At just 21 years old, Holly Humberstone is a breakout singer-songwriter hailing from the small countryside town of Grantham, UK. The Walls Are Way Too Thin the EP released November 12th follows Holly’s critically acclaimed debut Falling Asleep At The Wheel, which began the first chapter in the story of a new global talent who’s gained over 150M global streams to-date. You might recognize her from her performances on the late night shows of Jimmy Fallon, Kimmel, James Corden or being named the BBC Sound of 2021, Apple’s Up Next Artist, or when she was featured on NY Times and Billboard. On the new Ep you will see The 1975’s Matty Healy who co-wrote and co- produced the track “Please Don’t Leave Just Yet”. Her accolades are beyond impressive for an artist so young, the reason for her success is Holly’s remarkable storytelling and vulnerability throughout her music that not only caught the eyes but captured hearts and minds of young fans around the world. Her work touches on relatable subjects ranging from the struggles of mental health to the dizzying feelings of displacement as you grow out of adolescence. Holly is a voice for her generation and a legendary artist that is just getting started with more stories to tell.
She had mentioned in the past none of her school teachers gave her the impression that writing songs could be a "legit job" so I was wondering what dose she wish she could tell other young artists, who feel they can’t go after their dream jobs because they are too artistic or “unrealistic”?
After some thought Holly said " I mean it’s probably really cheesy but just do your thing and if you think you're good at something then you probably are! Even if your not, but that's what you love to do, then you will get better at it over time. And just really focus all your energy on what you really love doing and I think if you are consistent with it and you put out music (or art in general) that you love and you really believe in then you're gonna succeed because you'll be happy!! And people are gonna connect with you more if you are your true kind of authentic self I guess but yeah just don't listen to anyone who says or thinks you can't go after your dream. "
Holly has some of the most impressive accolades for an artists at only 21, but that doesn't mean she isn't struggling like the rest of us with the stressors and confusing world of being a young adult. She mentioned that "Trying to navigate changes of like being an adult and having to deal with these things for the first time. Living on my own and trying to take care of myself and also starting out in music is confusing and there's lots of pressures, I put a lot of pressure on myself with that sort of thing...." And as always her life influenced the direction the EP went stating "A lot of the first bits of writing for the EP were kind of about feeling a little bit lost I guess like I didn't have much of a sense of direction anymore and there wasn't anything familiar around me to cling onto" But then for the first time she took a leap of faith and wrote about an experience her best friend when through saying "When I wrote Scarlett I found a massive relief not writing about myself for once, and I found it really freeing to write about somebody else. It's quite emotionally draining to dig stuff up all the time and really bare your soul every time you go to write a song. I think it was just really freeing to write about somebody else's kind of experience, even though it was something that i had been through with her… Scarlett felt like a release, I love the way it sounds cause it makes me feel really empowered. Lyrically it is about basically saying I don't need these things that are tying me down anymore. To me it feel like a very positive song and you can dance sing and cry to,"
Lastly, when Holly was asked to describe The Walls Are Way Too Thin In 3 films these are what she listed:
Some of them (songs) I went acoustic-y and I think one of my favorite films is Moonrise Kingdom I just think its really cute and sweet!
I feel like Scarlett needs a chick flick, a really cheesy chick flick so maybe like ten things I hate about you, I just love that film.
That's such a random selection of films hmm what else, one about like a horror for Haunted House I don't watch them (horror movies) because they're a little too much for me but maybe Scooby Doo like the theme park one [laughing].
One of the most compelling parts of her music is the vulnerability on the subjects she writes about. So when I got the chance to speak with her, I wondered what is her writing process is like?
Holly responded "When I start putting pressure on myself and when I sit down and try and plan it I don't really tend to get anywhere, I find that for me its always been a sort of a real comfort space for me I find that my writing space is the one place that I can really go to and literally just say, write, and talk about whatever I want so I guess thats why it's so personal because it really is like I really do need to get this shit out. Quite a lot of the time, its funny like, I have a really busy mind, and I think going to write a song puts everything into a simpler format for me it just like lets me process things and work through everything and think about how I really feel about something. So, a lot of the time I don't really know where my mind is, on a certain subject before I've written the song and writing it helps me to like kind of get clearer in my mind, so that’s why the songs are so personal because I'm literally just trying to figure out how I'm feeling about stuff, and that's maybe why people connect to it because I'm not really writing about like particularly unique stuff I'm not going through anything that were not all going through, we (her listeners) are around the same age going through the exact same changes and weird shit right now. So yeah I think it's universal stuff and that's why people are connecting to it I guess."
And a bit later on she discussed more about her transparency within her work stating "I feel like it is important to be transparent and honest and vulnerable because, it's just important and it's just really me, I feel like its true to me and that's how I feel that i'm the most authentic you know? And that people are going to connect with it the most…. I feel like I can't be the only one, we are all in this sort of weird transitional sort of stage between childhood and confusing adulthood and having responsibilities. I know in the past I’ve relied so heavily on music that's so personal to provide me with comfort and to give me the reassurance that i'm not going through it on my own."
A project that Holly has been working on is her Fifth Sister Swap Project which is her way of incorporating her love for sustainable fashion into shows with her fanbase. I was wondering where she got the inspiration for the project because it's such a unique idea?
Holly responded "I feel like the inspiration for that came from just like how me and my sisters have always loved swapping clothes. We are all like pretty small, kinda mini [laughs] like the same size and proportions so we have like a collective wardrobe pretty much. When we are out together people will make fun of us and say that we are like ‘the hobbits are out’ and stuff like that [laughing] like we get comments like that all the time, because we’re all like so full of energy and so small. But yeah we all like to share each other's clothes. Over lockdown I basically was like how can I source clothes fast enough? Because I was getting busier and I was having lots of things like photoshoots, interviews and music videos and I couldn't source clothes fast enough! And I've always really cared about sustainable fashion, and shopping environmentally friendly like going to charity shops, because it's so fun! And like car boot sales, ebays like my favorite thing in the whole world so yeah I feel like that's something that I've always really cared about and I wanted to set up like an online swapping system with fans, or anyone else in a similar position where I could upload an item of clothing that I had already worn like a few times, but felt like there was still lots of wear in it. Somebody could send me a picture of what they'd like to swap it with, an old item of theirs. It's just been so fun! I've done quite a few of them now and I've got loads of cool new stuff, and it’s really helped me out and just been such a nice way to connect with people and yeah I've brought it to my London shows and there are people that kind of turned up and brought stuff to swap. Which was so fun, and yeah hopefully i'll be able to bring it over to the US (for tour) we will see! It's been loads of fun. I hope I can continue doing it and expand to get some kind of system where everyone can swap with each other and stuff. I don't really know how it's going to work yet. But I feel like it could be cool!! There's just something nice about being able to share an item of clothing. It's just really kind of like another really personal way to connect with someone. Yeah it's just really nice like an item that i've loved has gone to someone else and they're gonna love it as well, and I get an item from someone else, that i'm gonna wear loads and love you know what i mean? So I just feel like It's a nice thing to do. "
Holly's Ep The Walls Are Way Too Thin is out now!! Avalible on all streaming platforms! Don't forget to follow Holly on social media to never miss a song or update from the breakout singer-songwriter.