“I will never give up on singing because it’s a part of who I am and what I want to do in life.”- @holly_huntoon
Episode #269 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax – Listen to the show:
GETTING TO KNOW HOLLY HUNTOON
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
I started to sing around…
my house and make up my own little songs when I was about 5-6 years old. I didn’t really get into singing until 5th and 6th grade when I joined chorus at my elementary school, and it’s just something I’ve always stuck with. When I entered middle school, my parents enrolled me into singing lessons where singing just fell into place and I started thinking that singing was more than just a hobby to me, I wanted it to become a lifestyle.
Choose to Fly…
Originally I had submitted “Choose to Fly” which was written by my producer, Shay Watson. “Choose to Fly” is mainly about someone reaching towards their goal and believing in themselves to achieve success. The lyrics “we were given wings but we have to choose to fly” mean that we were all given a dream, something that we want to become a reality and to achieve but that dream will not become a reality unless we work hard and strive to make it our lifestyle. For example, I have always loved singing. When I was young, it was just a hobby but I always knew that I wanted to become a singer and performer but unless I work hard to make my music the best that it can be and to get my name out there, singing will always remain a hobby and not a lifestyle. The lyrics “Through the ups and downs, between the lows and highs” also mean that were going to have bad days and good days where we either work really hard or don’t work hard enough, but that never means to quit. I might have a song where I sing badly in it or I might rock the song and do the best that I can do, and either way I will never give up on singing because it’s a part of who I am and what I want to do in life.
I think that my producer, Shay Watson wrote it because his dream was to become a producer and to create music for people to love. His dream was to inspire people and to have young artists show off his art, and he worked so hard all his life in order to do that. I think the song was written to give the same inspiration to either artists who sing his songs or to listeners to teach them to always strive towards success for whatever they want to do in life that their passionate about.
What you can expect from my music is…
inspiration from some of my songs such as Reaching, Now, and Choose to Fly which either talk about reaching or choosing to create your dreams and to make them into a reality and to never give up. What you can expect to hear is the ambition of a 19-year-old girl trying to make her dream become possible and showcasing that so people will believe in themselves and to reach for the stars. What’s special about my music is that most of my songs were sung by men, so I had to develop them into my own taste and to try and incorporate my own sense of style into each song to make it my own. What I wish to accomplish with my album is music that people will love and want to hear more of, and if getting that reaction, I hope to create more CD’s of songs sung by me for people to love and be inspired by.
I live in Warwick Rhode Island…
which is a small state where everyone knows everyone. The kind of music scene portrayed in my town is rap. There are a lot of young people creating music and recording it to make themselves into something. Although I don’t experiment with that kind of music, I can honestly say that the kids have a real ambition to make themselves known and a lot of passion in what they sing.
One thing that I love to do music related is participate in my acapella group on my school campus, Roger Williams University. I’ve been in it since my freshman year, and in March we were able to open up for Jay Leno when he came to PPAC in Providence, Rhode Island which was an amazing experience. I think its so fascinating that such an incredible group of singers and beat boxers can come together and make memorable music from their voices and beats created using only their mouths. I think that that’s some real talent, and I’m so grateful to be a part of such a loving and amazing group.
I wish that one day I will become part of the music experience. I feel like now a day a lot of groups are getting noticed and a lot of music is being overplayed. I love one person bands, because I feel like there’s a lot more passion in a song sung by one person than a bunch of people and that’s something that I always look for in songs- the passion. Music is being overplayed so much by radio stations that the listeners get sick of the song and start to hate it. I hope that never happens with my music. I hope that when someone hears my music, they start bursting out in song and turning up the volume instead of changing the station.
Some pro’s that I’ve experienced with my singing…
and my songs is that I’ve gotten a lot of publicity from my high school when my EP first came out. Teachers would play it in class and kids that I’ve never seen or talked to would come up and congratulate me and tell me how great my music was.
Some con’s that I’ve faced were the people who would talk about my music and say that I was trying to make myself out better than what I really am, but it didn’t phase me. It made me even happier because they were still talking about MY music which gave me even more publicity. It’s really hard to try and get noticed in the music industry and a con that I’ve faced is that it takes a very long time to become bigger and more well known, and that’s just something that I have to be patient for because it will come and I will be well known.
Hurdles and pitfalls…
I just keep thinking that things will get better, and with patience and reassurance my dream will become a reality. Times are tough where I want to quit when it seems like nothing good is happening for me, but you just have to remember that its all about what you put into it, and if you try really hard and don’t give up then you will succeed. As long as I have a positive attitude and don’t give up, I will become a singer.
What I love about social media is…
that it’s a place where I can express my thoughts too and get publicity for. When I say publicity, I mean that if I post a video of me singing or a picture from a photo-shoot people will see it and either retweet it or will show others, and that tweet or picture will be passed around to make me more well known. If I post a video, I will get viewers and likes or dislikes- like criticism that helps me in the long run with the new creation of music that I decide to sing. Social media is another way of making yourself well known, especially with people from all over the world who aren’t able to meet me or hear me locally.
