Check out our interview with Australian singer/songwriter and producer Holly Hebe who just released her debut E.P, ‘party mix.
If you’re a fan of the likes of globally renowned female powerhouses such as Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo, the unique soundscapes of Hebe’s debut E.P will slot perfectly into any bedroom-pop or indie-pop playlist you may have.
Follow Holly @hollyhebe
Hi Holly, please tell us a little about you?
Hey! So im Holly, I just turned 21 and i’m from Melbourne, Australia. I’ve been into music ever since I was really young, and have always known that it’s something I want to do as a career. Playing piano is my first love, I also love painting and reading poetry– any creative outlet like these helps me with my songwriting and lyrics. I grew up in a small coastal town by the beach and spent a lot of my time in the ocean.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
It’s one of those weird things that you don’t realize for a while and then suddenly you take a moment to stop and think, ‘wow i’m a working musician in the music industry.’ It’s a bit of an obvious concept but it has taken a while for me to recognise my worth and place in the industry so far as I grow and learn so much. It’s definitely been a very natural progression for me– I started busking at local markets when I was about 7 years old, and from there over my teenage years I began to pick up small gigs playing the piano. I then formed my little after highschool and we started gigging around the city together. It’s been so fun so far.
How has this changed your life?
Writing and sharing music has helped me deal with a lot of emotions in my life so far, and has given me an outlet where I can channel my experiences into an artform. This industry so far has also led me to meet some amazing people and connect with musicians from all over the world which has certainly changed my life and my perspective on collaboration. I still feel really new to this world but it’s really exciting so far.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
I’d describe my sound as sadhappy, dreamy and electric. It’s a bit of a mix, but my sound is always changing and i love experimenting.
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
I was heavily influenced by jazz music when i was younger, and also contemporary piano music. As I got into songwriting, I fell in love with Maggie Rogers and Clairo– especially from a female producer perspective.
Do you ever get nervous?
I get the most nervous before a song is released– it can be so scary. It’s like letting someone in to your messy bedroom, an emotional, chaotic type of mess. Especially if the song i’m sharing is really personal- my music is truly a portal into some of my most vulnerable thoughts and experiences. It’s really special, but also terrifying.
Tell us about your debut EP “party mix?” Big Congrats!!
Thank you! I’m really proud of this EP as it’s something i’ve wanted to do for ages but was definitely a bit too scared to do earlier. I called it party mix because it reminds me of those mixed bags of lollies you have at parties– there’s lots of flavors to pick from and everything is so different. My EP is a bit of a lucky dip, there’s a few upbeat ones in there, and some really stripped back, emotional ones. All the songs mean a lot to me, they really document some of my most memorable experiences over the past few years, including heartbreak, and surviving through a long distance relationship. It was really fun to write and produce, i did it all in my bedroom over the last year.
What’s the story behind the songs?
The opening track, edith street, is really special to me. It’s about a long distance relationship and how missing someone can be so painful but also so rewarding. I am really connected to the lyrics in this one as I wrote it out of pure emotion.
Life of the party and plastic chairs are both about teenage house parties and the people you fall in love with at these parties. Life of the party is also about knowing when to be there for your partner while they chase their dreams, and finding the balance between your own dreams too.
hardpilltoswallow is a quintessential heartbreak song :(( This one means a lot to me because it taught me that no matter what i go through, i can channel it into songwriting.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
I’d probably title the book ‘when will it make sense.’ I wrote a song recently called this, and it’s all about the craziness of growing up and getting older, drifting apart from friends and family, finding your feet in the city, moving out etc, and how all of this can be so confusing and disorientating. I’m constantly searching for meaning in things, but I’m also slowly learning that sometimes you just have to go with it and not question the direction that life sometimes takes you.
What’s next for Holly Hebe in 2023?
Im off on tour early next year with my band! We are doing the east coast of Australia and I can’t wait. It’s our first little taste test of a tour which is really exciting.
I’ve got some more releases planned too, lots of change coming as I move up to closer to the city. It feels like such an adventure.
How would you explain your fashion style?
I’d say my style is pretty mismatched ! some people tell me that i dress like an art teacher. I love denim skirts and bleached jeans. In my spare time i like to draw or paint on pants to give them a new life and make them more fun to wear.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d love to meet Syliva Plath. She’s my favorite writer and she lived in such a different time to me and I feel like I could learn a lot from her about the female experience and her connection to her art.
Favorite song? Why?
My favorite songs at the moment would have to be ‘Please be Naked’ by the 1975, ‘I was Neon’ by Julia Jacklin and ‘Funeral’ by Phoebe Bridgers. These songs are all just so beautiful and hit me in a really visceral way. Funeral is my go to dong if i want a good cry, it’s so heartbreakingly beautiful and well written.
Where we can follow you?
You can follow me on Instagram, Spotify and TikTok @hollyhebe. I really love sharing music and my life there. Come and say hi!
Thank you for having me <33
Photo Credit: Lux Newman