers. Go outside and be with nature and real life on our planet. Lie in the park and watch the clouds, be idle for a change. Talk to yourself, find out who you are.
Should fans expect your upcoming album to be heavily political, or are their more prominent themes you explore?
LH: I talk about a lot of different things, I write about whatever moves me or inspires me. I write about love, sex, dreams, time, loss, heartache, and politics, so it will be quite varied. However, I can say there are a couple of “love/heartbreak” themed songs in the next batch.
I’ve talked to artists that fuel themselves on beer while onstage, or need weed while they record. What’s your go-to snack/drink/smoke for playing and recording?
I have beer on stage with me at every gig, mostly because I feel it should be a night of fun for everyone, including me. When I am writing music I often drink rum, just to free my mind a bit, it helps me not be overly critical of what I am creating.
Turn your phone off, turn your TV off, switch off from the news, from the magazines, from the papers. Go outside and be with nature and real life on our planet.
You came out before your first single did. That’s not a move a lot of people make in the industry, even today. What do you want young people struggling with their identities to know?
LH: That’s not actually true. I have always been who I am; it was the press that found out before my first single. I have no issues with who am, why would I? I am me, and that’s cool. I think you need to be proud of who you are, as Dr. Seuss once said “There is no one alive who is youer than you.” That’s awesome. The world would suck if everyone was the same. We need to celebrate each other’s differences.
I want people who struggle with their identities to know that it doesn’t have to be a struggle, you have to own who you are, because who you are is badass! When others see you rocking who you are, they will see you in a totally different confident light, and if they don’t…fuck those people anyway.
You told GigSoup that moving to London from Cornwall presented you with problems that expanded your mind and inspired your work. Can you tell us a bit more about those challenges?
LH: Stalking my other interviews I see!
Well, for start I realized there was a lot more people in the world. In a small town you can have a small mind. I learnt to be more considerate, as in, “there are a lot of people walking on this street; they all have lives, families, stories, paths, and problems themselves”. Then I started to realize problems weren’t problems, but situations I could learn from.
Like paying London rent and prices on a not-London wage. I remember once my best friends had to buy me beans on toast because I’d not really eaten for a couple days. (Ironic that four years later, I’m eating a bowl of beans while talking to you, as there’s nothing else to eat in my flat).
And, I learnt that friends and relationships will come and go, and that’s life.
I also learnt that things don’t come easy, not to say you have to “work yourself to the bone,” but you have to keep a positive in order to achieve you want, and that’s not always easy.
You also mentioned “Stepping onto stage induces my Jekyll to Hyde transition.” I definitely need to know more about that.
LH: I guess what I meant by that was, as “day-to-day Lots” goes, I am pretty considerate, I think about what I am going to do and, well, do it. I’m Dr. Jekyll.
But when I am on stage, it’s like I am the other me, the “me” who doesn’t even know what “me” is going to do. I surprise myself when I am on stage; I’m utterly free and spontaneous. I’ve jumped off stages, thrown mic stands, climbed stage scaffolding, and launched myself into crowds or onto higher platforms. I’ve even lain on the ground to sing a song once. When this stuff happens, I’m totally Hyde.