This much I know: Holly Macve

I have always been a bit of a thinker.

I was a very shy child a lot of the time. I liked observing situations rather than joining in. At school I had a group of people I felt easy with but if I wasn’t around them I was very quiet. If a teacher ever asked me a question in front of the class I would usually go bright red because I hated the attention being on me.

But for some reason it was a completely different story when it came to singing. I sang whenever I was asked. That’s when my confidence would come out and I felt happiest being me, I suppose.

Music is the only thing I have ever been interested in pursuing. I know some parents who would be worried if their child said that’s what they wanted to do for their career as it can be very challenging to make money from it, but I’m from a musical family so the word ‘musician’ was greeted very positively in our house and luckily I was encouraged.

This type of life can be quite hard as the days have no specific structure. I can end up feeling guilty when I’m not doing something related to music, particularly when I haven’t written a song for a while.

I think it’s maybe something that gets easier over time as you learn more about yourself and the way you work best. It’s only been a year since I quit my day job at a cafe so I am still getting used to this way of life.

I once had a strange encounter with Tito Jackson, who ended up giving me some advice I will never forget.

He told me to always be true to myself with regard to my music. I think that’s the best advice you could give, particularly to a young female singer.

There are a lot of people in the music industry who want to push and pull you around so it’s really important to stay true to yourself and your feelings.

My main fault is doubting myself.

My idea of happiness is getting to spend time with the people I love, playing music and not having any worries or stresses on my mind. I do have a tendency to worry about things and I always have done so.

I guess I wish we had learned more useful things at school. We learned things like the Pythagoras theorem and how to make a cheesecake rather than learning about taxes and how to make a simple pasta sauce.

I’m not sure if I believe in life after death. I think it’s more important to make the life you have as enriched and fulfilling as it can be, rather than worrying about what happens when you die.

But I do believe that people live on through what they have left behind in life, the memories and stories they have given to the people they loved and the footprints they have made during their years on earth.

My biggest challenge in life so far has been having to deal with the death of a loved one.

As a child, death was something I was terrified of and I didn’t understand how people could cope with it. I had to deal with it myself last year for the first time and it makes you realise how strong you and other people can be.

My belief in people living on energetically after they die helped me to be able to celebrate his life and all the beautiful energy he left behind.

When it comes to the future I would love to learn more about the recording and production side of things and to look into music therapy.

So far, life has taught me that you’re best at being yourself and not trying to be anyone else.

Holly Macve, sensation-in-the-waiting, plays Body&Soul, June 17-19.

The festival promises ‘an unparalleled experience where like-minded people converge for three days and nights under a canopy of intrigue and adventure, where the finer details matter and where every aspect is considered’.


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