MP3 De Holley - Emotionally Unavailable
Texas- Minneapolis sound, with a FUNKY Minneapolis influence.
9 MP3 Songs
URBAN/R&B: Funk, URBAN/R&B: R&B Pop Crossover
You might not realize it now, but you''ve heard of De Holley before. And you''ve heard his music. A long time staple on the Houston live music scene, De Holley was grinding it out on stage and in the studio before many of the current crop of R&B favorites ever touched a microphone. Born and raised between the South Park and Pearland sections of Houston, De Holley was first bit by the funky musical bug at age five. His mother was a singer and a dancer who also played the piano, and passed her passion for music onto her son at an early age ... his mom later on became a schoolteacher.
Already a super star in his own household, De Holley''s mother secured tickets for the young artist to see a show he had been watching practically since birth. "My first glimpse of the music business was when I was in the audience at a kids program that used to be on channel 13 here in Houston." De Holley explains, "It was called Kidderick and I was just kind of amazed with some of the kids that came on there and sang and danced. I was just five years old, so you know, that was the time that kind of got me going. That was the beginning." It was the young bucks first chance to see what kind of rewards his hobby could bring him if he stayed focused and kept practicing.
Inspired by the show, De Holley and his friends from elementary school began throwing neighborhood talent shows every Saturday. "We lived across the street from these apartments and every Saturday morning man we''d go outside and put the 8 track up and set up the speakers and we''d start entertaining the kids in the projects." He continues, "We''d sing everything from the Beatles, to Aerosmith, to the Jackson''s and James Brown, that kind of stuff"
This continued on until Holley entered Cullen Middle School and formed his first dance troupe. Imitating moves they learned from the Jacksons, the group started entering and winning talent shows across the city. In addition to concentrating on his dance moves, he joined the school marching band as a drummer, which led to him become a drum captain at Jack Yates High School.
It was around this time that Holley hooked up with a man who would become his partner for life, John Broussard. They started a band called Nu Wave, and would perform Prince covers and songs from The Time for audiences all over Houston. "We were doing the early Prince stuff that everybody didn''t know about." He explains, "At the time in Houston, no one was really doing that stuff That early sound was something that was really special to me. It''s something that we really just grew up listening to and we stayed true to it and tried to figure out some of the artists they were influenced by. James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone. That''s the sound that was coming out of Minnesota and that''s the sound that we were trying to develop here in Houston when we were teenagers."
Nu Wave continued on until 1988 when De Holley formed a rap group called J & Dee, also known as the Bad Boys of Texas. "We were about partying and politics and that kind of thing." Holley explains, "We toured around Texas, Louisiana, Nashville and places in between and it was really hard man. We did that for about 8 years but I left the group because I really wanted to get back into singing again."
And he did. On New Years Eve of 1996 going into 1997, he even got to live out a dream and sing with his hero, Prince. "Prince did a concert and he did an after show at The Roxy." Holley explains, "I was able to get into the after show and he called me on stage. This was a dream, man. I have been a Prince fan since 1978. He called out to the crowd ''can anybody .ring?''Then as Jesus Christ as my witness he bent down and asked me ''Can you sing? Canyou dance?'' I said ''hellyeah'' and he said ''Come on up.'' And for the first few seconds it seemed like I kind of blacked out. I couldn''t believe that he pulled me on stage, and we were doing nothing but Sly and the Family Stone stuff, which was really interesting because six months prior to that I had went back and bought some Sly and the Family Stone music and started learning the songs. So I''m on stage with Prince, Larry Graham and the whole band. This started at like 4:30 in the morning and I didn''t get off stage till about 6:20 New Years Day. Incredible. And the only thing he said to me after the show was ''You''re next."'' Inspired beyond belief, Holley and Broussard began taking their music careers more serious than ever and began work on what was to become an infamous demo. They penned a song called "Boys Night Out," and this is where his story might start becoming familiar to you.
The duo began hustling their music and Holley began singing with a local band called Blackboard and Chalk to stay busy on the live circuit. In the summer of 1999 they had a chance meeting with music mogul Jermaine Dupri and gave him their demo. The track "Boys Night Out" was the first cut and obviously perked up Dupri''s ears.
In the summer of 2000 there was a movie called Big Momma''s House, Holley remembers. "And my then girlfriend and I went to the movie and we were listening to the music they were playing in the film and my she said ''Baby that''syour song ''Boys Night Out.'' Jermaine Dupri had given my song to Lil Bow Wow (for the song ''Bounce With Me''). That was the song that set off Lil Bow Wow''s career. So we filed suit against Jermaine Dupri and Sony and they finally settled out on the case. There was overwhelming evidence."
The story reached the pages of Vibe Magazine and newspapers around the globe picked up on it. Dupri and Sony were forced to pay the duo nicely, and with a real budget for the first time in their careers, the two are able to work on their albums properly.
De Holley describes his new music as a cross between Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Sly Stone, Rod Stewart, and Lenny Kravitz. Which is certainly not a surprise ... once you hear his music you would say the same. He has two of the top Producers Rick -Marcel (former guitar player for Prince) and
Dr. Fink of Prince and the Revolution topping off his tracks with that powerful funk! His influences run deep and pour out all over his latest jams. He''s not afraid to get personal, and is always down to rock a party. His music explores the realities of relationships in and out of his family circle. "This album here has a lot to do with my family." He explains, "My mother and I, we''re not really getting along so I touch on that. I touch on relationships I''ve been in with women, and things I used to dwell on. Now I''m kind of getting my head cleared and putting it down on paper."
The songs "Dr. Feelgood," and the heart wrenching "I Don''t Want to Lose Your Love" are prime examples of the aforementioned, while "Don''t Cry for Me" touches on a more current situation in De Holley''s life. "I''ve been the same person for all of my life," he continues, "but the people that I''ve known for a long time, they''ve kind of changed to me. They expect a lot more things from me. As opposed to when I was living in a onebedroom shack with my two daughters eating Corn Flakes. Now I''ve got a little bit of money and everybody thinks I owe them something."
It''s like the guy who wins the lottery and discovers he''s got twenty cousins he never heard about. While the situation with Jermaine Dupri turned out to be a financial blessing, it''s also become a test of who''s true to him and who''s not. Nevertheless, just like when he was broke and struggling to be heard in these hard Houston streets, De Holley''s number one focus is his music, and he still strives to create something completely new for the people to vibe to.
"You listen to my music and you''re gonna get funk." He explains, "You''re gonna get funk and R&B, but please don''t judge what you think it is. If you think it''s hip-hop, fine, but don''t put a label on it. Just love the music. I''m not trying to win no awards, I''m not trying to win no Grammies, I just want to keep it up front, bring my sound out, and keep this type of music alive."