Some challenges I’ve had to overcome is that good things take time…
Its been two years since my EP came out, and nothing juristic has happened like I had hoped. But it will all come in time if I keep pushing. Another challenge that I’ve faced is the reality that just because I have an EP out, that doesn’t mean that everyone’s going to love my singing and that I’m great. Last semester, I tried out for a play that I was already in my junior year of high school. I had written that down on a sheet of paper to pass in to the directors including that I also had an EP on iTunes and a producer in Nashville. I thought it would add more to my resume so that people would see that I’m really serious about my music career. I tried out and didn’t get into the play, and for a little while I thought I just wasn’t good enough. But my parents gave me confidence in telling me that not everyone is going to think I’m a good singer and that’s okay, just don’t ever give up and good things will fall through.
Singles vs an album…
Talk about the differences in your marketing strategy to support your preference. I would rather hear an album than a single. I say this because I’m the type of artist that likes to produce different kinds of songs, showing off my singing ability and passion for certain things. When I listen to music, I would rather hear five songs as opposed to one specifically because when I hear a song and like an artist, I want to listen to more and don’t want to wait.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with….
I would love to have five minutes alone with Carrie Underwood. She has been my inspiration since I started in the country music industry, and her albums mean the world to me. This woman grew up on a farm, being very family oriented and tried out for American Idol having no idea that she would make it all the way to the end and win. Her voice has changed over the years becoming more and more incredible, and the inspiration and passion that she puts into each song no matter what it’s about is a gift that I wish to pursue as I further my music career. I remember going to her Blown Away Tour a few years back and crying the entire time, because I wish that I was on stage with her performing.
There definitely is too much of an emphasis on being current and trendy…
because now a day, listeners rely on the iTunes top music charts for the music that they wish to listen to and download, which is why so many artists get more publicity than they should and why songs replay over and over on the radio. There shouldn’t be a trend in music, what matters is the lyrics of the song, the passion and pain that the artist endured while recording/ writing the song, and what this song does for the listener emotional wise. That’s what really matters in music.
I am most afraid of…
I am most afraid of the fact that my music will never pursue to be bigger than it already is. I think this is the fear that all artists go through when they first start out, that their dream will be nothing more than a dream. My other fear is that a lot of people wont like my music, and I will get more hate than like on it. I want people to know each lyric to my songs and to blast it in the car, or to even create different covers on it and have the confidence to post it on YouTube to become a celebrity on their own and to get their voice heard.
My personal definition of success is…
that as long as you tried your best and reached for the stars, you have succeeded in doing the best efforts that you possibly could do. My success story that I’m most proud of is recording my own EP on iTunes in Nashville, Tennessee. I don’t know many people that can say that they’ve done that, or that they even have a producer who has worked with celebrities writing songs for them and has chosen me to work with. Being in Nashville was a dream come true, and an experience that I wish many people could have that want to become a singer and to put their voices out there. That is my biggest accomplishment so far I would say.
My overall goal for my life and career is…
to be successful and to have a career that I love and am most passionate about. With this being said, my goal is to become noticed and for thousands of people to listen to my music and to love it. My goal is to succeed as long as I put my mind and heart all into it and I try my best to make myself known as a singer.
3 Ways that I challenge myself and how each one moves me forward towards my goal…
1) I try to sing difficult songs. I do this to push myself and to try harder each time I sing a song in order to make my voice stronger and to be able to improve my skills.
2) I sing different genres of songs that I’m not used too. I do this to be open to a wide variety of genres and to experiment with different types of songs that will help to be a more open singer of various types of music.
3) I play my covers of songs in front of people for criticism. No one likes to hear that their not good at something, or that they could have done better. I’m the worst when hearing criticism, but the only way I’ll get better is if I hear what people think of my music, and what was good or what could have been done better. This helps me to become a better singer and more open to change.
My name is Holly Huntoon. I’m 19 years old and from Warwick, Rhode Island. I’m a sophomore at Roger Williams University majoring in Journalism and minoring in music. Ever since the age of 6, I’ve always had a fascination with the music industry. I played a few instruments but always found my voice to be my favorite. I’ve been taking singing lessons since i was 12, won a singing scholarship from the Philharmonic School of Music and have been in many plays during high school and creating demo CD’s to show my progress of my voice. My senior year of high school I sent a demo to Nashville and had been given a producer, Shay Watson. For a year I worked on the songs that he had written for me perfecting them to be my own. January of 2014 I flew down to Nashville and recorded an EP called “Reaching” that’s available on iTunes and Spotify. Since then, I have been sharing my music and trying to get my name out there for people to listen to my music.
Facebook: Holly Huntoon
Facebook Fan Page: Holly Huntoon