J. Holiday eager to please his audiences

By From page B1 | April 19, 2013

FAIRFIELD —  It’s all about crowd control at a J. Holiday show.

The R&B and hip hop artist will let the crowd set the pace of his April 27 show at Dimitri’s.

“Sometimes you have a crowd that wants to hear the new stuff. Sometimes you have a crowd that wants the classics,” Holiday said by phone from Atlanta.  “I just try to please the crowd. That’s what I’m there for.”

Holiday launched into the spotlight in 2007 with his hit “Bed,” which landed in the Top 10 on the Billboard chart.

The song continues to have a life of its own with at least 15 remixes. Holiday lists the one by Busta Rhymes as a favorite. Holiday hopes to mix the Rhymes version with other remixes into one song.

“I think I might put that out, just as a teaser,” he said.

Holiday’s father died when he was 11.

“As a kid you really don’t understand it,” he said. “You just know your parent is not there. As you get older you feel the importance of having a parent.”

His mother raised him and his older two sisters on her own. She has penned the book “Raising J. Holiday, A Mother’s Story.”

“She’s seen me grow and come into my manhood,” Holiday said. He added that he’s proud of his mother and her work.

“I think she’s happy I turned out the way I did,” he said.

Today, the tables are turned as he gets to take care of his mother. “I do pretty much everything for her,” he said.

Holiday, 28, said the loss has given him the desire to be a really good father when the time comes.

In the meantime he keeps busy. He just returned from Australia and Amsterdam.  Soon it’s off to shows in Norway and Sweden. A third album is in the works, too.

“I’m recording when I’m in town (Atlanta),” he said. “And, I’m recording in different cities.”

It’s an independent endeavor – he’s not currently with a label but Holiday has recorded on Capitol Records and Def Jam.

“The industry was getting like a heavy weight,” he said. “I had to step away and push the reset button. ”

Holiday said he could have been further along in his career if he had made decisions he didn’t like.

“My mom always said ‘dare to be different.’ I refuse to bend. If I believe, I fight for it. I’ve always felt, ‘when it’s my time I’ll get there.’ ”

He advises those thinking about a career in music to do their research and realize that talent alone doesn’t get you in the spotlight.

“You have to stay up on technology,” Holiday said.

He was featured in the movie “School of Hard Knocks,” released in February.

“It was good experience,” he said.

Watching movies and cooking occupy the little free time Holiday has. He has even given thought to auditioning for TV’s “The Taste.”

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.


J. Holiday

  • 9 p.m. April 27
  • Dimitri’s, 700 Main St., Suite 106, Suisun City
  • 419-5204
  • www.dimitrislounge.com or www.jholiday.com.
Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

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