The Remnant is excited to introduce R&B and hip hop artist Hollyn to its playlist. This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to interview Hollyn and ask her a bit about her background and her music. Without further ado, let me introduce you to Holly Miller (Hollyn).
Holly grew up singing; her dad was a pastor for 8 years, so Holly grew up listening to and singing Christian music. She had many opportunities in grade school and high school to sing in musicals, at nursing homes, and in a symphonic choir. Holly commented, “There was never really a starting point…Mom says I came out of the womb singing.”
In 2012, Holly auditioned for American Idol and by January of 2013, she was one of the top 24 girls. She was excited for all the opportunities in front of her, and thankful that she’d made it that far. Right before the live auditions, however, Holly was eliminated.
Holly says American Idol was the first big closed door she’d experienced, and it led her to wonder why God had allowed her to get that far in the first place. After this disappointment, Holly started making YouTube covers, continuing to sing in her own way. Around that time, she went to a Winter Jam concert and got to see Toby Mac and other Christian artists sing. Holly says she thought, “Okay, I’m gonna do Christian music in a new, fresh way.”
Not long after, Rick, a previous drummer for DC Talk, heard Holly’s music on YouTube and passed it on to Toby Mac. Toby listened to her YouTube covers, liked them, and reached out to Holly’s dad, asking if he could invite Holly to do music with him.
For the last two years, Holly has been working with Toby and Gotee Records in Nashville, writing songs and experimenting with her style. She says she has written approximately 70-90 full songs, and has gone through many seasons of discovering her own unique style. Holly did a cover of “All I Need Is You” by Lecrae, and it became clear that her style would be R&B and Hip Hop.
Holly stated that in choosing songs for her EP album, it came down to asking which songs were genuine, so that people would know who she was and what she stood for. She wanted something that people would want to listen to, something honest and vulnerable. Holly emphasized that there had to be a reason behind the music.
When asked about the relationship between her faith and her music, Holly says music has always been her way of worship, one of the main ways she worships God. Holly pours a lot of her faith into her music, and wants to put what she goes through into her music. At the same time, she says “You have to worship with your life and not [just] with your music.” In interactions with other people –in the way she treats others and how she conducts herself—Holly wants her faith to shine through all of her life, not just her music.
Holly concludes, “I wouldn’t be where I was in music without my faith. I want to be able to be vulnerable and talk about things I go through in my walk. The Lord is using that to shape me as an individual; I want to take listeners on this journey with me.”
Stories behind a few of Holly’s songs:
“Nothin’ On You” — Holly wanted to say something meaningful with this track, which she and COBRA of Reach Records produced together. “They don’t have nothing on you, Lord. You are everything I could ever want.” It’s the story of her life and how she feels complete in Christ, she says. One line mentions, “I’ve been kickin’ it with you since back in pre-k.” Whether it’s friendships, family, or romantic relationships, they don’t have nothin’ on our relationship with Christ.
“Alone” — Written with Toby Mac, they wrote this song with the idea of falling back into the trap of something, a sin or a temptation. The song is based on Psalm 51:11, which says (NIV), “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.” David is in this vulnerable spot of having committed sin, and is crying out to God, “Lord, don’t leave me here alone.” Holly remarks that she thinks, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I did that again, if I were God I would’ve left me a long time ago.” Holly continued, “This is how I feel, but it’s a lie that Satan is feeding me, it’s not true.”
Holly has such a passion for God, and a heart for music. Her songs proclaim joy, love, and contentment in Christ. The Remnant is excited to be adding her songs “Mine” and “Nothin’ On You.”
Check out Holly’s music on YouTube, and follow her on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: