San Holo

San Holo describes himself as a truly innovative artist with a sound that blends indie and electronic dance music (EDM). (Courtesy of Circle Talent Agency)

When you look up San Holo, it appears people place him under various genres of music. Some links have him under “trap,” and others have him as a “future bass” DJ; however, San Holo describes himself as a truly innovative artist with a sound that blends indie and electronic dance music (EDM).

"I just feel like I want to be in my own lane and find my own sound — find my own voice,” Holo said in a phone interview.

The Emerald recently spoke with San Holo to discuss his current tour, his recent album and some of his noteworthy viewpoints on life.

Holo has an intriguing stage appearance, his guitar being the instrument that shines the most. Holo has played guitar for the last 14 years and calls himself a true guitar player. After playing in bands and practically mastering the guitar, Holo felt he could not do anything new with the instrument. This prompted him to turn toward beat production — mainly hip-hop and electronic. It wasn’t until a year ago that Holo decided to incorporate the guitar into more of his electronic music. Ever since then, the rest has been history. He was essentially bridging the gap between indie and EDM music.  

From remixing Dr. Dre’s “Next Episode” single and gaining over 180 million views on YouTube, to recently being nominated for an Edison Pop Award (which is a Dutch equivalent to an American Grammy award), San Holo has showcased the range his music can achieve.  

“I feel I could do any genre that I want as long as it still has my sound, you know,” Holo said.

Labeled online as a “future bass” artist, Holo is attempting to change the narrative for his music. This need for innovation did not come all of a sudden. According to Holo, this was something that came out of oversaturation of certain genres and a need for something different in music.

“Back then it wasn’t called future bass, it was just cool music,” Holo said. “…it’s kinda got so saturated with producers doing the same thing, everyone started to do the same kind of beats, same kind of melodies, same kind of styles and that’s actually when it actually started to go future bass as a genre. And that’s also when I decided I didn’t want to be in this genre anymore.”

Holo references the sound of the music produced by DJs five years ago and how he feels each person’s sound differentiated.

Holo managed to create something new that the average fan may not even put in the genre of EDM — “Album1.”

“Album1” was released on September 21 of this year and, according to the Billboard website, debuted at number seven on their Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Holo’s debut album gives off a mellow, indie vibe that holds a build similar to EDM tracks — but without the overbearing energy. Holo recalls the recording sessions as moments spent in an Airbnb in Los Angeles for two months, consumed by the experiences happening around him. According to Holo, “Album1” gives “a pleasantly sad kind of feeling.”

Of course, this album is more than just sounds put together, there is a story behind it. Holo claims to have begun writing the album at the beginning of 2018; the features and experiences contained in the album come from a completely organic place, he said.

Besides the creative production behind the album, “Album1” shows a lot of remnants of someone in love. The whole album showcases this, but songs like “Love (whip),” and “Everything Matters (When it comes to you)” showcase Holo’s true mindset with this project. While speaking to Holo, he shared some of his varying views on the idea of “love,” and the impact it had on his album.

“Everyone experiences love in a different way, and love the way we portray it in the media is not a truthful representation of what love is,” Holo said. “Is love saying you’re mine? Or is love saying you’re free to do whatever you want and feel? You know, that’s what this album is about.”  

Holo said he is still figuring love out for himself. He feels his outlook differs from other people’s idea of the concept.

Holo is currently on the end of his tour for his album, “Album1.” He feels like the tour is going well so far and he thinks he is connecting with his audience. He said he is mostly playing the songs he wrote for “Album1” and fans are singing along to the words and melodies with him.

San Holo will be making stops in Eugene and Portland for his “Album1” Tour on December 19th and 20th. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online through the venue’s website. You can listen to “Album1” on all streaming sites here.

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