Greg Holden, Shwa Losben, KTL
500 4th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107
This event is 21 and over
Greg Holden is an accomplished musician with a myriad of talents, but his unending perseverance, selflessness, and sincerity stand out.
The British-raised, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter has garnered recognition as an independent artist for the past several years and is likely best known for writing American Idol winner Phillip Phillips’ hit debut single, “Home,” which sold over five million copies in the U.S. and earned Holden an ASCAP Pop Award. His music has also been featured on notable television shows including Sons of Anarchy, Private Practice, and One Tree Hill. In addition to receiving praise from industry staples such as Cher, Josh Groban, Sara Bareilles, Michael Bublé, Zane Lowe, TIME, NPR, BuzzFeed, and more, Holden has worked to prioritize philanthropy and establish his profile as a socially conscious artist. Standout track, “The Lost Boy,” raised over $50k for the Red Cross, and the acceptance anthem, “Boys In The Street,” directly benefited LGBTQ youth through the Everyone Is Gay organization. Tom Hanks also hailed it “The perfect song.”
Despite his impressive accolades, Holden nearly gave up on the music business in the early days of his career. After self-funding his Tony Berg-produced sophomore album, I Don’t Believe You (2011), the label due to release it folded. He then went into debt during a sold-out tour of Europe, so much so that he almost called it quits while on the road. Most artists would have thrown in the towel at this juncture, but Holden decided to persist in spite of these setbacks, leading to the well-deserved success of “Home.” From there, he self-funded his third studio album, the critically acclaimed Chase The Sun (produced by Greg Wells, 2015), later releasing the record via Warner Bros Records.
After nearly three years, Holden jumped back in the ring with his impressive new single, “On The Run,” produced by the legendary Butch Walker (Katy Perry, Panic! At The Disco, Weezer). The uplifting anthem is complete with catchy hooks that seamlessly mesh with Holden’s strong, heartfelt vocals. “ ‘On The Run’ is one of a few songs that was bouncing around in my head when it came to the question of what to lead with after several years on the dark side of the moon,” says Holden. “Ultimately, this song felt like the most authentic, whilst at the same time not being so typically subject heavy that I would scare my listeners away.”
“ ‘On The Run’ is an apology, obviously. But it’s an apology to a number of people, for a number of things,” he adds. “For years I’ve been on the road, either emotionally or physically absent, and at times, probably a nightmare for partners, friends, and family. I wanted to write something that in a way, said sorry for all that. A way to relinquish some of the guilt perhaps.”
“The Power Shift” follows “On The Run,” and the political earworm is one of Holden’s most important efforts to date where he calls out the inequality many Americans endure at the hands of those in power. It’s upbeat and catchy, yet meaningful and relevant, and an example of how the intersection of music and politics can be a tool to incite change. “I was trying to manifest a collective call on the, for lack of a better word, bullshit. I think it’s important that when someone is lying to you, you call them out,” says Holden. “I was getting tired of screaming into the social media echo chamber and really wanted to put my frustrations into a song that wasn’t so toxic. I’m under no illusion that this is just a song, but it’s better than a tweet,” he notes.
Similarly, Holden’s third effort, “Something Beautiful,” implores his listeners to cultivate positivity during negative times. Although the current climate can be disheartening, the message of the track is to always look for the silver lining. “This song was born in a brief moment of clarity, in a time when I was hellbent on writing the angriest songs I could. It feels like I’m talking to myself, actually,” he says.
Needless to say, Greg Holden is an artist to watch, with his forthcoming album expected in the coming months. Stay tuned for more news to come.
Originally from Philadelphia, Shwa Losben is a Bay Area transplant whose indie-folk style has garnered comparisons to Elliott Smith and Neil Young.
On his upcoming release You Would Have Loved It, Losben blends intricate stories with elements of Britpop and 90s rock. At times gut wrenching, at times hopeful, it’s a tribute to the people who move in and out of our lives, and the permanent impressions they make.
The album’s sparkly, layered production marks a leap forward while preserving the hallmarks of Losben’s previous efforts: earworm melodies and sophisticated songwriting.
A Bay Area native, KTL is a singer/songwriter who has been writing and recording his own music since 2017. Originally trained as a classical guitarist, he writes modern indie songs with a focus on fingerstyle guitar and layered loops, taking inspiration from artists such as Ben Howard, Jose Gonzalez, John Mayer, Andrew York and others. He plans to release his self-produced debut EP later in 2019.
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