TWIST just chatted with Brittany Holljes, one of the super talented singers from the band Delta Rae! She spilled deets on what made her want to perform, the band's musical influences and why she didn't want to be a solo act! Check out our exclusive convo with her below and be sure to check out Delta Rae's album, Carry the Fire!
TWIST: So when did you first become interested in music?
BH: I've been singing all my life, but I didn't get serious about performing until I was about eight. It was mostly through musical theater because I loved the performance aspect of music most of all. It really helped that my parents were huge music lovers and they had great taste. So I listened to a lot of great artists growing up and my brothers being interested really helped me grow into more of a musician and it became more of a dream for me.
TWIST: What made you want to be part of a band?
BH: I always wanted to be on a stage and performing, and one of my favorite aspects of that is performing with other people. You can share the excitement and craft something together instead of just doing it solo. I find going solo to be a lot of pressure and a little bit nerve-racking. It became sort of this perfect storm when my brothers asked me to be part of a band. We're so close and they lend me a lot of confidence because I know that they're so good at what they do. If you have bandmates you respect and love, then there's no bigger joy than being on stage with them and making an audience happy. I think just being able to play original music and to be part of a family was just part of a dream come true.
TWIST: Can you describe Delta Rae's sound?
BH: It's Americana Rock, but I would say that's a little bit of a bland description for what we do because our sound is so varied and really crosses genres. Americana would include sort of all aspects of the American tradition like blues, gospel, folk, bluegrass, rock and Motown. I would say it's sort of a magical, mystical sound. And something that's full of passion.
TWIST: Who are your musical influences?
BH: For me, I love Joni Mitchell, BeyoncÃ© and Fleetwood Mac. For the band we love music from all over. Kanye West, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons. Eric's favorite is Billy Joel. Ian's favorite is Jeff Buckley. Liz loves all things Motown.
TWIST: What is your personal favorite part of performing?
BH: I would say my favorite part is the moments where everybody in the band is just going all out and the feeling onstage is sort of exceptionally moving. There are those special times where the audience is really connected and the whole energy of the room really follows the flow of the song. I know that we're all sort of riding the same wave, and I love that.
TWIST: Are you involved in the writing of Delta Rae's songs?
BH: I think I am involved in inspiring some of the songs. In a lot of the songs my brothers sort of look at my life and write for it. Or a song will start developing in their minds and they'll look at me like, 'You know what, this is a lot like what's going on in Brittany's life right now.' Then they sort of shape it around me. I've never been a songwriter. That was a gift that my brothers really cultivated from a young age. Now and then I'll drop in a line or give a suggestion for the arrangement, but really they are the geniuses. We have them to thank for that.
TWIST: Favorite part of being on tour?
BH: I love the camaraderie between us bandmates. It's really fun. It's tough to be away from home for such a long time, but when you're with your family it's like a never-ending road trip. You fight and you're sleeping in funny places, but every morning you wake up in a new city and there's a whole day of excitement ahead of you! There's a whole new audience with new ears to hear you. That part is really fun and I'm sharing it with five other people I adore and it builds a really special bond between us. So when we get back from tour, I'm always a little bit sad. Even though we all get sick of each other, we miss each other a little bit when we get out of that van and don't see each other for a couple days.
TWIST: Thanks so much for talking with us!
BH: Thank you!
Photo: Courtesy of Sire Records