When Christina Holmes sings, walls, barriers, and boundaries disappear.
In the classic troubadour tradition, the New Jersey-born and Rhode Island-based songstress shares a piece of herself in every composition, welcoming listeners closer. Finding a sweet spot in the middle of acoustic, folk, reggae, rock, and pop music, she represents the same values and vision on stage and off.
Simply put, what you see is what you get…
“I’m always just very honest and real,” she exclaims. “We’re all human. I allow listeners into my life by going deeper. I’m not afraid to show my vulnerable side. I have a message. I’ve gained so much confidence through music, and I hope I can inspire others to chase their dreams too.”
Holmes began chasing her dream as a kid. Inspired by Bob Marley, Tracy Chapman, The Beach Boys, and The Beatles, she quietly wrote songs in her bedroom and sang in the shower, hiding this burgeoning skill from mom and dad. It took college friends pushing the budding talent to hit the stage during an open mic night in freshman year, but she eventually became hooked on playing out anywhere and everywhere. Between regular open mics around Rhode Island and dive bar gigs in New York City, she linked up with the charity Musicians On Call and performed for countless bedridden hospital patients. 2012 saw her take the stage for the world famous “Amateur Night” at the Apollo and leave with a standing ovation. In 2014, she released her full-length debut Peace, Love, & C. Holmes and joined Trevor Hall for a sold-out North American tour over the course of 2015.
Everything led up to the next move. Launching her own label Cove House in 2017, she dove headfirst into her sophomore effort with producer Warren Huart [Colbie Caillat, James Blunt]. After only two-and-a-half weeks in a Los Angeles studio, she emerged with Stand Up. For the first time, a studio recording captured the prowess of the vocalist’s powerhouse presence on stage.
“Whether I had a band or not, my goal for the album was to bottle the live energy,” she goes on. “That’s how I’ve always connected with others. The sound, vocals, and guitar needed to be urgent. I think we accomplished that.”
Fittingly, the artist introduced the album via marathon of touring alongside the likes of Hall, Xavier Rudd, and Nahko & Medicine for the People. Her live energy shines through the 2018 single “Bring The People Together.” Driven by lithe acoustic guitar and simmering reggae grooves, it presents a concrete mission statement loud and clear.
“The words are super powerful,” she remarks. “The title says it all. I want to bring people together and help them. I want to empower others to spread peace and know the same peace no matter what they’re going through. When they listen to what I’m doing, I hope they feel like they can stand up and defeat anything in their path. It’s my upbeat anthem offering unity to the world.”
From the plaintive lyrical poetry and wind-swept soul of “Let My Music Free Your Soul” to the clarion call of “Stand Up,” her voice resounds with power and passion. However, the final track “Always” tugs at the heartstrings the most. Written after the passing of her dad David Holmes, Sr., it incorporates the last voicemail he left Christina.
“The chorus is comprised of words in a birthday card that he wrote me on my 21st birthday,” she recalls. “I found that card a month after he passed away in one of my guitars. The verse and bridge are my words. The song ends with a voicemail he left me. It’s the love I have for him and the loss I feel not having him anymore. His words are how I feel. I would’ve said the same thing he did.”
In the end, Christina has only just begun to bring people together.
“When you hear my records or see me live, I want you to feel something, whether it’s happy or sad,” she leaves off. “I’d love for you to let go of anything that’s holding you back. Music did that for me.”