J. Holiday: Paying Attention

A few months ago, J. Holiday shared his "Bed" with many when the record was introduced to the world, surging through the airwaves; it was anything but putting you to sleep. In the same wave, a handful of popular Hip-Hop and R&B artists expressed interest in the song, as multiple remixes began circulating featuring the likes of Fabulous, Chingy, Jermaine Dupri and Nina Sky. It wasn’t too long ago that J. Holiday recited his own list of musical favorites to AllHipHop.com Alternatives. Now, with his debut album Back Of My Lac blasting through the charts, the D.C. native reflects on his newfound success.AllHipHop.com Alternatives: Why do you feel your second single, "Bed" did so overwhelmingly well compared to your first single "Be With Me"?J. Holiday: It was more of a timing thing, and it just didn't get the same look that "Bed" got. A lot of people got behind that and a lot more people got involved with "Bed." AHHA: How are you handling your newfound popularity?J. Holiday: It feels good, it feels good. I prefer to just be performing, but of course there are a million and one other things with being an artist but I'm getting used to it. AHHA: What kind of reaction do you receive from your fans? Have there been any crazy fan experiences so far?J. Holiday: Nah, I never really had any crazy fan experiences. It's just seeing the same people at different shows. They really be tryin' to make it to every show. Just stuff like that. The biggest thing that a lot of people say to me is that I actually sound like the record when it comes to the live shows, which is good cause that's what I want them to walk away with. It lets me know that they're paying attention verses just sayin' I went and saw J. Holiday; like they [are] actually listening, so it's a good thing. AHHA: What is your favorite song to perform?J. Holiday: It would probably be "Ghetto" which is my favorite song on the album or "Bed" of course. AHHA: With so many young, male R&B artists out like Ne-Yo and Chris Brown, is it harder for you to stand out? J. Holiday: Nah, not really ‘cause I just be me. Everybody runs their career differently. I try to be me and try to be as real as possible and a lot of people pick up on that too. So I don't think it's hard to stand out at all. AHHA: You have referred to your music as Street Soul. What does that mean to you?J. Holiday: It’s just basically ‘cause I always say that my first album is a soundtrack to the ghetto. It's hood tunes, a lot of the songs that I sing are hood tunes, which – however way you wanna look at it – that's how I grew up. It's lettin' people know that there's a lot more to music than just love songs. That's why I call it Street Soul, because it's not just about love and makin’ love. I talk about other issues on my album. AHHA: What is one thing that has happened in your life that had a great impact on you?J. Holiday: My father passing away and being raised by my mom.AHHA: Which Hip-Hop artists have influenced your music?J. Holiday: The Fugees, Tupac, Outkast. AHHA: Who are your favorites right now?J. Holiday: Actually, right now the only new album that I listen to or album of somebody's whose current is Kanye – that's really the only person I'm listening to. I've recently listened to the new T.I. record. If it's not those two I'm listening to old school like Marvin [Gaye], Tupac – I need have my favorites. AHHA: You went on tour with Keyshia Cole. What was your favorite thing about that tour?J. Holiday: Just being able to perform with my live band in every city. I live for the live shows, for the performances but it's even better when I get to perform with my live band. That's what I enjoyed most about the tour. That's what I miss most when I'm not able to do it. AHHA: You did a remix with Nina Sky for "Bed” –J. Holiday: Actually there’s like four or five or six remixes out there. I was not present for any of these sessions. [laughs] These are just remixes that people have done on their own, and they just made it to the airwaves. It feels good to know that everybody’s feelin’ the record that much that they just want to get on it anyway. There’s so many remixes, I think Nina Sky did one. Chingy did one. Fabolous did one. JD did one. I heard of couple of them. I heard a majority of them. AHHA: What is your favorite remix so far?J. Holiday: So far out of the ones that I heard it would have to be the Fabolous one. AHHA: What is the most romantic thing that you’ve done for a woman?J. Holiday: I don’t know. I’ve always been a real focused person on whatever I was doing at that point in time, so the most romantic thing for me is to take time out and do things in life like go to the movies or go to dinner. To be able to do the regular things to me, that’s romantic. It takes a lot to even clear time from the schedule for things like that. AHHA: What do you like to do when you find some free time?J. Holiday: Just sit down, watch T.V. and enjoy life. Just sit down and take everything in and enjoy it.AHHA: What are some things that you are able to do now as opposed to before you got signed?J. Holiday: All the traveling – seeing so many different cities, going to different states and dealing with different people. That’s one of the things I haven’t done before. I’ve traveled but it was mostly up and down the east coast. But now I’m going everywhere. AHHA: Why the Cadillac?J. Holiday: My father was a mechanic, so that was one of the cars he used to work on. So that’s what stuck out and then I actually had one. Once I had it, it kinda just stayed with me. AHHA: I was going to ask you if you owned one. What song do you like to blast when you’re driving the Lac?J. Holiday: It would have to be “Krazy” by Tupac on the Makaveli album.