Scottish-born singer-songwriter Greg Holden has taken center stage in his career due in part to the song "Boys In The Street." The song tells the story of a father who, at first, denounces his gay son, but eventually comes to accept him.
Holden talked with Windy City Times about the response to "Boys In The Street" from the LGBTQ community, his American Idol connection and the inspiration for his CD, Chase yhe Sun.
Windy City Times: When the song and video for "Boys In The Street" came out, were you hesitant about the reaction from the gay community, seeing that you are not gay?
Greg Holden: I have to admit I was a little hesitant. However, the response from the LGBTQ community has been nothing but positive and supportive, which is very inspiring.
WCT: How did you come to co-write the song "Home" for season 11 American Idol winner Phillip Phillips? Was the song written specifically for Phillips, or did someone happen to hear it and thought that it would be perfect for him?
GH: The song existed long before the finale of American Idol. It was only when it was put into the hands of Jimmy Iovine by our publishers, that the idea of it being someone else's song was born.
WCT: Do you sing "Home" at your shows and, if you do, how similar or different is it from Phillips' version?
GH: Occasionally, yeahbut, you know, I don't want that song to define me, seeing as I never released my own version of it. I have three of my own albums to choose from.
WCT: Chase the Sun is the name of your new CD and you are on a major label, but you have had some setbacks in your career. You could not promote your 2011 CD, I Don't Believe You, because the label you were on at the time went bankrupt. The music industry can be very fickle, so do you ever think that although you have made great strides in your career, you could just as easily take two steps back and have to start all over again?
GH: Nothing is permanent and, as you say, the industry is very fickle. But the best thing I can do is surround myself with people I trust, and make the best music I can. If that trust is broken, at least there was trust to begin with. Whatever else happens is out of my control. I certainly can't spend my days being a skeptical, cynical asshole. Looking up and forward is the only option for me, which is actually where the title Chase the Sun came from.
WCT: In 2013, you took a seven-week trip to India and Nepal and this renewed your drive to be an artist. How so?
GH: Well, I realized how lucky I am to even have a roof over my headnever mind travel the world [and] making money doing something I love. So it didn't take long for me to quit complaining, and press on.
WCT: Bob Dylan inspired you to get into music but you had a very strict stepfather. How did you convince him to let you pursue your goals when, at that time, you were still a teenager?
GH: By moving out, and learning to not give a shit what he thought.
WCT: You will be playing Sept. 13 in Chicago at Lincoln Hall. What can fans expect from a Greg Holden concert?
GH: This particular concert will be a more stripped-back set, with me and my guitar player. So they can expect a more intimate acoustic show, before Vintage Trouble take the stage and blow their faces off.
Greg Holden will be at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, go to www.lh-st.com/ For more on Holden visit www.gregholdenonline.com/ .