We were enamoured by ‘World’s on Fire’, the debut single from Cornwall-born/London-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lots Holloway. It’s a brilliant piece of electro-pop, with subject matter with a political edge.
Check out the video, here
We spoke to Lots to find out a little more.
Hi Lots, thanks for talking to us – busy week?
You’re more than welcome; it’s nice to speak with you. This week has been very busy, I have my third gig of the week tonight and my seventh meeting of the week tomorrow. Lots of racing around.
Your single seems to have a very topical undertow, how important is it to use your voice to make a statement?
I think it’s important to me and for me to ‘say something’ if I believe what I have to say has some value to it, or if I feel other people may benefit from hearing what I think. What I like about the song is that within all the chaos in the verses, the chorus lyric is a statement of pure togetherness ‘the world’s on fire – I think we’re in trouble’ – if the world was to burn, or to be set alight, through war etc, we are all in trouble, not one nation, not one country, not one group of people – everyone.
Is this the tone we can expect from the album, or do you rock a good love song too?
Oh man, I talk about everything! I write about whatever I am thinking or feeling or moved by – Dreams, time, love, heartbreak, sex, lust, escaping… So yes, I’m totally up for rocking a love tune. In fact, there’s a couple in the pipeline for the next recording session.
I’ve always been a sucker for a great female singer-songwriter. Which other ladies have inspired you to make music?
I am inspired a lot by Kate Bush, I think her attitude towards music is wonderful – outside of any box, disregarding of any traditional rules, and complex yet somehow welcoming. I listen to Amy Winehouse’s records a lot too, I doubt anyone can compare us musically, but I love her honesty and songwriting.
Modern girls though, I’m really into Christine and the Queens and Lorde. They are people who I think are doing great things in this musical climate.
What is the Lots Holloway live experience like?
The Lots Holloway live experience is fun, when I play a show, I want the audience to feel like they weren’t just at a show, but they were a part of the show. I want to have people remember the night as something special.
You recorded the track in Bryan Ferry’s studio. Did you get to work with him?
I didn’t actually work with or speak to him; he was away on tour which is why he let us use the space. But there was something magical about working in his personal space, it was like the inside of his mind. The artwork, the rooms, the studio contained all of his personality and that was special.
You’re originally from Cornwall. Was it a huge culture shock moving from a more laid back place like that to London?
The pace shock was unreal, if anyone has been to Cornwall, they’ll know what I mean. Down there we are so laid back, we are chilled and everything will happen ‘dreckley’ (meaning – at some point in the future, not immediately, but soon). Whereas in London, if it wasn’t done by yesterday it wasn’t done fast enough. But I adjusted to that quickly, I love the fast pace of life in London. I also like the size of London. It’s big and expansive and has lots of hidden magic. I love to explore. I’ve never been afraid of anything bigger than me; I’m infatuated with it.
What were you doing before you made music your living?
First of all, climbing trees, riding my BMX, learning to play instruments, – then for one summer I printed T-Shirts for a local shop in Newquay, Cornwall.
I’ve never had a ‘real job’, and I never want one. I would lose my mind with a wage, a salary, and commitment. I’ve always needed to be free. I moved to London and grinded really hard to get small gigs in pubs and bars, playing acoustic covers to pay rent.
What’s the best thing about being an (alt) pop star?
I’m not sure… I’ll tell you when I am one.
There’s some powerful imagery in the video. How much did you have to do with the concept?
The concept was a collaborative effort between me and the director Kat Kemsley. We both were working on the idea of a video full of news clips and disturbing footage separately, so decided it was a clear winner for the concept. It’s a hard hitting video, with some really challenging images, but they’re all real life events that have happened or that are still happening and just because this is pop culture, I don’t think we can shy away from it.
How many instruments can you play, and what’s next on your list to learn?
I can play drums, piano, guitar, bass and sing, (I can also play xylophone and glockenspiel) – at the minute I am trying to master the harmonica, one day I’d love to be able to play saxophone, and the violin, but I think I’m good for the moment.
What can we find you doing when you’re not writing and singing?
Sleeping, I guess! I spend most of my waking life sat at a piano, or with my guitar, or at my laptop producing and recording songs, playing live gigs, or listening to records with the lights off… But perhaps you’d find me at the bar with my friends when I eventually need a break.
What’s the next thing we can expect to hear from you?
I have just released a video for the supporting track to ‘World’s On Fire’, it’s called ‘Is Anything Real Anymore? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0b-4xjgBw4) but apart from that I am back in the studio the first week of April recording a further bunch of songs that will be released and gigged through the rest of 2017.
Thanks for talking to us. Any last comments for our readers?
Thank you for having me, and yes – stay cool and listen to my music.