Philly-raised artist Holdyn Barder is set to become a household name in the next generation country music and there’s absolutely nothing stopping him. A passionate singer and songwriter known for bringing incredible energy and professionalism beyond his age in his performances. His desire is to combine traditional country with a modern progressive sound while tailoring towards his own flavor, making Holdyn artistry to be quite intricate and unique. Raised listening to all kinds of music, country is what always stuck with him the most. From Toby Keith and Brooks & Dunn to Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, Holdyn’s spectrum of musical influence varies greatly, and that diversity is exactly what he wants his music to include.
Holdyn Barder released his single “She Got The Best Of Me”. The song begins with joyful chords from his acoustic guitar before Holdyn’s warm voice carries in, completely situating us with the song where we can absorb its warmth to the fullest. You immediately become comfortable with the single due to the all American relatable sound Holdyn has. He intones us with his canorous vocals, transforming any dull mood you were once experiencing into something more delightful. The lyrics on “She Got The Best Of Me” from my listening perspective talks about an impact a woman has had on Holdyn. She broke his heart and was able to emotionally influence his feelings and thoughts. It seems like Holdyn may have drew any inspiration from personal heartache or experiences he may have had. “She Got The Best Of Me” most definitely has a mainstream appeal and can translate well across many country loving fans!
Listen to "She Got The Best Of Me” here and get to know Holdyn Barder in our interview below!
Hi Holdyn! Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey everyone! My name is Holdyn Barder and I am a country singer/songwriter born in Houston and raised in Bucks County, just north of Philadelphia. Apart from being an Economics, Finance, and Music student at Lafayette College, I am a BMI Songwriter and Independent Nashville Recording Artist. Being a full-time student and a musician simultaneously is both exciting and demanding, but with the right mindset and attitude it is certainly possible! Country music is a part of me that I could never live without, and I am so blessed and grateful for all the experiences I have been given thus far in my life – both personally and musically.
Did you grow up in a musically inclined household? Were you surrounded by country music?
Growing up, I was surrounded by all genres of music. Throughout my academic career, musical theater along with Meisner technique acting was a creative outlet of mine. In addition to my natural love for the stage, my father played violin for a few years and my mother sings and had played guitar and piano. My father served in the Marine Corps and my first country concert was a Toby Keith concert at the Tweeter Center at the Waterfront (now BB&T Pavilion). My uncle was stationed in Iraq at the time, and my grandfather (including many others close and distant relatives), served in either the Army or Marine Corps, too. So, I guess one could presume that my family’s military history, along with me being born in Texas, all helped form that unique patriotic sub-genre of country music in the back of my mind. From Lonestar’s “I’m Already There” to Brooks & Dunn’s “My Maria,” I was belting out those high notes in the backseat of my mom’s car at only three years old! Believe it or not, my country music interests faded as I got older. I remember getting into the early 2000’s pop, rap, and hip-hop era. I played country here and there, but it wasn’t until my high school years when I finally started listening to it again. George School was such an amazing place where I could be myself, and I ‘re-discovered’ country music there. Many of my classmates were musically inclined and went on to pursue music professionally as well, including Edwin Honoret (from Simon Cowell’s PRETTYMUCH). I remember playing “Little Black Submarines” by the Black Keys at a concert with my good buddies at Live Music Weekend, a two-day student music festival at my high school (like I said, it was an amazing place). We absolutely rocked the house and I never felt more alive! I was ready to connect back to where my passion for music originated from – country music. I started listening to the old tunes my mother and father played growing up in Houston and I started getting into the pop-country crossover sub-genre, too. Luke Bryan became an inspiring role model of mine, and I was completely ready to ‘countrify’ all of my friends who did not listen to country music! After a few years of getting back into country, my love for guitar, singing, and songwriting also grew in my first year at Lafayette College. I began exposing myself to long Nashville tradition and the legends of the country music industry. I truly dove into the knowledge and attempted to teach myself the inner-workings of Nashville. I enrolled in both vocal and guitar instruction at my college, and my instructors’ elitism at their craft and knowledge of Nashville history truly inspired me to attempt to follow that feeling I felt at Live Music Weekend in high school. I needed to begin chasing my dreams.
How did your environment influence your artistry if it influenced it at all?
Country music, besides sold-out concerts in Philly and Camden, was not a huge element in Bucks County life. Although it is rural in many spots, I think country music had a more distinct role in my own thoughts about how life should be lived. My banjo-playing uncle is in the Quaker City String Band in Philadelphia, and I spend every summer with my entire family at the beach jamming out to Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett, to name a few. Being by the ocean is definitely a strong influence in my artistry, and I am confident that many of my future songs will incorporate seashore vibes.
Do you prefer performing live or recording your music?
I don’t have a specific preference since I believe that both performing and recording music are equally as rewarding and have their own unique perks! Recording music is special in the sense that you are permanently marking your sound for the world to hear. The only downside to this is that once it’s created, it’s done, so it is extremely important to always produce your best self, whether it be in a studio or in your own living room. When it comes to performing live, however, you can let loose even more and see the reactions of the people listening to you. You can feel the energy of the band and the crowd. It’s an empowering sensation and I love it. Being on a stage is an incredible feeling and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
Were you able to personally relate to “She Got the Best of Me” if so in what ways?
Some personal events that took place in the past few years helped me decide that “She Got the Best of Me” was the song to record as it summarized much of my feelings. It was originally composed and cut by Luke Combs, and his powerful disposition brings an entirely different Southern Rock energy to the song and lyrics. I think portraying it the way I did provided a different, unique approach that also fit my emotions and intention more. I absolutely love the song as well which, of course, was another large factor in my decision to record it!
Can you tell us a bit about the creation process of "She Got the Best of Me?"
There are several aspects that went into creating the cover and its video. The song was produced with the help of former band leader and bassist for Chris Lane, Sid Menon. We met up in Nashville and he mixed the track for me. I also met up with Chad Crawford at the Nashville Urban Winery who lent his expertise in recording the accompanying video. Jordyn Elliott and Jaime Spinner were also key in bringing the whole project to fruition. Thanks to all who made it happen.
What's next for you in 2019?
2019 is going to be a wonderful year of growth and creativity for me. I am currently writing and working on debut music scheduled to be released this year. In addition to writing my own music, I’m also in collaboration with some key writers in Nashville whom I am really excited to work with! I can’t wait for you all to hear it!
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