Hailing from Portugal, Miguel Oliveira – better known as Holly – has forged a sound that is all his own.. Drawing from a veritable melting pot containing a wide range of contemporary musical movements and styles, he then navigates your listening experience through a cacophony of superlative climaxes for maximal impact.. exactly the kind of thing a PK Sound system was built for!
At only 22 years of age, Holly has already signed music to prestigious labels such as Buygore, Fool’s Gold Records, Dim Mak Records, and Circus Records, and we couldn’t be more excited for him to make his Shambhala debut on the Amphitheatre this August.. Check out the set, and learn more by reading the interview below:
First off, tell us a bit about Holly. You’re from Lisbon, Portugal – correct?
Hey! Thanks for having me.
Yes, i’m from Portugal but not from Lisbon.. I was born in Caldas da Rainha (1 hour north of Lisbon) but I have been living in Lisbon for the last 3 or 4 years to study Sociology (this year i made a break in my studies tho).
About Holly – I’m still looking to discover who I am, both as an artist and as a person, so that’s a difficult question to answer.
What is it that turned you on to bass music, and production? Are there any landmark artists in particular from your area that we might know of, that acted as noteworthy inspirations to you?
I always felt the need to express myself, a desire to find something that gave me extra meaning to live life, where I might find an infinite happiness. So, making music seemed to me to be an appropriate outlet for all those feels, wants, and needs. Electronic music (in general, not just bass music) turned me on because I found that I could incorporate any musical style that I saw fit, without being restricted to just one instrument or sound. With electronic music, I can be my own drummer, violinist, guitar player and everything and beyond.
Some artists that definitely changed my mind & my way of looking at the world were Burial, Skrillex, Hudson Mohawke, Goldie, Nick Cage, Flying Lotus, Aphex Twin, Arca, Evian Christ, Kanye West, Clams Casino, ASAP Rocky, DJ Ride, Challenge, Floorpunch, Bjork, Diplo, The Glitch Mob and so many more…
Could you tell us a bit about the mix you’ve submitted? Any fellow Shambhala artists included – or names that folks might not have heard yet, but should be keeping an eye out for?
I like to make mixes the same way I like to live life – with dark and light elements present, unexpected ambience and beautiful soundscapes. This set is a mix of personal stuff that I’ve been listening in the past few weeks (Moody Good, Aphex Twin, Gesaffelstein, Camo & Krooked, Post Malone etc), along with songs that have been turning up regularly in my playlists for years.
I’ve got tracks from Excision, Ekali and Herobust on there – each of which will be playing Shambhala this year. I’ve also included unreleased music from myself, as well as exclusive collaborations with Sumthin Sumthin, who will also be performing on the Amphitheatre this summer.
Have you been to Canada before? Or heard much about Shambhala? Tell us what you may have heard about the festival before getting booked to come play, if you could..
This is going to be my first time performing in Canada, and also my first time in the country – so that makes it double special to me!
I’ve heard about Shambhala several times now – I recall the first mention coming from Whipped Cream roughly two years ago, when she told me about how the festival was her favorite gig ever. Since then, I’ve been making an effort to pick up on everything related to the festival.
I took note when I saw REZZ saying something on Reddit about how Shambhala was a life-changing experience for her. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that it is one of the most beautiful and best places on earth to be, and that the vibes there are incredibly unique – so I’m super excited to taste that experience.
Your Shambhala set this summer: when & where will you be playing, and what are you cooking up for it?
Last I heard, I’m playing on Thursday in the Amphitheatre. And there’s only one way to know what I’ve got in the works – be there to experience it!
How is your summer shaping otherwise? Any other performance plans that you are notably excited about?
Yes! I have a couple more USA shows over August and then I’m touring Australia in September.. Beyond that, there are a number of other things in the works, which are shaping up nicely!
One thing I was curious to hear more about was your experience playing the Low End Theory night in California.. How did that come about, and how did it go over?
That was unreal to me. I was chatting with edIT back in February (shout out to edIT!) when he asked me for a couple tracks to play in his Low End set.. I mentioned how much I respect the Low End Theory night, and how having my music heard there would be an honor. So… once I’d said that, he CC’d me into an email with Daddy Kev and we found a date that worked for me! Playing Low End Theory was such a special moment that during the set, I found myself wondering if I was dreaming or not..
Lastly, what else can we expect to see from Holly over the next year? Are there any fiery-hot forthcomings that we should be keeping track of?
Haha – I don’t even know what to expect from myself as far as tomorrow!
I just want to keep making as much music as I can, experimenting with different fields of art, doing good things in my path, meeting new artistic visions and being happy! Everything else is secondary.. But yes – expect new music from me over the next few weeks!