We chat to UK-born, Brooklyn-based singer songwriter, Greg Holden, ahead of his show at London’s Borderline next month. His new album, Chase the Sun, is out now.
You’re based in Brooklyn currently – how does the music scene there differ from Britain?
In all honesty my experience of the UK music scene is minimal, because my career sort of began by being embedded in the New York music scene when I first quit my job in London and moved to The States almost 7 years ago. The UK scene that I did experience though, was primarily at the now non-existent Monkey Chews in Chalk Farm, playing small acoustic shows for my friend Joel at EarMusic, who has booked nearly every breakout UK artist of the past decade, including Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding and Mumford & Sons. The kind gent has a gift for spotting talent early. What I can say, is the numerous times I’ve come back to the UK to tour, it is a very loyal fanbase. People come back, and back, and back. I love that. Hopefully I won’t be eating my words in July! Ha!
You’ve worked with a lot of great artists, who’s sticks out for you?
I worked with James Bay a couple of years ago, and he was just this unsuspecting guy singing his arse off in my studio. Two years later, well, you know how it’s gone for him. Really happy for the guy. Very talented.
What’s been your proudest career moment so far?
Last year I met Valentino Achak Deng in Los Angeles, a Sudanese refugee depicted in a Dave Eggers book called “What Is The What”, that 3 years prior to that meeting I had written a song about called “The Lost Boy”. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever meet him. I haven’t really looked at life the same way since. All of a sudden anything seemed possible.
What can you tell us about the upcoming tour?
It will be the first time that I’ve taken my US band to the UK, so that’s exciting for all of us. I’ll be playing a mixture of songs from my new album “Chase The Sun”, and if the older followers do indeed turn up as hoped, some tracks from my last album for them too haha.
How does it feel to have the spotlight on you now?
It feels great. I’ve watched so many of my peers blow up over the past few years, and nothing is more exciting to me than to see their hard work pay off. But I am equally excited to have the opportunity to prove myself. Whatever happens, happens. There are worse journeys to be on.
What else do you have in store for 2015?
I’ll be touring in the U.S. with my good friend Ingrid Michaelson this June, then I’ll have the European tour in late June/early July which I’m so excited about, then back to the U.S. for more radio/promo events, then probably back to Europe again later in the year. Then, well depending on how the world responds to my album, more touring!
What are your favourite records of the year so far and the songs you can’t stop playing?
I’m sort of obsessed with a band called Houndmouth right now. I’m not sure of their presence in the UK, but their new album ‘Little Neon Limelight’ is excellent. Check out track one, “Sedona”.