Pictured above: Holly Giles at ~No Strings~
This week's featured artist is Holly Giles (pronounced 'Jiles'), a smooth crooner with an eclectic style hailing from Australia. She likes to sing country, rock, and pop from classic to contemporary and can be found at her venue ~No Strings~ each Tuesday and Saturday at 8pm SLT. (slurl for venue: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Areumdeuli/226/27/80)
Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: In 2011 I joined an online chat platform called IMVU due to some personal stuff that forced me to be at home and unable to work. I ended up staying for 5 years. I heard about SL from some people at IMVU who were trying to convert some of us over, haha. I created an SL account in 2015 and kinda used both IMVU and SL for about a year until I decided that SL was more to my liking, with people around my own age. I was in SL for about 2 years before I even KNEW there was a Live Music Community lol, so once i discovered that, I gave away my IMVU account to a friend and I have never looked back.
Q: I really enjoyed your renditions of classic country songs. What drew you to that genre?
A: My music is actually very mixed genre, with country music only taking up about one third of my song list. I was raised on classic country music with my mum having her own band in my childhood, so I learnt my love of country from her and I always say that classic country is my soul music lol. But I do love all music so I tend to sing what I love, from classic country, classic rock, 90's pop and country, through to modern pop like Lady Gaga.
Q: As with any artistic style, country music has evolved so much over the last century. Which decade/era is your favourite, and why?
A: Oh that's easy. I love the old country. The Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn era of country. These country legends are like storytellers. Every song has a story. Every song has a purpose to it. I don't know how else to explain it. I can have my heart broken and find my story in a classic country song. I can feel overjoyed about something and find my happiness echoed in a classic country song. While I love all music and listen to even the most modernist of pop music, I personally just don't get that feeling from it. I get the happiness of an awesome beat, or well-written lyrics but yeah, not that feeling.
Q: If you could open for any musician (alive or deceased), who would it be?
A:I think a lot of people who follow my music would expect me to say Dolly Parton right now, and I thought I would too, but you know, I think I would LOVE to open for Bette Midler. Wow, what a musician she is. I think if I opened for Bette Midler, I could sing anything I wanted to before she took the stage. I could sing some James Brown, followed by a Dolly Parton song, followed by some Creedence lol. I wouldn’t be restricted to one genre, like I would be if I opened for Dolly, I feel.
Q: Do you ever get stage fright before performing in SL? Describe your preshow ritual.
A: OMG. I only started singing, I mean really singing in Second Life AND real life 2 years ago. The reason I never sang before is that I suffered MASSIVE stage fright. I would freeze up and my voice would go shaky if I tried to sing in front of anyone. It took a lot of help and compliments from online friends for me to get the courage to sing in Second Life. My very first show I was so nervous that I felt sick. But by halfway through I suddenly forgot that I was nervous and I just sang. I found the talking part a lot harder than the singing part lol. Now, I don't feel any nerves in Second Life, but am working on my nerves in RL lol.
Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: Without a doubt, the part I enjoy the most is singing a song and seeing in local things like “OMG I love this song!” or "Oh wow, I haven't heard this song in years!” I love getting requests, I love sharing my love of music with others. I love talking about how my mum used to sing this song or that song in her band while I slept under tables at the local pub. I love that 2 years ago I couldn't sing this song or that song, but that now with some practice under my belt, I can blast that song out like it's nothing. I love just being able to sing and the fact that people want to hear me sing still blows me away every time I open my mouth.
Thank you, Holly!