I first met Hollyn at the K-Love Fan awards in 2014. She had just signed with the Diverse City family, so I did not recognize her as a usual member. But I was given the chance to talk to her and hear her story. The genuine encouragement and light that flowed from her was infectious as she spoke into me about how dreams can come true, and not always in the way you’d expect. I later learned that she briefly appeared on American Idol and has since soared to the top of the pop charts, and through it all she is a living witness.
Her first full-length album , One-Way Conversations, is an incredible representation of Hollyn’s heart. Not only are her lyrics and emotions truly relatable, but they are also in harmony with the music production. Knowing an artist in the Contemporary Christian category who is representing real feelings with real lyrics is so refreshing to me. Even more so, this music is QUALITY music.
Take a listen at this tremendous album (available on Spotify, iTunes, etc.) and read on for my interpretation.
The first word of this whole album, California, grabbed my attention right away. This song talks about going on the journey of life and how difficult it can be if we have nothing to believe in. The beauty of this song is the calming vibe and how it gives peace to the the anxious. The love of a Savior that is beyond the world and our human being is enough to feel like we can live.
“Some people gotta lose it all to find out what they really want.”
“Love With Your Life”
This song, the leading single from the album, was released at such an interesting time, when presidential candidates and running mates were being nominated for the 2016 primary elections. The nation was responding quite negatively. The message of this song was for people to act more out of love. In the midst in of all the chaos, Hollyn was practically shouting: “You want to see a change! You gotta love with your life!” That goes for our individual lives and who we are as a nation.
My favorite line is the one she subtly says,
“I wanna live intentionally in the light of eternity.”
This song came with a question mark. It actually sort of shocked me when I first heard it because it resonated with me so much as someone who loves to help others. When somebody you love is struggling or stuck in a cycle you want to ask the question to them “Isn’t it obvious?” Can you not see how you are doing the same thing, but expecting different results. Unfortunately, you cannot force anything, but you can try to be a strong voice of reason and encouragement. This does not only rely on any person’s responsibility, but there is a supernatural piece that allows those walls to actually collapse in anyone’s struggling heart and mind. It all starts with the WANT to be renewed and set free. The production of this song is a mixture between peacefulness and the sounds of all the noise that surrounds any similar situation.
“You can be free if you want to , but you keep running around in circles. I don’t think this is working.”
The key to this song could be about a majority of relationships: God, mother, father, sister, brother, boyfriend, girlfriend, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. It’s a healthy kind of love that overflows. The sounds in this song make you feel like you are on vacation enjoying the beauty of life with whomever it may be.
Favorite line of the millennials EVER…
“You got me in my feels, got me feeling some type of way.”
The title sold me right away. I knew it was going to be a vulnerable expression of her faith. And this love note to God was mesmerizing. The tranquil sounds of the piano and the other background variables take you to a place of surrender. The message is clear:
“I’m living in awe, ’cause you don’t need me at all, but you couldn’t love me more.”
“Party In The Hills,” ft. Steven Malcolm, Andy Mineo
That acoustic driven party song everybody needs on there playlist as a warm-up or cool-down. Seriously. It is a party song to just have a good time with. Featuring Steven Malcolm and one of my favorite/fiiyyer (fire) rappers Andy Mineo and the party is “drama free” and exclusive to those who have been there since the start.
“…only got room for my day ones.”
Immediately starting with a groove that gives you confidence, this song is about body image. All the flaws and insecurities that do not just translate to girls but boys too. However the reminder the of the truth of what God says you are and the different ways he proves that love is all we really need. The battle to be perfect and look perfect is still there, but so is the reminder that no matter what you are accepted.
“You call me lovely, and Imma soak in it.”
Motivating at first listen, you feel the like you are pacing yourself in a race. The message seems to symbolize distractions in life. For what may seem like dodging a “somebody” can also be translated to a something. Anything that can take us away from the truth, no matter how hard it seems to be. Supported by the background vocals of her team & label-mates that is Diverse City, the person is reminded that they are not alone in this battle of good and evil. As a motivator, the line…
“She don’t wanna talk to you. She gone wait for something true.”
keeps her from giving up or giving in.
The chord progressions of this song instantly struck me. With the soulful message about how getting into a relationship is not always a perfect fantasy. Thinking having a relationship was all she needed was a mistake. The high expectations turned out to be disappointments. The relationship seemed to have ended sadly, but it ends with words of strength. The engaging thing about this song is that the feelings are real.
“Baby I’m alright, It’s all in perfect timing. I know I’ll be alright. The sun will keep on shinin’ ”
Tree Giants starts us off with beckoning questions, trying to get to know the girl behind the artist known as Hollyn. The song has another cruising vibe. It is THE song that expresses the conflict of being human and being in the spotlight. From the way people past and present perceive you to things moving too fast and not getting to enjoy certain moments.
“What’s next? One Step. At a Time. Enjoy the ride.”
A high energy dance mix made by the remix kings themselves. If you just want to be free in the truth of how strong live is this is the joint for you!
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Connect with Hollyn:
Website : http://iamhollyn.com/