Keith Holland ”My passion started when I was very young”

Can you share your musical journey with us, from when you first discovered your passion for music to where you are today as an independent musician?

My passion started when I was very young and found an electric guitar under my brother’s bread. It was a lightbulb moment and I knew I would have an ongoing relationship with these stringed things. The journey has not been straight forward as I had to do lots of life learning along the way. With retiring from the workforce I have now found the time and energy to focus entirely on music and this has opened up the world of being an independent artist to me.

What motivates you to create music, and how do you stay inspired to continue making new and unique music?

It’s hard to say what the motivating force is. Its like a thought that enters your mind and you can’t let it go. You also have another thought of ‘not going to the grave without trying’. All cliches really but its an itch that needs to be scratched – and add on – till it bleeds’

As an independent musician, you wear many hats – from composing to marketing. How do you balance these different aspects of your career, and what challenges do you face in the process?

Its really difficult and I cannot say I have mastered this. OK, I write the songs and play the instruments and do the arrangements in my studio and arrange for mixing, mastering and drumming. But the dark art of promotion in this digital age is not something I can do yet and rely on others and so far I’ve had little success. Hence I’m now working with Olivia Long’s PR agency to help get my brand into the marketplace.

Could you tell us about your creative process? How do you come up with new ideas for songs, and how do you go about turning those ideas into finished tracks?

You have to be open in yourself to allow a song to come through. It won’t happen if your jaded, pissed off or into other things etc. After that you always have a guitar in hand and the idea may come from a musical phrase or the sound that a group of words makes to you in your head. When you’ve got the nucleus the fleshing out process kicks in. This last phase can take hours or months to finalise. Its then into the studio to lay various tracks down and work out a good arrangement which usually takes a week or 2.

Independent musicians often face financial challenges. How do you manage your finances to sustain your music career while also covering your personal expenses?

I couldn’t start my career until I was financially stable. Unfortunately this only happened once I was in my 60s so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do

Can you share a particularly memorable or challenging experience from your journey as a musician that has had a significant impact on your career and personal growth?

A few years ago I put out an advert in a local newspaper for someone to manage my career. After a couple of tries, and at the point of giving up, a bloke named Jon Navaho rang me up. The upshot was that whilst Jon liked my original sound and spent a stack of time advising on my songs and teaching me how to do song arrangements. Whilst Jon eventually moved on I will never forget the contribution he made to my life – thanks Jon

With the rise of digital platforms, the music industry has changed significantly. How do you navigate the digital landscape, including streaming services and social media, to promote your music and connect with your audience?

This is new ground for me and I have not mastered it. I’m trying. I’ve expanded my social media coverage but that has not helped. I’m still working on it and am hoping that blogs like this will somehow help

Collaboration is a key part of the music industry. Have you worked with other musicians or producers, and how have these collaborations influenced your sound and career?

Musically I am a lone wolf. I am far too exacting to work happily with others who have different standards to me. Just don’t need that pressure or stress. But the downside is dealing with professional isolation.

Your music likely reflects your unique style and perspective. Could you describe your musical identity and what makes your sound stand out in a crowded industry?

I am not young and have lived a full life working in the real world. The downside is that I could’ve been more musically competent if I started playing seriously younger in life, but on the upside I bring a broad palette to my song writing. 30 years as a social worker and 10 years in private enterprise exposes you to a lot of life and this is something I can draw on to share with other ordinary folk like me.

What role does live performance play in your music career, and how do you approach planning and executing your live shows, especially in light of recent challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic?

At this stage I’m not doing live shows but just concentrating on song and video production and trying to workout marketing.

Many fans are interested in the stories behind the songs. Could you share the backstory or inspiration behind one of your recent tracks that holds special meaning to you?

On my album All in the Groove I’ve written a song about my wife called She’s My Baby. It’s a boppy rock song that tells a story from the heart and has some codes in it that only she will truly understand.

Looking ahead, what are your future goals and aspirations as an independent musician? Are there any upcoming projects or exciting developments in your career that you’d like to share with your fans and the audience?
I’m just going to keep writing as long as I can and concentrate on doing better videos than the ones I paid to get done. I’m going to continue doing whatever it takes to get my brand out there, even though I haven’t got a clue what this might involve at this stage. I figure if God has given me a talent and wants me to develop it as much as I have already, then he will continue supporting me and help find a way for the music to reach the people – simples!

Website: KeithHollandMusic contains bio and song info, also 3 videos for the 3 album singles

Album in the Groove – on streaming platforms