Event Details

J. Holiday - Underrated Tour at Woodlands Tavern
Sat August 17, 2019 8:00 pm
Woodlands Tavern
All Ages
$35.00 - $75.00
There are no mirrors or tricks here, no sleight of hand. When J. Holiday talks earnestly of “following my dreams” and “being in love with music,” it’s not a deliberately sympathetic portrayal by a partial writer. In fact, J.’s talent is matched -in rarity and intensity—only by his enthusiasm. His candor and vulnerability are refreshing, given the static, formulaic state of R&B. The question most are asking, though, is where did J. Holiday come from? 
The answer is short, but runs deep: D.C. And while D.C.’s trademark sounds breed musicianship- “so many talented cats playing go-go or in church”—the city remains untapped. But it’s home, and home, for J. Holiday, is where the art is. He was born into a musical family; mother Frances, one of 11 siblings, sang gospel with her 5 sisters, while his older sister supplied backing vocals for Crystal Waters. “Music was always around me and I just wanted to do it,” he recalls. But his first performances were as much coercion as inspiration: “When I was nine, ten years old, my older male cousins would always tell me to sing to girls passing by on the street. It was later that I realized they were exploiting me.” So by age ten, J. Holiday was finding his voice. Within a year, however, he was struggling to find his way. “My Pops died when I was eleven,” he states flatly. “He was sick and didn’t tell anybody. Not even my Mom. She never knew what was going on until he died.”
“A lot of people think he’s still alive because of the way I talk about him,” Holiday segues. “A lot of the struggling that I’ve been through was because of that situation. Nobody was prepared for it. My mom, that’s my best friend. But looking back, everything happens for a reason. That’s what got me here.”
Picking up the pieces, the remaining family bounced around the D.C. area; J. attended three different high schools in four years. “On top of not having my father, it was harder for me because my mom was a preacher,” J. admits. “So I knew I couldn’t go to her about certain things. It was like trial and error; I had to learn a lot on my own, and that’s how I ended up messing with the streets. And the streets actually kept me from going down the wrong path. People always assume that the hood is going to steer you wrong. I always had people in the hood, to this day, who wanted to keep me out of trouble. They couldn’t be my dad, but they told me what it was: advising me to think, to be smart.”