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Artist Spotlight: Kiki Holli revamps 80s-style love ballads for a modern age

Kiki Holli, a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, is a musical force and innovative artist who is soon to be on the rise. Her vulnerable and optimistic style is an ode to all of our journeys through heartbreak and self-discovery, all coming from a furnace of personal catharsis and empathy. 

Holli grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and found her way to the spotlight after spending her childhood engaged with music, including guitar, saxophone and viola. She earned her BFA in Voice and Theater, and has appeared in musicals and films, in addition to co-writing/starring in “Forever Dusty: The Dusty Springfield Musical,” which ran in the U.S. and U.K. 

Her discography is an eclectic blend of genres and subjects. Her use of lyrical storytelling and themes of connection, growth and healing create a genuine and immersive listening experience that is enjoyable for listeners of any music genre. 

Her first release was a cover of Roxy Music’s "More Than This." In this song, listeners hear the influence of singers like Cher and Stevie Nicks, and she introduces a little bit of jazz into her sound. Holli used this song to work through her own journey of grief and loss, which is an emotional beginning that permeates into the rest of her work. 

The remainder of Holli’s work varies from genre to genre, with her first original song, "NEW HIGH," taking influence from musical theater and containing a swelling, marching rhythm. It is the perfect introduction to Holli’s true style, which is later explored in songs like "Play To Lose" and "Sun Playing Tricks."

 The former is a journey through leaving toxic friendships and finding oneself, which is conveyed through nice turns of phrase, soulful vocals and images of the radiance and freedom that comes with the theme. "Sun Playing Tricks" is a sultry fever dream that implements distorted vocals and techno-instrumentals, which lends a different kind of sound to Holli’s discography. Her flowing and strong vocals help create a stunning and captivating soundscape. 

Holli’s new single “PRETTY BOYS,” to be released on Sept. 20, is an exciting song that draws to mind images of disco balls and crowded dancefloors. Produced by the Grammy-nominated Ethan Allen, the track is a dance anthem of many genres, from pop to soul to disco and beyond. 

“I see this song as a nod to the LGBTQ+ community,” Holli says. “It’s about finding your strength and power in that community, in friendship and on the dance floor.” The theme of the song is sonically conveyed through a thumping bassline, background synthesizers, and Holli’s swinging vocals, demonstrated with passion and energy. 

About the meaning behind the song, Holli says, “It matters what you think of yourself, not how the world defines what a pretty boy may or may not be.”

Kiki Holli’s music is a fresh sound that comes from a unique place of talent and real-world experience. Prince, The Cure, David Bowie and Siouxsie and the Banshees are just some of the influences that contributed to Holli’s intricate aesthetic, and her music is certain to influence the next generation of artists who want to sound just like her. 


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