San Holo's Perspective of New Single "Lead Me Back"

San Holo's Perspective of New Single "Lead Me Back"

We interviewed San Holo and learned about his creative process and how he connects with listeners.

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Most well-known for his remix of Dr. Dre's The Next Episode, Dutch genre-bending musician San Holo effortlessly combines his guitar and singing skills with electronic sounds. 2018 was quite the year for San Holo - he released his successful album1 and performed it to enthusiastic crowds all over North America in his biggest headlining tour to date. However, 2019 may be off to an even better start as he prepares to tour the rest of the world and take part in several popular music festivals. Today, he released "Lead Me Back," his first single off his label's latest compilation series, Gouldian Finch 3.


The Odyssey: So how exactly would you describe the process of creating "Lead Me Back?"

San Holo: "Lead Me Back" is definitely a different kind of song. When I showed it to my friends for the first time, they called it "Folk-EDM." Like kind of a folky, indie, EDM sound. Which I thought was a pretty cool name for the track. Normally when I write music, I start on a guitar and then translate everything to electronic [instruments], like you know, keyboards and stuff like that. But for "Lead Me Back," I felt that the acoustic guitar had to be part of the song. So, I kept it in, and I think the song turned into a really cool indie-EDM song.

O: I think it's different than anything else I've ever heard because of you being able to combine folk and EDM sounds. It's really hard to have a good balance between those sounds, and I think you definitely did that with this song.

SH: Oh, that's awesome! That's the goal. My goal is always to create something that will make people think, "Wow, I haven't really heard this combination before, I haven't really heard this sound before."

O: You just did a pretty big North American tour, right?

SH: Yes! I did two months in North America – November and December. I'm going to come back in April for the second run of the album1 tour, which is my first [full-length] album that I released last September. This tour has been all about playing the album. At live shows, there's a lot of guitar lots of singing, and lots of cool instruments.

O: Have you had any special memories with meeting your fans and listeners at shows?

SH: Yeah, especially for this tour for album1. The album is pretty emotional with lots of melancholic songs. I would describe the sound as "happy/sad." I've met people after my shows who were crying. I mean, I've had people cry from my music before, but especially after the album1 drop, a lot of people have been crying after the show, which is great because it means they're deeply touched by [the music], which is one of the most beautiful compliments.

O: Do you think there's a certain song off album1 that brings people to tears the most?


SH: I actually wouldn't be able to name a specific song that puts people in tears. I think it's more the experience of listening to those [emotional] songs and getting in this headspace where people start to reflect on things. A lot of people go to shows to just forget about their problems, but also with this show, I see people diving deeper into their emotions and actually facing them.

O: It's so important that music can do all of that. I think you definitely are able to give your listeners like a safe space.

SH: Yeah! One of the most beautiful things still to me is when someone links a memory to a certain song [of mine]. There are bands that I listened to five years ago that I have [linked] memories of holidays or trips with friends. To have my songs, or my album or a specific part of the song, create this memory for someone – linking a place or time or feeling to that song – is a beautiful thing.

O: Do you have like a specific song for you that like of the bands you would listen to five years ago? Like what's a specific instance of a song that's linked to a memory? If you don't mind me asking.

SH: I used to listen to a lot of Bloc Party. That band has been a huge influence for me. I remember having my first heartbreak, having my first breakup, and learning that life goes on through the ups and downs. That's really what [Bloc Party's music] does to me personally. There are other albums where I'll remember holiday trips with my parents, or falling in love with the girl at the swimming pool… It's just the little specific moments that your favorite song at the time will make you think of.

O: Do you think any of those memories and songs that you linked had any influence on "Lead Me Back?"

SH: I think everything I've done up to now in my life has an influence on another thing I make. So, definitely, all the experiences and troubles are part of what I put into my music. I really like for people to have their own experience and their own meaning of my songs. I'm not going to tell someone what it means for them or what it should mean. But to me, it's a song about how sometimes even though two people love each other or seem to be perfect with each other, it just doesn't work out over time. You're trying to get back to that first spark, or the feeling you got when you first met each other. That's why it's "Lead me back to you," that "you," that you knew from back then.

O: Is there anything else that you would want your fans to know about regarding "Lead Me Back?"

SH: As an artist, I would like to have the freedom to create whatever I want. So, I think it's important to say that I always have this urge to innovate my sound and push the boundaries of what people think is possible within a certain genre. I really appreciate people that listen to my music for being really open to whatever I release. Like whether it's a house song, or a trap song, or in this case, a folk-EDM song. I think it's really important to me that [listeners] have that open mind because that's really what it's all about. Having an open mind. Especially when it comes to art and music.

