Since her debut in 2008, Holly Starr has become known for thoughtful songwriting and accessible pop melodies. A popular YouTube artist, her music videos and video blogs have collectively garnered more than 4.4 million views to date. A native of Quincy, Washington, Starr's previous Artist Garden Entertainment releases include Tapestry (2010), Focus (2012) and 2015’s Everything I Need. And on September 15th, Starr returns with the highly-anticipated Human (Artist Garden Entertainment), her first recording in two years. Throughout the seven-song set, Starr explores God’s faithfulness amidst the complexities of earthly relationships. Holly took a few minutes to preview her upcoming release with us in this TCB exclusive.
Congratulations on the upcoming release of Human! Tell us, how long has this record been in the making and what does it feel like to have the finished product ready for release?
I've been working on Human for two years now and it feels amazing to finally be finished! It was a super fun project to make, so it was a good experience all the way through.
How would you describe the sound of this record to brand new listeners? And, how does it compare and contrast to your prior work?
I would describe this album as Christian pop/electronic, as far as genre goes. It's different from my previous projects because it’s more programmed and even has some EDM influences in the production.
How would you say your walk with God has developed while writing and recording this new record?
Over the course of this album, and even prior to it as well, God has been growing my heart towards a ministry to widows. I wrote a song on the album called "Sailing" for my widowed grandmother who passed away in November, and I’ve started making necklaces to benefit widows that I plan to sell at my shows and on my website. God has a heart for us to care for widows, and He’s been sharing this with me. It's been amazing!
Can you talk a little about the title track and why you chose it to represent this new collection?
I decided to call the album Human before I even wrote the title track. I felt that was the vision God had given me for this album early on—that it would be relatable, filled with songs people could identify with. As human beings we all experience loss, joy, times of questioning, etc. “Human,” the song, discusses the pressure I tend to put on myself to be "perfect," when in reality I will never be perfect apart from Jesus. His grace for me at the cross and His resurrection ALONE make me "good enough," not my works, my striving, my solutions. I wrote “Human” with the hope that we would all be able to take a deep breath and let go of the pressures life throws our way and accept the grace freely given to us from Jesus.
Were there any songs that were particularly challenging to write or record?
“Run The Race” was a challenging one vocally! Some of the notes are REALLY high! On a more serious note though, it was tough to record “Sailing,” the song I wrote for my grandma. She passed away the day we recorded the demo vocals—some of which are still on the final track. I didn't know she would pass that day, so when it came time to record final vocals later, it was surreal.
Which track are you most excited for listeners to hear and why?
I'm honestly so excited for listeners to take in the whole album. It's a collection, an experience. Particular favorites for me are “Sailing,” “Umbrella” and “You and I.”
If there is one message you hope people take away after listening to this album, what would it be?
I want listeners to know that yes, life happens—the good and the bad. However, it doesn't end there. We have hope in Jesus in the midst of it all! He has good in store for us despite our trials. We just have to wait it out and trust Him completely.
What do we have to look forward to from you coming in the second half of 2017?
I’ll be on tour with Jaci Velasquez from mid-September through mid-October, then I’ll be doing a Christmas tour in December. In other words, I’m staying busy on the road! You can see my tour schedule at hollystarrmusic.com.