After making her home in Chicago the past year while exploring new musical connections, the singer-guitarist returns to Kalamazoo for a homecoming show at Bell’s Brewery on Saturday.
THE ARTIST: Nashon Holloway
THE MUSIC: Funk, soul, rock, R&B
WHERE YOU CAN SEE HER: 9 p.m. Saturday with The Mainstays at Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo
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Nashon Holloway is a little bit funk, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, a touch of R&B and a whole lot of soul.
And one thing is for certain, those that have had the chance to see the eclectic songwriter find themselves coming back for more.
The Kalamazoo-raised, Chicago-based songstress will give those yearning for more, as well as those yet to witness the star in making, a chance to witness her putting her talents on full display in front of a hometown crowd on Saturday (Feb. 17) at Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Café when she shares a bill with local funk outfit The Mainstays.
Holloway, who released her debut album, “The Palace & The Hut” in the fall of 2016, has been living in Chicago for a little north of a year. She’s continued writing music with guitarist Bryan Blowers and performing with a cast of other longtime Kalamazoo cohorts as well as a few Chicago artists she’s met over the past year.
With plans for returning to the studio for album No. 2 in coming months, Holloway has discovered that the Windy City has given shape to a more focused approach musically, rather than one that was a bit all over the map.
“Chicago has been really inspiring material-wise and content-wise,” she said. “I’m definitely digging a little deeper and Chicago has, I think, further made me more of a sponge. A lot of people I am playing with come from that Chicago soul sound, so I’m getting deeper into that gospel as well as that soul and that rock from the last album.
“Content-wise, there is just so much more material due to what is going on with my life and in the world. I’m just trying to make it a more cohesive package than I did last time.”
‘MUSIC ISN’T BEING MADE AS MUCH AS I’M BEING MADE’
Holloway says not a day goes by where she doesn’t start something new creatively, and while she may not be finishing a new tune every day, she is constantly writing, perpetually in search of that feeling and sound that leaves her with goosebumps once achieved.
“I try to tell myself that the music isn’t being made as much as I’m being made,” Holloway said. “When you detach from thinking about the results and embrace the process, that surrendering, that’s when the good stuff happens, that’s when it comes.”
So far, embracing that process has allowed Holloway to pen a half-dozen new tunes that have already become part of her live repertoire in recent months. She’s got another five or six songs that she is in the process of finishing for the album.
Thematically, many of her new songs are inspired by personal loss, and she also has one track (not quite ready to be released yet), “Survive,” that is dedicated to President Trump, and as she says, “the idea he represents in the world.”
‘NOT AFRAID TO SPEAK MY MIND’
“Despite the fact that he has been doing some pretty unfortunate things, he has actually had a good impact in the sense that as bold as these people that are coming from dark places are, I definitely realize there are people that represent the light in this world that are shining even brighter now and it’s undeniable at this point,” she said.
Lyrics such as “You act a lie and made it a law, but I’ll survive” and “You’re the one undone/ change is gonna come/ when we said that we would overcome/ we meant/ give me your tired/ give me your poor” exemplify that very sentiment.
“I’ve always been putting myself out there, but I feel I’m turning into much more of a what you see is what you get kind of person. I’m not afraid to speak my mind and I feel really good telling my story and speaking my truths.”
Holloway and Blowers will take the stage Saturday with keyboardist Rufus Ferguson, drummer Keith Hall and bassist Neal Conway. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door; details and ticket links online at bellsbeer.com.
VIDEO: Nashon Holloway, “Throwin’ Stones Up to Heaven”
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