Holly Morwenna is a South West based Acoustic/Indie/Pop/Folk singer songwriter who will be releasing her new EP 'Bloom' towards the end of April, we caught up with her recently where we chatted about good advice from Mum & Dad, not eating chocolate (I know....crazy!) and bizarre jokes (hers, not mine), here's how we got on....
Holly, please introduce yourself and your music and if possible, sum yourself up in three words?
I’m Holly Morwenna, a 17 year old singer-songwriter from Devon. My genre is alternative folk/pop, 3 words? Creative, Workaholic, bonkers
I see that your new ‘Bloom’ EP is available for pre-order via iTunes, how does it make you feel to have your name on one of the largest music download sites in the world?
It’s so exciting to finally have professionally produced original music that I can upload to these worldwide sites, and know that people from anywhere will soon be able to download my music. It opens so many doors, and allows people to take me as an artist more seriously.
I checked out some of the ‘preview’ tracks from the EP, I love the piano and strings in ‘So Scared’, the more guitar led sound of ‘Tongue Tied’ and the amazing vocal harmonies on ‘Early Morning’, do you play solo or with a backing band?
I am primarily a solo artist, but I regularly duet with musicians in my area (I’ve posted a few duets on my youtube account!) And fingers-crossed, for my EP launch, April 24th (at the Artigiano Espresso & Wine Bar Exeter), I will have a backing band for a few tracks, which should be awesome and different!
What is the best advice you have ever been given (about the music industry) and who was it from
“Take Every Opportunity” – Mum & Dad
So, Easter has been and gone, did you get any eggs? My kids both got chocolate ‘ Darth Vadar’ heads from Star Wars, nothing says ‘resurrection’ more than a chocolate Darth Vadar in my opinion!
I’m going to sound very boring now… I actually don’t eat chocolate anymore! I gave it up for lent 3 years ago, and haven’t eaten it since! So no, I got no eggs this year, not even a boiled egg! Haha!!
Do you think that Spotify is THE future of music or do you think that CD and Vinyl will always be there?
Both have their place in our world. I love whacking up spotify or 8tracks to find new music, and have favourite and instant playlists lined up, but I adore the vintage/retro side to physical copies of CDs. I always buy music as hard copies, I feel it is more memorable, and It is less likely to get lost among the rest of my rubbish on my computer!
You were a national finalist in the 2013 ‘Open Mic UK’ competition, do you think these types of competitions help in gaining exposure?
Yes, definitely. It encouraged me to publicise myself, and gave me the confidence I needed to be able to perform professionally and regularly. In fact, ever since I began The Open Mic UK journey back in October 2013, I have gained so many gigs, and haven’t had one month since where I haven’t had at least one gig. I met so many bands and musicians as well, locally and from other areas of the UK. The local ones especially, have actually become some of my best friends, and we all meet up at gigs, and I am so grateful for entering that competition.
What was the last joke you heard, can you repeat it?
I have two… a funny one and an intellectual one…
1) Why do fungi pay double bus fares? - Because they take up too mushroom (hahahaha)
2) Pavlov is sitting at a bar, when all of the sudden the phone rings… Pavlov gasps, “Oh gosh, I forgot to feed the dogs!”
……. (badoom tish'....she's here all week....TAXI for Holly....etc)
Being a Devon based musician, do you feel that this holds you back when trying to reach out to new audiences? (I hear a lot of people saying that when they moved to London, things started to move very fast….)
It has its positives and negatives, I mean the plus side is, compared to London, there are a lot less artists, so you do have more of a chance to be heard by people. But I do agree that It gets to a point where it does get difficult to reach beyond the Devon border. I love Devon though, it’s by far the most inspirational place to live and have performed in Cornwall and Somerset too.
No doubt you’ll be playing at loads of festivals during the 2015 season, which ones are you most looking forward to?
& more yet to be announced!
Do you prefer larger or smaller festivals? Please tell us why…
When it comes to watching festivals, I prefer the smaller ones, as they usually have the less “mainstream” artists there, which means you have more chance of meeting them, and a higher chance to get right to the front! I love the atmosphere at small festivals like Oceanfest!
Is music your 9-5 job or are you currently studying? Do you intend to have a full career in music?
I wish music was! I am currently studying for my AS levels, and work at the weekends at a Thai Restaurant. Music is my other part time job, which I hope to have as my fulltime job in a few years
What do you think about ‘Record Store Day’, where independent record shops sell limited edition and exclusive items for one day only (mainly on vinyl)?
I think its awesome!
The day was wonderful, it always is. I’ve played there the past few years, and each year it just gets better and better. I knew quite a lot of the bands/artists so I’m going to get shouted at if I don’t mention someone haha!
What was the last picture you took on your mobile phone?
The last photo was as photo of an EP bundle I won and received from a musician up North, called Lewis Murphy. He’s really cool, you should check him out.
There have been loads of stories in the press recently about independent music venues being forced to close their doors owing to poor attendance, why do you think this is? Do you think that supermarkets knocking out booze at less than £1 a pint is partly to blame?
No, I think in this modern day, people are more orientated around online music and bigger artist gigs. It is very difficult to get a good following and people at your gigs regularly now a days, and I think this could be why.
What was the last movie you saw? What was it about and did it have a happy ending?
I am more of a TV series kind of girl, so i can’t remember the last film I watched, but I’ve just been watching 'Pretty Little Liars' and reached the last episode of series 5, and It’s not exactly a happy ending...yet!
I see some bands are now issuing cassette tapes, these were popular when I was a teenager (in the 1980’s), do you ever see them taking off as a main source of music?
Probably as a retro craze, similar to vinyls. They’ll probably cost a fortune in 5 years, better keep all the old tapes we have now!
You’re all over social media, which platform(s) would you say have helped you the most to engage with people?
Facebook is my favourite, as I am most used to it, and I already have all my friends etc on there, but for new gigs & events, twitter is definitely the way forward! I Also love youtube, it’s a great simple way to showcase your music and video editing skills haha!
What is THE best hangover cure (not that you would really know as you’re only 17 – maybe ask your folks or your ‘older friends’)?
Last night’s Chinese takeaway. Cold.
There are LOADS of bands and musical acts out there, please would you nominate three for us to go check out?
New EP or not, there was no way that Holly was wriggling out of our 'Quickfire' round of intense, thought provoking and very focussed questions, she buckled up and when she gave the word, we fired into them....
Fry up or Sunday Roast?
The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad?
haven’t seen either
Car or Motorbike?
Summer or Winter?
Prefer Autumn and spring
Drum machine or the real deal?
ooh, thats a difficult one. Probably real.
Mac or PC?
I have a mac, so I have to say Mac
Shower or Bath?
Facebook or Twitter?
Tattoos or Piercings?
Live Show or Recording Studio?
Atmosphere at lives shows are great, so live
Acoustic or electric?
Camping or Camper Van?
Festival or regular gig?
Early bird or can’t get out of bed?
can’t get out of bed!
Sunbathing or Snowboarding?
CD or Vinyl?
God or Google?
We'd like to thank Holly for taking the time to pore through our mixed bag of questions and we hope she enjoyed answering them as much as we did researching them.... We'd also like to wish her every success with the launch of her new 'Bloom' EP and maybe one day in the not too distant future catching her at a live show....
I have listed her social media channels below, PLEASE spend just a few minutes checking them out and if you get the chance to catch her live, either at a regular gig or a festival, pop in and say Hi, I'm sure she'll appreciate your company!
Interview by Steve Muscutt