Meeting Hester and Holly Rose
After their Coffee House Session at the Liverpool Guild of Students, I caught up with Hester and Holly Rose for a quick interview. A genuinely lovely pair, the duo gave a heartfelt performance with beautiful harmonies and a soft, folky sound. With exciting things planned for the future, including international shows as well as a rebrand in the works, it was really interesting to meet and chat about their career and how Hester and Holly Rose formed, and continue to develop. Here’s the interview:
Alaa Jasim: Firstly I wanted to ask you about something you just mentioned; you said you’re rebranding and changing your sound?
Holly Rose: We’ve been doing this now for about a year since we got together, which isn’t long, but we really want to change our sound to fit in more, we want to be in the mainstream.
Hester: We’ve been doing folk thing now for a good year and gained a good following for it, but now we want to be more on Radio 1, kinda thing, not BBC Radio 6. It’s not only that, but we much prefer stuff that’s more upbeat.
HR: This will always be our roots but we want to evolve and expand.
AJ: So how did you two get started? How did you meet?
HR: In college, we met there; so we were both on performing arts courses; I was doing dance and he was doing music.
H: Three years ago… I’d left my old bandmate, and our manager at the time had suggested that me and Chloe [Holly Rose] hook up, he said “well why don’t you guys […] try to sing together”.
HR: We did, and I ended up quitting my ballet scholarship to do it because I just felt more enjoyment from this, and we’ve just kind of been going since then.
AJ: Where do you get your inspiration from?
H: We don’t take inspiration, but we like music, really we just sit in our bedroom at home, and we’ll make a song in our home studio and send it to a producer. He’ll voice his ideas on it, we’ll get it back and say we like this, we don’t like this…
AJ: Is it very much like a back and forth then?
HR: Yeah, we just kind of bounce off each other’s backgrounds and roots and just go from there.
AJ: So going off that, how d’you think your style has sort of developed since you started up?
HR: Not really developed, but it will be developing soon, but we’ve improved and our harmonies are stronger now, but we’ll be developing a lot more in the upcoming months…
AJ: I’ve got a bit more of a lighthearted question for you… if you were an ice cream flavour, which would you be and why?
HR: I’d be chocolate… I don’t know why… I think it’s because for one, I love chocolate, and for two, I’d still be mixed race.
H: Strawberry… Yeah.
AJ: So what’s your ideal Sunday?
H: Well most weekends we’ll go on a bike ride and if we’ve worked hard all week, then Sunday will be film day.
HR: A day of rest… Netflix day…
H: So that’s our Sunday…
AJ: Have you got any big plans for the upcoming year, other than your rebrand?
HR: Yeah we’ve got a few festivals, we’ve got the Great Escape Festival, and we’re playing a festival in Helsinki next week.
H: Yeah so four days after this [The Coffee House Sessions tour] has finished we’re flying to Helsinki and that’s gonna be really cool, and I think we’re gonna be shooting the music video to our next single out there.
HR: Yeah, we’ve literally just finished our debut music video with our single.
H: Now we’re flying out and we’re gonna record our next music video!
AJ: Tell me a bit more about your new single, Promise.
HR: We went to Berlin last year and we did six months there, busking, lived around Germany for a bit and we saw a lot of crazy things on the streets […] and it inspired us!
H: It was about everything we’d seen and the impact it had on us I guess. After we’d finished it really connected with what we’d seen on the streets, you know, the darkest things anyway. So then the video made it ten times stronger.
HR: It’s quite an upbeat song and then a dark video; we love the contrast, so it’s very interesting for our fans to see.
AJ: How would you describe your style?
H and HR: At the moment, folk pop, but in the future it’ll be like electric, alternative pop: it’ll be more mainstream.
AJ: Is there anyone you aspire to be like?
HR: There is but it might give it away…
H: Touches of like…
HR: […] The XX, Daughter, Ben Howard that kind of style… London Grammar…
H: But that’s still a bit more ‘band’ than what we’ve got!
AJ: I noticed you have been doing two performances per day, which is crazy! Do you love being that busy?
HR: We used to be that busy busking. We’d do like a good full day busking, but it’s the travelling around…
H: It’s the travelling around and the guitar playing, your fingers get sore really quick, and I think on Wednesday or Thursday we have like four shows in the day and that’s gonna be crazy because where we’re staying, we’re actually playing a show that night as well! So that’s gonna be the worst. We do prefer doing like one show a day, but the shows aren’t so big so it’s okay; the travelling kind of wears you down before you get to the next place, and moving all the equipment in and out and setting it all up.
HR: That’s the tiring bit. But we’re happy to be doing it and doing it full time, we’re very lucky.
AJ: That’s great, and most importantly, where is the best place for people to go to follow your work and keep up to date?
HR: Just search for ‘Hester Holly Rose’
Hester and Holly Rose’s single, Promise, is out now.
Featured Image courtesy of hesterhollyrose.com.
Thanks to Hester and Holly Rose, and the Liverpool Guild of Students.