J. Holiday Roots for His Own ‘Comeback’
Listening to the bevy of R&B songs on the airwaves led me to ask…What’s up with J. Holiday? You remember, the man behind the 2007 track singing “Bed -ed -ed -eeeeedddd.” His followup ‘Round 2′ came just two years after his debut ‘Back of My Lac’ that boasted hits ‘Bed’ and ‘Suffocate.’
Holiday’s current single ‘It’s Yours’ came out swinging this Spring, but what’s next? The BoomBox sat down with the crooner in Atlanta and discovered that he’s not TKO’d yet!
The BoomBox: It’s been two years since your first album ‘Back of My Lac’ came out. How were you inspired for your sophomore album ‘Round 2′?
J. Holiday: For a minute I thought people were getting away from actual music and the love stories. And of course my daughter is getting a little older, so I have to tone down my lyrical content. She’s getting to that age where she is repeating everything she hears.
The BoomBox: ‘It’s Yours’ was a strong single. What do you anticipate as your next release?
J. Holiday: I’m actually working on my third project. Things got a little messed up…I don’t like to play the blame game either. I like to keep things in house, but some things were done wrong. Right now I have three records coming out … couple of collaborations. I also have a remix with Fabolous for the record ‘Fall,’ a single that’s on the album that we’ll probably also release. [It's] not necessarily a second single, but to let people know, ‘Yeah I’m still here’. I want people to look out for this third project, it’s going to be extreme.
The BoomBox: Who are you collaborating with on this upcoming project?
J. Holiday: Man, a little bit of everybody. I’m actually trying to get in with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis right now … that would be an accomplishment in itself. Also, The Dream … I’m trying to get in with [him]. I’ve already worked with Ryan Toby. He’s a writer out of Atlanta, from New Jersey. He was in City High.
The BoomBox: Do you feel that success has changed you?
J. Holiday: Not at all. I tell people all the time, ‘Biggie said it best. More money. More problems.’ It’s not really more problems. It’s more responsibility. Now, I’m not taking care of just myself. You know what I’m saying. Obviously, I do what I gotta do to take care of my family. But now, I got at least five or six people that also depend on me working. You know what I mean? If I’m not working then they gotta go find something else to do.
Then you got people that want you to change. I think a lot of people never had it in their mind they would have somebody that became successful. When it actually happens…It’s like they want to experience the celebrity that doesn’t care about anybody. Some people just aren’t like that. I know I’m not like that.
The BoomBox: What song do you wish you wrote or recorded? It can be any song.
J. Holiday: Good question! I wish that I had a part in writing for Marvin Gaye. I can’t say a specific song. I just wish I had a chance to work with him.
The BoomBox: So Marvin Gaye was definitely one of your influences?
J. Holiday: Yeah, it’s crazy ’cause I didn’t get put on to Marvin Gaye until about 2003, 2004. I listened to him all my life but I didn’t really try to see who he was. My mother used to listen to the oldies but goodies station. She used to listen to him. His songs were the songs I liked the most. I just didn’t know who he was. We have similar backgrounds. You can hear the passion in his music. I think coming from that background you automatically have a certain passion with your music.
[There're] more people that inspire me. Like Jodeci. I used to watch Usher. Growing up, I thought I was going to be one of the entertainers that were going to dance and stuff. I can [but] some people that’s just not their language. [He does a little pop dance move on the coach]
The BoomBox: This year is the year of the comeback. Eminem released his comeback album, Maxwell’s album is out, Whitney is coming out in the fall…Who are you most rooting for to make a big return?
J. Holiday: J. Holiday [laughter]. Nah, I never really feel like I’ve gone…because…well, let me first answer that question. I definitely have to say I’d like to see Whitney come back. I don’t like to see people get counted out. Some people just go through things in their life. It is what it is. Nobody’s perfect. I’d like to see her comeback.
I never really felt like I was gone. I’m always everywhere. I’m in places people don’t expect. I still do certain things at Wal-Mart. People try to act like they are too good for certain things. It’s not that serious. When people see me in places like that, it’s not like I’m, ‘Nah get away from me.’ I talk to them. I fellowship. I give them the respect that they may just have something they want to say. I think I’m a bit more tangible than some people. A lot of people meet me and say, ‘I’m a cool dude’ … that’s how my mama raised me.
The BoomBox: What do think is most missing from R&B today?
J. Holiday: Guts. A lot of people are putting this whole thing on their talent. It’s not really your talent. Most people that I’ve met in R&B, they love what they do. It’s not too many people I’ve met in R&B who are just doing it ‘cuz.’ They really love doing what they do. So if they’re not winning or they’re not selling, then there’s either a passion that’s lacking or it’s the label. It’s the people behind the desk. Nobody has guts anymore. Everybody just wants to make the short money. You gotta have the guts man.
In every song that I sing I try to put my whole soul into it. You gotta say no to your label. People rather sell themselves short I guess, to be at a high place for a short period of time. When I get to the top, I’m trying to stay up there for a while. You gotta have heart and passion. I don’t know. If I had a million dollars I’d be able to show everybody but I don’t so…