Holo is an Australian artist and producer that burst onto the scene in 2021 with his debut project “Atlas”. He pulls from many different artists and genres, including the likes of Kanye West and Daft Punk. Holo is about the music, he’s as technical as it comes from a production side and his production skills have lead to large amounts of success in a short amount of time. Over 20,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, a Houseum YouTube placement (335K Subscribers) and much more. The music is the priority though, and for someone like Holo he makes it clear that whether he had 1 monthly listener or 100,000 he would still put his all in creating the highest quality music he’s capable of producing.

Where are you from?

I’m Australian. I grew up in Canberra, and I’ve been living in Melbourne since 2016.

Who are your influences from a production standpoint?

HNNY for drums. Daft Punk, Leon Vynehall and Kanye West for sampling, mixing together different genres, and being brave musically. Floating Points and Radiohead for texture and atmosphere. Quincy Jones for arrangement. David Gilmour, The Edge and Jonny Greenwood and John Frusciante for guitar. Paul McCartney for bass.

How would you describe the music that you make?

Eclectic. I listen super widely, and rarely to electronic music, and so I end up writing tracks that are quite inconsistent in their style and influence. I’d also describe my music as emotive – music has to have a distinct feeling and mood for me to be interested in it, so I try really hard to do this with my own stuff, often by using chords, melodies and/or samples. Finally I’d call my stuff dreamy … I use a ton of reverb in my productions to create depth and space, and it’s a big part of my sound.

What is your song creation process like?

It changes, but I often start with a 4/4 kick drum, open Arturia Analog Lab and just cruise through presets and muck around on my MIDI keyboard until I find an idea I’m interested in. I often start with chords, and then I’ll play guitar or bass over that. Sometimes I’ll start with a guitar. Or a sample. But once I’ve found an idea, I try and write drum and bass parts immediately so I have a foundation to build on. I try and build my tracks with distinct sections, instead of simply arranging a track based on a loop, so that the listener ends up somewhere else to where they started.

What do you wish for people to feel when they listen to the new music?

Whatever they want to feel, as long as they feel something! I really like that about music and art – how it can mean something entirely different from one person to another. Of course I want people to enjoy the music and get something out of it, though.

How do you feel like your latest music has improved versus your earlier work?

It’s a bit more experimental, and it sounds less like other producers I think. My first EP, ‘Atlas’, I feel is a bit more derivative than the tracks on ‘In Limbo’. With these new tracks, I tried really hard to not sound like anybody else. I smashed together genres which don’t usually fit together. For example, my track ‘In Limbo’ uses a disco bassline and a breakbeat drum part, with pop samples. That’s pretty unusual, and I like that.

Where do you want to take your career, what trajectory are you shooting for (if any)?

I want to start performing. I’d like to do DJ sets where I improvise over the top with my guitar. And I’d also like to perform a Holo live set. I also have a side project, New Monika, that’s more focused on songwriting rather than instrumental tracks, and I’d like to release our debut EP with a label. In the long term, I want to release with more labels and in more genres. Maybe a disco record for example, with a ton of live instruments. I’m really committed to keep learning and improving, and push myself in new directions.

How do you encapsulate your emotions and feelings into your production?

Harmony and timbre are my two most effective tools for that I’d say. So much of a track’s emotional quality is in the harmonic content; the voicings of the chords, how the melodies interact with each other, and how the bassline sits beneath of all that. Timbre – the specific sounds I’ll choose – is a big one too, which is why a toy piano feels different to a grand piano when they might be playing the same melody, for example.

Do you see yourself incorporating vocals to your music in the future?

Definitely. I have an upcoming record on Noire & Blanche this year which features my own vocals quite heavily. I’ll sing on some tracks in my side project, New Monika, too. I use my voice as a support instrument in my tracks more and more, too. I like using falsetto with a ton of reverb to emulate a female vocal sample, for example. I also want to work with featured artists on future Holo tracks.

What are Holo’s goals for 2022?

As I mentioned earlier, I really want to start performing this year and build up that skill set. I’m also planning a move to Berlin in May, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to meet other musicians and grow a network over there, as well as gain opportunities to perform, too. Other goals are to finish writing a lot of music, and keep improving as a producer!