O: I think the world is really going to love "Lead Me Back."

SH: I hope so. To me, it's a very scary song to release because it feels very naked and very honest. Those songs are the scariest ones to release because, you know, if people hate on it then it feels very personal, but, you know, I have to get over that.

O: Yeah. And that's just part of putting yourself out there and releasing music that is going to be meaningful. I think the fact that it's a scary song to release just proves how much this song means to you.

SH: Yeah, absolutely.


Want to catch San Holo on tour? Find the date closest to you here.

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Dear Taylor Swift, Christians Are Not Homophobic Bigots, Sincerely, The Majority Of Christians

Taylor, you need to calm down when talking about how most Christians act.

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When Taylor Swift released her newest single "You Need to Calm Down" last Friday, I didn't agree with the entire message of the song, mainly because of its heavy political overtones. But as the great Dick Clark once said, "It's got a good beat, and you can dance to it." So, for what it is, it's really easy to dance to this song, and I can see it becoming a pretty big hit.

But then the video came out, and I saw something that really bothered me.

In the music video for "You Need to Calm Down", Taylor is seen partying and hanging out with multiple LGBT+ icons in honor of Pride Month, such as the hosts of Queer Eye, RuPaul, and Ellen Degeneres. There's also a moment with Taylor, dressed as French fries, renewing her friendship with Katy Perry, who's dressed as a hamburger, which is as amazing as it sounds.

However, there's another cast of characters which acts as a foil to the happiness and colorful joy which is taking place in the video. There's a group of protesters surrounding the trailer park where Taylor and all her friends live. They're all dirty, buck-toothed, and dressed like your typical redneck stereotypes. They're also holding up protest signs while screaming at everyone in the trailer park. I saw one of the signs said something about Adam and Eve, and I realized most of the protesters were most likely meant to represent Christians.

And that...didn't sit well with me at all.

I know that these people never explicitly said they were Christians in the video, none of them even wore a cross. But, whenever someone sees anyone protesting rallies and organizations such as Pride, I can guarantee you that most of the time, the first thing people think is that they're from the Westboro Baptist Church, which is notorious for its protests. And I won't lie, there are some Christians who act that way.

But if you haven't heard this yet, let me be the first to tell you that not all Christians act like that. In fact, most of them don't act that way.

Christians don't agree with the LGBT+ lifestyle because of what the apostle Paul wrote in the book of 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). However, Jesus never once taught that just because you don't agree with a person doesn't mean they're automatically your enemy (Matthew 5:44). Christians are supposed to represent the love of the Savior of the world, which encompasses every and all aspects of humanity. This definitely includes people whose lifestyles we don't agree with. By not showing love to certain types of people, we are directly going against one of Jesus's greatest commandments.

Not agreeing with people is one of the cornerstones of humanity. It's a divisive world out there to be sure, but that doesn't mean people from any side of the debate need to perpetuate the division. Grouping all Christians into one group of hateful bigots is no different than Christians grouping all the members of the LGBT+ community into one group of evil people. One of the key elements of Christianity is showing people who have different beliefs from us the same love Jesus would show to anyone. And I know I'm not the only Christian who wants to show love to people of all walks of life. I may be the only Jesus they ever see in their lives, and we all wish to express the same love to others.

So Taylor, it looks like you're the one who needs to calm down on this issue.

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The Driver Era Gives Their Everything In Latest Track "Feel You Now"

Listen to The Driver Era open up about the meaning behind their latest track, what it took to produce it, and how they're interacting with fans on tour.

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The Driver Era combines unpredictable sounds across multiple genres with each release. Listeners never know what to expect from brothers Ross and Rocky Lynch because each track is so unique and nuanced. Their latest single "Feel You Now" was released on March 29. If you didn't get a deep enough glimpse into Ross and Rocky's minds in their lyric video, they opened up to Odyssey about what the track means to them from emotional and technical standpoints.

Odyssey: I love the energy that you guys bring to "Feel You Now." How would you say that it's different from the other three songs that The Driver Era has released so far?

Ross Lynch: Oh, it's super different. The first song we released, "Preacher Man," had a more rebellious view. And then following with songs like "Afterglow" and "Low," which have a bit of a sweeter touch – especially in the chord structure. I'd say "Feel You Now" is our most "pop" song that we've released.

Rocky Lynch: Yeah, like, electronic pop.

Ross L: It's definitely got some rock elements too.

