Greg Holden on Avoiding Love Songs, His Big 'Idol' Break and Showing His True Colors on 'Chase the Sun'

by Sophie Schillaci 12:58 PM PDT, April 15, 2015
Playing Greg Holden on Avoiding Love Songs, His Big 'Idol' Break and Showing His True Colors on 'Chase the Sun'

"Love songs are love songs, they're great, but The Beatles did it better than anybody else [and] I don't really want to try and beat that."

Greg Holden has a point. The British singer-songwriter is not entirely averse to a good love song, but he'd much rather get inside someone's head.

"I like to write about other people a lot," Holden tells ETonline. "I spent a lot of time writing about myself and kinda doing the whole self-indulgent singer-songwriter thing and now I like writing about other people and telling stories."

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Holden has plenty of stories to tell on his major label debut, Chase the Sun, out now via Warner Bros. Records. But even if this is the first time you're seeing his name, you're probably already familiar with his music.

Holden's song "The Lost Boy" was featured on FX's biker drama Sons of Anarchy during [spoiler alert!] the emotional wake of fan favorite Opie Winston (played by Ryan Hurst), while the Holden-penned "Home" became a mega-hit for American Idol winner Phillip Phillips.

As an early adopter of Kickstarter, Holden crowd-funded his 2012 album I Don't Believe You but fell short on resources when it came time to promote the album.

"I was very happy with it, but I couldn't really go any further," Holden says. "I felt very stuck."

Then, Idol came calling.

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"I was hitting a point where I was ready to just pack it in, actually," Holden recalls. "I was really done with where my career was going [and] didn't feel like I could really go any further. Right at that time, I got the call about the American Idol song and I was like 'OK I should probably stick this out and see what happens,' and thankfully it went amazing."

Chase the Sun features the lead single "Hold on Tight," as well as the emotionally-charged track "Boys in the Street."

"I have these friends, they run this organization called Everyone is Gay and every year they do a compilation album where they ask their friends to write a song for it," Holden explains. "I wanted to tell a story about two characters, a gay child and his father, and how they didn't really see eye-to-eye. I didn't want to paint anybody in a bad light, because everyone has their own reasons for believing what they want to believe, so it's a story about their lives together and ... how they learn how to accept each other. That's what I like to do with songwriting, just kinda get inside that headspace."

Chase the Sun is out now, with Holden saying he's "excited to finally have people hear my music the way I want it to be heard," while he’s also set to reunite with pal Ingrid Michaelson on her June tour. ETonline caught up with Michaelson at SXSW, where she spilled details about her new album and upcoming live shows.

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