Check out our exclusive interview with Los Angeles, artist and songwriter Holland Greco who will be releasing her stunning new single “Flashback” on Friday 6/17.
This breezy sun-drenched tune harks back to the golden days of AM radio when love songs ruled the airwaves and R&B and Soul defined a generation. Full band, horns and bells playfully intertwine with Greco’s sultry vocal performance delivering “Flashback” as a quintessential throwback summer soother. Holland says, “There’s an element of hope in the act of flashing back. We’re returning to what was once beautiful, going back to retrieve some of that pleasure, and trying to steer it back home thinking things could still work out.”
Holland Greco kicked off her sonic expression as lead singer of The Peak Show (Atlantic Records). The Peak Show performed in support slots for bands such as Maroon 5, The B-52s, and Black Eyed Peas; and had songs appear in film and television syncs.
Follow Holland @hollandgreco
Pre-save Flashback here!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Fun ~ Innovative ~ Courageous
How did you get started in the business?
As an artist, I got started doing cold auditions. I’d answer ads placed by bands who were looking for lead singers & I’d go meet them and improvise over their music.
One of those auditions led me to a group of musicians whom I clicked with, and we became The Peak Show. We signed to Atlantic Records shortly after making our first album of Demos.
How has this changed your life?
What an education that was! We played tons of shows with great bands like Maroon 5, the B-52s, LL Cool J, and Dave Matthews Band. I realize that’s a diverse handful of artists! We were very eclectic.
Atlantic and our A&R there allowed us to make the record we envisioned. We worked with great people like Mario C. (Beastie Boys) and Serban Ghenea (like every pop record). The album was really unique and well received – by those who heard it! We had a lot of licenses to TV & Film, but the album never officially came out.
I’ve always been interested in making great work, but that experience gave me a solid plate of full-time artistry, and I’ve been developing my crafts ever since.
We’re sure you have been asked this a million times but how did you get into the industry?
I mean, music is in my family and I’ve always been a concert-goer. There’s something in my identity that compels me to keep making this art!
I’m also a music business professional. My first real job was at a music library. I’ve been a major label artist, worked in creative consulting and photo/video creation, and have been working at the great independent powerhouse that is Zappa Records for a long time.
As an artist, I still feel like I’m trying to break in all over again! The disco tunes I wrote and recorded with Funk LeBlanc have been loved all over the world and received millions of plays. I’d honestly like to catch a break with regards to licensing my songs. The material is special and needs loving agents.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Unique diverse treasure
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
I have always been a writer. That inclination is simply my nature and was in my special weapons package from the start of my earthly time.
Music transports me to exaggerated emotional places, too, and I love both taking those trips and commanding those ships. I wanted to create and participate in the musical world.
Did I want to be like Stevie Wonder? Yes!
Did I want to be like Missy Elliott? Yes!
Janet Jackson, Carole King, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, The Beatles, The Beastie Boys, Al Green – all these folks & the rest of “the greats” inspired me to express my perspective and create audio art.
Do you play any instrument?
Yes. I play piano, ukuleles (with a focus on the solid-body electric variety so I can use guitar effects), and some percussion. When I played in The Stripminers I also handled the accordion and banjo parts, which was a trip! I like to learn and enjoy novelty, so you never know what I might play onstage!
Do you ever get nervous?
I do. My philosophy on nerves is that I need to have fun and be relaxed so that the audience can do the same. I focus on creating a good vibe for everyone and put my fearful feelings on the back burner. I also have a responsibility to lead my band and need to set the tone for us to all have a good, fun experience.
Tell us about your new single “Flashback?” / What’s the story behind the song?
This is the true story of my life. I did run away to New York from Los Angeles after my first band broke up. I was involved with someone in the band, and we had been signed to a major label. It all fell apart and I felt like I lost everything. In some ways, I had.
During the course of my creative and personal recovery, I played this composition with different sets of new band members and musicians, and it evolved to include a lush background vocal treatment (written by me) and horn arrangement (written by an in-demand Los Angeles trumpet player, Jordan Katz). I also ceased playing the darn ukulele on it and had a fabulous guitar and bass players bring out the R&B in it.
Once those elements were in place, it was time to make the proper recording of it, and that’s what you have here – the emotional, fully realized vision of a very special song.
Flashback has a truly relatable message, beautifully performed, and born of my heart.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Recordings last forever, so making recordings that I’m truly proud of is a reward that can be returned over & over. Making great recordings of great songs is the ultimate goal.