O: Oh yeah. It really appeals to everyone in your fanbase. It's definitely pop and upbeat, but also the lyrics are pretty meaningful. So how are you hoping that "Feel You Now" resonates with your listeners, lyrically and musically? What main message do you want people to take away from it?

Ross L: Well, I always like it when the listener interprets songs however it can be the most personal to them. So, however people resonate with the song is it's really up to them because that's how it's going to mean the most to you. But what it means to me is it's about the struggle between your head and your heart – which everyone deals with so often, especially in me. I sometimes get into a spell of overthinking. At the end of the day, the song is about love. That's the message – love over fear.

O: Totally feel you with the whole overthinking thing.

Ross L: It's hard, isn't it?

O: Did you base the lyrics off of your general experiences with the battle between the head and the heart, or was it more from one specific instance?

Ross L: It's a collection of experiences – this song isn't particularly one life occurrence. Typically how we've been writing recently is we've been trying to turn off conscious thought. Without sounding too cheesy, I try to connect to my higher self and just try to let that come through. So with this particular song, it just came out.

O: I feel like that definitely like shows your true, authentic selves. I really appreciate that you're able to get into that realm. Not a lot of artists can do that.

Ross L: Yeah! That's, that's my whole objective. A lot of the greatest songwriters ever said that the meaning of the song would come to them after they wrote the whole song. For instance, John Lennon would say the song writes itself. I am the device that it flows through. That's where "Feel You Now" came from.

O: How do you two balance the songwriting and producing? Is Ross mainly songwriting and Rocky mainly producing?

Rocky L: We go back and forth. Our most common way of making a song is that I'll tend to be a little more production oriented and Ross will tend to do a little more lyric and melody. But if you split us up, we do a little bit of everything. For instance, "Low," our last single, I produced entirely on my own because Ross was in Vancouver filming a Netflix show, like a baller. And then you get to "Feel You Now," and that's a track where we wrote and produced with the drummer Ellington, but the single after that is just Ross and me, and we did the whole thing ourselves. So, it kind of goes back and forth.

O: I like the teamwork element.

Rocky L: Yeah! It just kind of flows like that. It'd be a fun experiment to say, "You know, let's just swap."

Ross L: I would love to do that.

Rocky L: It'd be like, "Ross, sit down at the computer. I'm going to head over to the guitar." We'll float, we do everything. We flip back and forth continuously while writing, and it would be really fun to just be like, "hey, you're only going to touch production and I'm only gonna touch lyric and melody." But that could be a fun thing.

Ross L: I'm surprised we haven't done that.

O: You should totally do it.

Rocky L: We're going to do that now because of you!

O: I'm glad I could inspire you! But yeah, I love the balance. You can really tell listening to your music how well you two work together. How would you say your balance of talents worked together specifically on "Feel You Now?"

Ross L: I think Rocky is a really, really talented musician and engineer. The amount of precision that is in "Feel You Now" a lot of people won't get because they're not musicians. It's really, really precise. He does such a good job about letting the song flow and building it, EQing it just right. And compression and all those little details to such a precise state that the song sounds really crisp. For this particular song, it's what it needed. We had Ellington do a drum pass on the bridge, that's where all that crazy, hectic drumming comes from. All the intense synths and intricacies of the production is just really unique.

Rocky L: I got to start paying him. He's my hype man.

Ross L: I mean, I've said it to Rocky, he said it to me. I don't want to work with anybody else.

O: So you've just started touring…how has it been?

Rocky L: We started on the East Coast and then we spent some time in Colorado, which is where we're originally from.

O: That's awesome! I actually spoke to a couple of the fans that were at your Denver show, but several of your other shows on this tour as well. They said that a Driver Era show really feels like a safe space to them and that each show is very memorable. So how do you go about making sure your live shows are meaningful for fans?

Ross L: Denver is our hometown and after the show, our uncle came backstage – he might be our biggest fan. One of the main things that you said was, "You guys left it all out on the stage." Like all, all of our blood, sweat, tears, energy, everything. We show up and we leave it there. We give it all. I think that's what people really resonate with. Some of our fans have been to 50 of our shows before and they'll follow us on tour, so much so that we know their names and their faces.

O: That's so important. Even just fan interactions, it's so easy to tell how much you guys care about what you do.

Rocky L: That's honestly dope to hear. Because sometimes, you do put in a lot of time, effort, and love to try to dedicate most of your life to something. And it's nice to hear that people see that and feel that as well about a project we've been working on.

To hear "Feel You Now" and other songs live, see when The Driver Era is coming to a city near you. Find tickets here.

Keep up with The Driver Era on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube. Subscribe to their community here.

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