We had the good fortune of connecting with HLLNDR and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi HLLNDR, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Creativity is something that consumes the artist. It’s a never ending desire that begs to be fulfilled, and once fulfilled, only begs of you more. Since I was a young girl, I felt this constant longing to create and to tap into ways of expression. I loved music, I loved poetry, I loved the connection I felt in a room where both of those were present- and out of that brought forth my obsession with what I do being a singer-songwriter.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I often think back to the beginning. Before I knew how to play a guitar, before I knew writing methods, and rhythms, where melodies were just songs in my head- and Im reminded how rad it is that I get to do what I do. I often feel my success comes from a place of practicing gratitude for what I possess, and that I don’t rely on that alone. Although talent is a necessity for my industry, it’s the bare minimum. Obsession to the craft is what makes you successful, outworking the people around you. I’ve known some artists who believe in waiting for inspiration to come to them, and that’s one way of tapping into that artistic vein- I choose to create it. I believe inspiration is to be found all around us if you’re looking- so in order to stay inspired, I keep my eyes open. To stay diligent with our creativity, we have to flex that muscle, and frequently. So I write often, I sing often, I play often- and that keeps me inspired. I also believe you can gain success by studying the successful. I’ll research the greats from the past, and break apart their songs, and learn how they did it, and how I can apply those tools myself. I believe what sets me apart is my voice, my style, my work ethic and my approach. I’ve been singing since I could talk. I remember being a little girl hosting concerts for my family when we’d have events at our house. I saw people, and I wanted to perform. Id make up songs on the spot. I couldn’t have been more than four. I was already trying to rhyme my phrasing, and establish a chorus. At the age of seven I took up vocal training- and that’s when I became dangerous. I could out-sing my friends at the time, I had a ridiculous amount of volume and strength in my voice, and I was never too shy to share. As I write this, I guess few things have changed. After I could control my voice, I began to write, and I never stopped. Im constantly breaking away from friends to write lyrics, or jot down song ideas, or record melodies for a song to write later. I found my own way of how to create, and its gained me success thus far. Don’t get me wrong, I still have so much to learn, and I’ll get there, but for now, Im doing what I know works. Being in a large family (I am one of ten kids), where the girls out number the boys (7 girls, 3 boys), we all had our own style. Our dad always had a particular way he wanted us presented, but since we out numbered him, girls will be girls. My hero’s growing up were Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, and the ever wonderful: Johnny Cash. I love each of them for different reasons, but they’ve all helped shape the Artist I am today. I’ve formed a lot of my style lyrically, vocally, and even fashionably from these incredible legends, and I could only hope to accomplish a fraction of what they did. Because I have an obsession with bold people, voices, and writers, it was obvious that I would approach music the same way. There was a time where I was timid in the approach, and lacked the courage to be upfront- but because of my husband, Robert, and Producer/drummer/friend, Dolly, who both encouraged and supported taking risks in my writing- I couldn’t help but rip off the breaks, so to speak. My approach to music is like my approach to life: “Live fast, and leave a sexy corpse.”
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I obviously have a profound love for San Diego, and all the incredible and fun things there are to do here. I have family that visits often, and these are the places we frequent. I would start out with coffee. Because of the hours of operation of my job, coffee is mostly what’s running through my veins. I’d start off the trip with a visit to Camp Coffee. They have a “Campsite Iced Cappuccino” that just does something to your soul. After that, we’d walk over to Parlor Doughnuts for their version of the donut holes, “Cronies.” They basically taste like a churro, but better somehow. Then we’d walk downtown Oceanside and take in the views. After that: Craft Coast. Birria tacos, and delicious beers. Then a walk over to Northern Pine Brewing for more delicious beers, and That Boy Good loaded fries. We’d hang there for a bit because we love the vibe and the people. Aaron and Anne, the owners of Northern Pines, are delightful humans and would lead us in a few games of “Ten.” If you know, you know. Then we’d walk down to Booze Bros for a beer outside. Then we’d head over to Coomber to say hello to Skip and Heidi, and grab a glass of wine while listening to some local music. Coomber Winery has live music 7 days a week, so we’d be sure to enjoy the vibe there, and get some delicious Thai food delivered from none other than Rim Talay. We’d end the night there. The next day, we’d sleep in… cause my guests most likely have a hangover- but here we go again. We’d start the morning with some of The Loose Leaf Tea Co. because they make the best tea in the game, and their Energy tea is what we need to start the day. (But seriously, THE BEST TEA!!!) After that, we’d head over to Steady State in Carlsbad for some espresso. Since it’s later in the day, and my guests are beer fans, we’ll now head over to Burgeon Beer Company. We’ll visit our friends Matt and Dylan while enjoying a Juice Press. After that, we’d head over to Campfire for dinner. Then over to Pure Project for some night cap beers. Then over to Handels Homemade Ice Cream to walk to the beach and end the night. The next day, they’d want to sleep in, cause we’ve been tearing it up, but there’s still much to do! We’d start the day down south at You & Yours Distillery, for an early brunch, cocktails included. Id order a spicy Negative Calories, because the owner, Laura, and the bartender, April, know I like a little spice in my life. We’d enjoy brunch there. After that, we’d walk downtown San Diego to take in the sites. Then we’d head over to Pacific Coast Spirits for a late lunch, and a Placebo Effect- we love that drink. Then off to Flying Pig for some delicious Pork Chops, and to say hello to the owners Roddy and Aaron. After that, off to Vineyard 1924 in Fallbrook! Where we end the night with sangria, by the fire, and their s’more kits, while listening to live music. They have great live music there, the guy that books their talent has great taste! (hint: He’s my producer/drummer/friend) We’ll laugh with the owner Pete, and the bartender Kristina while cheersing under the open sky on the vineyard. The next day, my guests leave full, and hungover, but happy to have experienced some of my favorite places in San Diego. Next visit, we’ll be sure to show them the rest of my favorite places!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The people that deserve the love and extra shoutout would be: San Diego County. The breweries, wineries, distilleries, bars, restaurants that have all taken the time to invest in me and give me a platform to share what I love. They are the places that have kept me employed in and out of our current pandemic. Without these venues, I wouldn’t have been able to perfect my craft, pay for all the equipment needed for regular gigs, and to fund my own records. I feel an unbelievable amount of gratitude to this industry, and all the support I’ve been given in, and through, them.
Erick Frost Franz Krachtus Sierra Jane Photography