That said, I LOVE being with my musician friends & playing live is so fun. I like to contribute and be part of the artistic ecosystem.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
“Reflections in the Light: Daily Thoughts and Affirmations” by Shakti Gawain
It can be rough out there in the world, and it’s important to set your mind dial straight.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
Well, music theory and the ability to push past a blank canvas are huge. Skills need to be developed.
Also, the business of music is complex. Knowing how to set up revenue streams is crucial.
One of my mentors would say, “Production is life,” and that’s true. EVERYTHING needs to be organized and there are a lot of moving parts.
It’s also true that luck can just happen.
Patient persistence is a virtue and can get things done over time.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
::Sigh:: oh to go back then with what I know now. I think it’s personal relationship advice that I’d like to give my younger self.
I sort of thought that the misogyny of rap and hip hop was real or for whatever reason, it made an impact on me. Things like “got no love for hoes” or every f-ing word in “Ain’t No Fun (if the homies can’t have it)”, which I would be happy to never hear again, made me feel like men couldn’t love women or something. As a young person, I wanted dedicated to love in my life, but couldn’t find it.
Come to find out as an adult that men want to be in love, have families, and be married. You also don’t have to be the prettiest, most perfect, or most extraordinary person to create a wonderful romantic relationship.
I’d tell myself to talk to whom I want to talk to. Be confident in me and be open to surprises. Be honest in my communications. Take it easy and don’t drink so much. I had a lot of bravado & aptitude in my younger days, but also a lot of fear.
How would your best friend describe you?
I’d like to know the answer to that! People do tell me that I’m sweet, kind, and very accepting.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Leaping: The Relentless Adventures of Holland Greco
Lol. I just made that up obviously. I think it fits because I will JUMP into projects. I SAY YES to opportunities & TRY STUFF for sure.
What’s next for Holland Greco in 2022?
I get to release a couple of music videos this year & have a few more songs in the wings that I’d like to share.
I’m hoping to have some help pitching them for licensing. Like I said above, I’m looking for loving agents.
Also, my life is shifting a lot this year. I’m not sure exactly how it’s all going to shake. Onward and upward!
What is your favorite healthy food?
Bowls of yummy veggies, grains, and flavors
And your favorite cheat food?
Not together tho! : )
How would you explain your fashion style?
What is your own definition of happiness?
I’m pretty happy. Honestly, I’ve created a life that works for me. I get to be a creative artist and work in a field that’s meaningful to me.
I’d like to see more peace and freedom in the world. I thought we were about responsible, respectful freedom in this country, but the imposition of theocratic politics is inappropriate if we want to respect diversity, which we should.
I’d also like to see us sort out respect for the planet – for other humans, for the animals, and the Earth. Seems like there’s enough to go around if we make that a priority. We can’t keep stepping on each other if we want collective happiness.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d like to write top lines (lyrics & melodies) with Danger Mouse and/or Disclosure.
Why? Cuz we’d bring the bangers!
What would be the dream holiday, and whom would you go with?
I’ve been blessed to do a lot of traveling.
Dream holiday? An artist holiday where I go somewhere secluded for a month or two and just focus on creating.
I won a Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency in 2016, and that was a fabulous experience that I’d like to repeat!
Best advice ever given?
My dad says “straight ahead and strives for tone.” This is great, universal advice. The tone is a musical term to describe the quality of the sound you’re making. For the most part, you want to have a beautiful tone. So we can all use this mantra – keep moving directly forward and strive for beauty.
Do you support any charity?
I’ve been a monthly supporter of the NRDC for years because, as they say, “Mother Earth needs a good lawyer!”
I support the Los Angeles Mission because they do good work on behalf of the homeless here in my hometown.
And I support the African Wildlife Foundation from time to time. A dear friend got me into that. Africa has some magnificent beasts. We need to coexist with animal and plant life.
Where do you see yourself and your career 5 years from now?
Wow. This is an interesting question.
Favorite song? Why?
Ha! Impossible! I love too much music. I do have a Spotify playlist called “Inspiration Pieces” that has tunes I’m digging.
What do you think of Social Media?
It’s pretty amazing. I think we’re being exposed to and understanding more about being human than ever before. I love being able to easily connect to people from all over the world.
Where we can follow you?
It would be lovely to keep in touch! Follow me @hollandgreco at all the places.
Photo Credit: Piper Ferguson