Met during a jam at the Caveau des Oubliettes, one of guitarists of the evening, Anthony Holler, kindly invited me to attend his concert which was being held in the Sentier des Halles (Paris 2e) last May.
During this concert, Anthony Holler subtly blended blues, soul and folk, and wowed the audience, largely present. The guitarist / singer released a few months ago an EP called No regrets, about which he talks to us today …
You were presenting on stage your solo project: can you tell us a little more about it?
Antoine Holler: My new EP entitled “No Regrets”. It is a mixture of my various musical influences. As on my first album, I composed and wrote all the songs, I also took care of the realization. It is primarily a pop album but with soul or even folk songs.
And before you got to where you are now, what path did you follow?
AH: I started playing guitar at the age of twelve: I took lessons for two years and then I continued by teaching myself. Around the age of twenty, I decided to become a professional musician and live through my music. That’s when I left for Chicago because it was a childhood dream, and I really wanted to play with local bluesmen.
After having scoured the jam sessions in Paris and Chicago, everything started to get into place fairly quickly. I produced my friend Charles Pasi’s first album: I started music with him. We used to play together three to four evenings a week in bars and clubs in Paris. I was then lucky enough to play alongside Carla Bruni during ther tour for her second album. It was a good experience that enabled me to have another vision of the music jobs, and also gave me the opportunity to play in numerous TV and radio shows like Taratata, the Grand Journal, etc ….
I then released by first solo album “Love in Stereo”. This first album enabled me to play in many festivals in France and in Canada, and I was awarded several prices: Sacem award in the self-produced album category; Montreal’s International Festiblues award, Blues sur Seine award …
What is you approach to this new solo project?
AH: As an author, composer, singer and guitarist, it’s fundamental for me to have a solo project. I adore composing, writing and singing. This solo project is for me the culmination of it all.
In a few sentences, how you would describe your EP?
AH: It is really a mixture of all my musical influences. I wanted to be completely free when writing my music, without having to tell myself I had to stick to a particular musical style rather than another. This EP is a turning point in my career, after having played blues and soul for so long, I wanted and needed to open up to a more pop universe.
Where does your inspiration come from?
A.H: My very first source of inspiration is people, and the world surrounding me. I love telling stories I’ve lived, but not only. I also like being a spectator, telling what I see in my everyday life, lives of people who can move me!
And, how are things going for you at the moment?
A.H: I released an EP with five songs and I am currently preparing a new album. There will probably be two or three songs of my EP on it, but the rest will be brand new songs I wrote. Apart from that, I am writing the music for the new album of a singer, I can’t tell you much about it for the moment, but it’s a real pleasure working for her. I adore composing music for others, and it’s actually something I want to do more and more in the future.
Finally, what do you aspire to most?
A.H: Actually, I only have one dream: to continue playing the music I love while remaining totally free. I believe it is what is the hardest in the music industry. Freedom is the key word. Of course, you sometimes need to make artistic concessions but what is essential is that the choice lies in the artist’s hands.
Antoine Holler therefore presents himself as an artist with diverse influences, animated by a true passion for music. His new album is on the way … keep your eyes open! While we wait, you can see Antoine Holler at his concert on November 12th at La Cigale (Paris)!