Here’s Holly White!
On meeting young actress/singer Holly White, the first thing that comes to you is how you feel you know her already – she’s on a journey in life it seems was pre-written for her, and her comfort within this knowledge gives a sense of someone much older, allowing a confidence beyond that her young age of 18 would deem likely.
Her upbringing was one of those you hear about and wish you’d had for yourself - with parents more intent on instilling in their children an understanding of a larger, more true world, and the education this adventure provided.
This it seems has given her the power she needs to push on and succeed in all she aims for.
Tell us about how you fell in love with music and acting?
I grew up listening to huge variety of different music genres and always seemed to love watching Oscar winning films, even at a young age.
My dad was a punk in London in his teens so our Sunday ritual was often pogoing in the living room to Garage Land by The Clash or singing along to all from Al Green, to Dexies Midnight Runners and Norah Jones.
I was a strange child -when kids in school talked about Justin Bieber I was like “who is that?! Have you heard of Aretha Franklin?!”
I loved films with strong female leads, and my favorite Disney princess was Mulan. I was always dressing up as different characters and really admired films with great acting and music – I love the Blues Brothers !
Music and acting have always been in the background and a huge part of my life.
What has been the influence and inspiration behind the music you have written?
The mix of genres I listened to growing up have greatly influenced my music, and I think the magic of a song is taking the listener on a journey. So, through writing my own songs I have pulled upon some of my experiences, teenage life, school, bullying, the stresses of being a teen, and some of my work is just fun stuff to make you dance - nothing too deep!
Tell us about what you are about to release, and the steps you’ve taken to get to us here and now?
My music is Pop with an RnB/Soul twist.
I’m at the beginning of my career including songwriting, so just going with the flow...
I’ve been scribbling away in my notebook for years, but I started writing more seriously last year during the end of my HSC - I was never the academic type and my mind was always a million miles away, so I really felt the pressure and my songwriting helped me cope.
Some of my songs are about this period in life, but I feel like I have developed so much since then as well... and perfectionism was a massive hurdle I had to overcome!
I started recording in Sydney and finished some songs in LA and Utah a few months back. I am collaborating with amazing people which is really exciting!
What drives you? What allows your strength of character at such a young age?
Thank you! I am so grateful that I know at my age what I am going to do in my life, and love what it has to offer to others as well as myself. I was homeschooled for a big part of my life, through India, Asia and around the world, and that really opened my eyes and made me mature and grow as a person. It also showed me how lucky I am - the fact I have a voice as a human being, and can use it to share a message to others through the platforms my music and acting provide.
You seem to have an incredibly supportive family unit, and that seems to have given you a strength to draw from…who inspires you most? What inspires you most? Is there any advice you’ve been given so far that holds most true on this journey, and any you’d like to share with others looking to create their own path?
Lots of people inspire me - I have been very fortunate with my parents being so supportive of my dreams, and many other amazing people believing in me along the way, but I’ve also experienced some of the bumps in the road, even though I’m still only 18.
The story of the underdog inspires me - seeing or hearing stories of mankind that make a real difference is something that greatly moves me. My heroes are people like Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai.
As with my music, I have had similar support with acting, and have some amazing people believing in me - I did my work experience at the Sydney Theatre Company which was very rewarding, and my acting mentor who is constantly at my side is the amazing Heather Mitchell, who I absolutely love.
My advice for what it’s worth is to stay true to your core especially in this industry. You have to believe in yourself and let the critique be building blocks for your amazing masterpiece! Never look at the whole mountain, take it step by step. It’s very important to learn along the way and take advice on board, but never lose sight of your goal and keep that fire in your belly.
What are your goals for the future and how will you push yourself (or not) to get there?
My goal is to entertain people and give them joy through my music, and whatever acting role comes next. To be a voice to my generation through doing what I love. I am going to continue auditioning and am very grateful that I have support along the way. I have an amazing manager in LA - Echolake Entertainment, a great agency here - Marquee, fantastic mentors and a super supportive family.
What is next?
Right now I am between Sydney and LA auditioning, learning lines and writing new songs collaborating with amazing artists, but most of all continue to grow and learn, learn, learn – I’m open to whatever opportunities come my way, and excited for the future!
Photography, fashion and words by David K. Shields
Hair and make-up by Isabella Schimid