A Texas grown southern belle, Holly Hicks holds the art of songwriting and performing close to her heart. Feeling the pull of the stage as a child, she spent her formative years training in ballet and cheerleading, competing in talent shows, singing in church and eventually, majoring in music in college. In today’s country, where heartfelt songwriting has been replaced by heavy production and glossy headshots, the lyrics Holly pens show off a depth that is a fresh take on life and its experiences.
“Singing and songwriting is who I am,” says Holly. “Through my songwriting, I can share what’s deep inside my heart. I write about emotions and things that are real in my life and in the lives of those around me.”
Growing up close to the world famous Fort Worth Stockyards and Billy Bob’s Texas, it wasn’t hard for Holly to catch the fever for music. Her training in dance and cheerleading provided the discipline needed to succeed in such a craft and she knows that the adage, “practice makes perfect,” holds true.
“Taking ballet was about technique and finesse; when I was a cheerleader, it was about technique and timing. With singing, it is still about technique and presence,” Holly stated. “You have to be disciplined to practice your technique and skills no matter how many times you danced the dance, cheered the cheer, or sang the same song.”
Attending Texas Lutheran University (Seguin, Texas) on music scholarships, Holly’s path led her to major in music and minor in business. During her freshmen year she was presented with the guitar (a gift from her father) that would ignite a passion for songwriting. Dedicating her time to creating her own style, she logged countless of hours writing lyrics and humming melodies, catching a break when she was given the opportunity to work with hitmaker Jeffrey Steele (Tim McGraw’s “The Cowboy in Me,” Rascal Flatts’ “These Days,” and “What Hurts the Most”) at his songwriter boot camp.
Now, with years of material in her repertoire, Holly is set to release her self-titled debut album later this summer. A collection of favorite songs written over the last eight years, this record is to be a musical introduction to her life. Possessing a girl-next-door likeability, this daddy’s sweetheart only wishes to have fans find something of themselves in every song she writes. Reflective of certain experiences in her life; from break-ups to being in love, Holly says the music represented on the album “covers the good, bad and the ugly.”
“I want to connect with the listener, so I like to write from personal experiences. A song is a powerful thing, and when your song makes a difference to someone it’s priceless,” Holly comments. “I think Lee Ann Womack sums it up best: ‘You can only set your eye on making music you think matters, telling stories that feel right and trying to be the best you’re capable of being’. It doesn’t get more honest than that.”
Gifted not only in writing a song, instrumentation (she plays piano by ear, guitar, and is learning harmonica), but also in voice, Holly’s vocal stylings are one-of-a-kind and a standout among the talented females on the scene today. A natural vibrato brings her songs to life and the dynamics present when she sings her catchy melodies have allowed her to perform in a variety of places. From the stage at Tootsie’s and Douglas Corner Café in Nashville to the famed venues in Houston such as House of Blues, Firehouse Saloon, Big Texas and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Cook-off, Holly is a sought after songstress who has shared the stage with such artists as Johnny Lee, Zack Walther and Mark McKinney.
Enjoying the sharing of her music and creativity, she reaches out during a show giving those in attendance a chance to really get to know her.
“When I perform, I love to talk to the audience and make them feel welcomed,” Holly remarked. “I try to make them feel as if they are hanging out with me in my living room.”
As Holly moves forward in sharing her life with us through song, her southern charm shining thru, she promises, “This is just this beginning of greater things to come.”