'Behold, The New Prince of Contemporary Romantic Music'
Based in New York City, critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter Anders Holst is what Adult Contemporary music has been waiting for. With his latest release, ROMANTIKA, Anders fuses sophisticated lyrics with lingering melodies. Rooted in Jazz, Soul, and European Pop music, Anders distinguished sound will both captivate and move you in equal amounts.
Taking some time out recently with the man himself, I first wondered how important had it been for him to re-locate from Sweden to New York in an effort to finally realise his musical ambitions? "Very important! It’s a big difference between the collective and equality-based Swedish culture and the more individualistic American can-do culture where everything is possible."
"I wrote my first song at the age of 11 and then when I turned 40, I wrote ten songs in 6 months. So the foundation has always been there. After moving to the US a couple of years later, I was involved in a Ross Institute project called Sonic Convergence, exploring the learning opportunities of the global classroom, together with high school students in China, Sweden and the US, with mentors like Quincy Jones and supporting institutions like the Shanghai Music Conservatory and the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. After this wonderful experience I decided to listen to what was going on inside of me and pursue a career in music."
Your music spans many different genres: who do you think might be your target audience? "My girlfriend’s daughter is 6 years old and she sings her heart out when the songs come across the car radio stereo. One of my oldest friends in Sweden told me that his mother at the age of 83 loves the songs and plays them all the time. I think the audience might be more women than men, more mature than young, and more urban, but surprisingly enough, so far, a very broad positive reception across the board."
Are you now a full-time musician or do you still have your career in strategic management? "Music is now my full time career."
Has your voice ever been compared to anyone else? "Reviewers often compare the overall production to Sting, Seal and Robert Palmer. When it comes to the voice, the names that keep coming up are Bryan Ferry and Peter Gabriel, which is of course very flattering. One reviewer wrote: “There is something of Michael Franks in his voice, something reminiscent of Peter Skellern and, hidden in there somewhere perhaps, the wistfulness of Leonard Cohen".”
Are you considering a tour at any time? "Yes, we are in the process of booking concerts around the country. Since there is relatively less risk money in the music industry as a whole due to downloading and shrinking CD sales, touring becomes essential for an emerging artist like me. In addition to public venues we are focusing on corporate events, charities and the up-coming music festival season. Concert dates will be posted on my web site as soon as they are confirmed."
What sort of ‘sound’ were you after with the production? "It all starts with the song and the story. Writing a song is like getting a download of only 3 pages out of a movie script, something has happened, something will happen, and you are right there, right in that very moment. The sound comes from supporting the story that you are about to tell."
"One song on “Romantika” is about a person waking up on a cold misty morning on a remote island in the Stockholm archipelago and someone is missing, or in another song, you are in a hot dirty smelly border town making a deadly run for your new life. It’s all about being in that moment that guides you on how to put the sound together."
Are you related to Gustav Holst?! "No, but it is interesting that Holst is a very common name in Denmark and Germany, so I thought for a long time that Gustav Holst must have been from Germany, but he is not. He is from the UK. I checked my iTunes to see if I have his “The Planets”, but the only thing I found was a lovely rendition of ”In the Bleak Midwinter” with Kiri Te Kanawa!"
Interviewed by: Peter 'taB' Walker
Additional Photo Credit: Amy Long
Anders Holst on Facebook
If you would like to win a copy of this brand new CD AUTOGRAPHED and PERSONALLY DEDICATED to you, and you think you know all there is to know about the man, just answer this easy question: Anders was recently asked if he could record a duet with any artist (past or present, dead or living) who would he choose? He instantly said LeAnn Rimes, but which of her songs did he say would be "perfect" to do it on?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before April 1st with your answer and the subject title ANDERS HOLST SIGNED CDs to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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