Debby Holiday, who grew up in Los Angeles, is an American singer/songwriter whose music is a mixture of soul and rock.
Her father was musician and songwriter Jimmy Holiday (1934-1987), who co-wrote “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” and other hits. Debby has toured with Joe Walsh, Rod Stewart and Kiss. She sings the theme song “Dig Deep” for the now canceled TV drama “Dirt” that starred Courtney Cox. She is also featured on the song “Universal Soldier” by John Waite.
She’s had 11 Consecutive Billboard Top 20 Dance Singles. She released “Dive 2013” and “Fantasy” with DJ/Producer Jerome Farley earlier this year. She is currently producing music for the Upcoming Del Shores Film “Southern Baptist Sissies.”
In 2012, Holiday appeared in the film “Blues for Willadean,” which also featured Academy Award Winner Octavia Spencer, who won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie “The Help.”
She performs Saturday at 6:25 p.m. on the Coca-Cola stage. GA Voice spoke with her before her Atlanta appearance.
Your father was a musician, so I guess you were into music at an early age?
Actually, I fought against it. I started studying dance when I was four. But when I got my own guitar at 13, I turned toward music.
Your anti-bullying video, “Key to Your Soul,” which you co-wrote with Jeff Fedak and John Le Page, is a very powerful piece. This is clearly an important issue for you.
My main issue is equality and respect for anyone who is different. I’m also a big supporter of marriage equality.
You seem to have accomplished a lot during your career. Did you have any struggles?
The music part is easy, but funding your projects can be a challenge. I was with Warner Brothers for four years, during which time I worked with so many amazing people like Jeffrey Steele, Bobby Huff, Tommy Sims, Clif Magness, Marti Frederiksen and Billy Steinberg. At the moment, I’ve got a project on Kickstarter in hopes of funding my next album, “Free2B.”
And besides you father, who were some of your musical influences?
David Bowie, Prince, Queen, Aretha Franklin, AC/DC, Ray Charles, Led Zep, Dolly Parton, Heart, Billie Holiday, Radiohead, The Stones, Stevie Wonder, Bette Midler, Live, Lenny Kravitz.
What they all have in common is passion, unique artistry, and leaving it all on the stage with style and raw electrifying emotion. These are just a few of the artists who shaped my musical world. Genre never mattered. So, it makes sense that I grew up singing heavier rock and have ended up also loving the world of dance music.
Atlanta will welcome you to Pride this week. What advice would you give young people coming to terms with their sexual identity?
More people are starting to say you belong. I think you should accept that and move on. Don’t let other people’s negativity get you down. There’s an entire community out there saying that you are all beautiful beings. Self loathing is not an option.
What advice, if any, would you have for up-and-coming musicians?
Hear your own voice, just hear your own voice.