Indie pop duo Holychild have built quite a following over the past year. Their initial single “Happy With Me” was an exuberant introduction to Liz Nistico and Louie Diller, who made even more joyful noise on their first EP, Mindspeak. While on the road, Liz and Louie were nice enough to break down the history of “Happy With Me”, talk about the music video process and future fun at Firefly Festival this Summer.
JayeL Audio: “Happy With Me” was an instant favorite for me. I really loved how Liz’s vocals sounded intertwined with the boom of Louie’s percussion and synth. Tell me about the creation of that song.
Louie: I had the chorus melody bouncing around my head for a while, I played it for Liz on the piano, who dug it + sang it really well! I added some chords and rhythm to it, Liz came up with the verse and bridge melodies + lyrics too and voila, “Happy With Me” came about. More specifically, Liz can go more into the lyrics of the song more, but in terms of the music or “boom,” I have been heavily influenced by the hip shaking/bombastic rhythms of Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music; hence the faux baio Afro Brazilian beat I used for the song. Collectively, Liz and I both are really into pop form and melodies (or hooks), so we tend to gravitate towards melodies that we find to be immediate and/or hooky, hence the melodies of that jam!
JA: You recently released your full debut EP, Mindspeak. What has been the feedback on new music so far?
Liz: So far people have been really sweet and receptive to our art. It’s always nerve-wracking to release your art, your baby, into the world, so it feels really nice that people are accepting at the very least. The nice thing is that we are really trying to say something with our EP, with the lyrics and imagery in particular, and it’s cool that people are also receptive to that. It’s been nice. This is my first music project (not Louie’s though), and I am feeling really grateful that people seem to be getting down!
JA: The connected trio of music videos for “Happy With Me”, “Everytime I Fall” and “Pretend Believe” were fun and hilarious. How did the vision come about for that “mini-movie”?
Liz: Thanks! Yeah the video trilogy came about after about 4 months of writing and figuring out how I wanted the videos to be and what exactly I wanted to say with them. I realized I wanted to explore some contradictions I feel as a female, and that topic was really resonating within me, so the videos came pretty naturally. They’re also subtly autobiographical, so it was really a few years of visuals built up and put into 3 videos!
JA: What was your experience at SXSW like this year?
Louie: SXSW was magical! I don’t think it could have gone any better in terms of the actual shows and response. However the best part was befriending a slew of other artists we have been fans of for a while; so to have the opportunity to share a stage with them and hang with them was definitely a highlight!
JA: Firefly in Dover will be your first festival appearance and the line-up has a ton of big names like Foo Fighters and OutKast. Are there any acts you are going to stick around for?
Liz: Yes! We are so excited and honored to be playing Firefly. The lineup is so killer and we definitely plan on sticking around and seeing some bands. The lineup is so inspiring, I literally don’t even know where to begin on who I’m excited to see, but some include: Tune-Yards, Young the Giant, the Colourists, Vic Mensa, White Denim, Sky Ferreira, Childish Gambino, Arctic Monkeys, gahhh there are so many! I’m pretty excited!!
JA: I see Grand Rapids and Lansing on your tour itinerary, should fans in Detroit expect a visit soon?
Louie: Oh hell yeah! We had some folks from Detroit at our show in Lansing, and they were hyping up Detroit a lot; it sounds awesome! We definitely want to come back to the Midwest and play Detroit and Chicago too. Touring the Midwest has been such a nice experience so far, we have never been to these parts of the country, so we have been learning a lot from the folks out here, gaining their perspective, enjoying their culture, making a ton of new friends and playing some awesome shows.