Having discovered a blue guitar-shaped paperclip resting on top of his bag after a tennis match in 2013, Holdyn Barder’s journey to Nashville has been nothing short of magical from day one.
Fast-forward a few years and the Bucks County, PA, native packed up his bags and left for Nashville in 2019, leaving a potential career path as a physicist behind. He’s now working very hard to make his childhood dreams of being a country star come to fruition.
The seasons are changing … the clocks are falling back … what are some of your favorite trips to take this time of the year with Myko?
For those of you who don’t know, Myko is my five year old Bernedoodle! Unfortunately, he is currently in Pennsylvania with the good ole family while I work hard down here in Nashville. But if Myko were around, I would certainly love to take him to Percy Priest and Long Hunter State Park. There’s some hidden gems in and around Nashville. He loves the outdoors so anywhere he can run around and be a dog! I like taking trips to Brentwood or Franklin as well. Back in Pennsylvania where I’m originally from, the trees are always so colorful this time of year and he always get dirty by running around the yard and creek at out house!
You posted, “Life is an echo. What you send out — comes back. What you sow — you reap. … Radiate and give love — and love comes back to you.” Finding positivity this year has been difficult. Where do you find it when you need to step back from 2020 and recharge?
I am someone who always tries to see the good in everyone. I do believe most people are good and that the power of social media brings people together, but it also pulls people apart. I think this year was a reminder for all of us to have 20/20 vision — it woke us up to discovering and learning about ourselves and others. It’s hard to find the positive in a sea of negativity, or what appears that way. By focusing on your own gratitude for the small things in your life, you begin to realize that things aren’t as bad as they seem. God is good. For me, songwriting and taking time for myself outdoors or even dedicating “me-time” have all been ways for me to recharge. Actually, listening to music is my recharge. It’s so funny — as an artist and a songwriter, you get caught up in the small things about your own music that sometimes you think to yourself, “Man, when was the last time I listened to this artist or that artist?” I’ll always be a fan at heart!
Out of the Fight (2020) - IMDb
US Army Sergeant Jason Pate returns home after several tours of duty in Afghanistan. Struggling to cope with life at…
“Out of the Fight”. What was it like being part of the film about an Army Sergeant struggling to cope with life at home after a deployment?
I was presented the opportunity to be a part of this film a little over a year ago. The director, Steve Moon, needed a bar scene with a country singer in the background and I was the guy for it! I sang an unreleased original called “Gotta Start Somewhere” that I wrote with my co-writer Josh Wolfe. It was my first time being a part of a movie and it felt good knowing I could be a part of a campaign to help raise awareness for veteran suicide. The movie will move you completely. It is an issue that is not discussed heavily that deserves to be shown. It’s available on many streaming sites like iTunes. Hit me up on my social media and I’d love to chit chat with each of you about it!
(DELUXE) "It's All Love" Faith Hoodie | Bonfire
Grab your limited edition (DELUXE) "It's All Love" Faith Hoodie merchandise before the campaign closes. Featuring Black…
Brand new official merch store. What’s your favorite item in the store?
The (DELUXE) “It’s All Love” Faith Hoodie is my favorite item! On the front is a cross and the phrasing “it’s all love, y’all.” The back has another lyric from the song, “just sayin’…” that is written on the back too. I designed everything and I am really proud of the pieces. Heck, maybe I should get into the fashion industry, ha! Just kidding. But feel free to check out the merch store and let me know which one is your favorite! Look out for new items!
Stepping fans through the writing process on an Instagram Live. Showing fans the step-by-step helps them to understand what goes into the creation of a song. You are currently finishing up a music business degree at Belmont University. Putting down goals in a business plan helps an artist plan ahead in their careers. How has the business side of country music changed with the constraints the pandemic has placed on it?
Certainly the pandemic has impacted the entire music industry, and I would argue that the music industry is one of the most impacted industries. Many labels and publishers have lost expected receivables but the industry has also overcome in the past, so I am not concerned. The businesses can’t be fueled without the creativity, so, with respect to country music, I think the pandemic has actually benefited creatives. Songwriters had the time to dig into themselves, artists could perfect their vocals — we had three months in the entire year to improve ourselves. I think the work that creatives have done throughout quarantine will show in months to come when new hit songs are being cranked out. As an artist, you are your own CEO. You need a business plan as an artist. While many would argue that COVID-19 has impacted live shows, I would argue that COVID-19 is an entrepreneurial opportunity to take advantage of social media and grow your organic engagement. We all have the time to engage with our supporters as artists, so why not sit down and talk to them? Leave nothing to chance.
“You’re Killin’ It”. You asked fans to share their first impressions after they listened to a sneak preview. Can you share some of their positive feedback?
They absolutely LOVE this song! It is their favorite so far. One of my fans from Long Island, Anne, told me that it’s the best song she has heard all year. Another one of my fans from Texas, Destiny, told me that she expects to play it at least twenty times a day. I put on a little Zoom concert a few weeks ago and the fans in attendance all surprised me and made signs with “Baby, you’re killin’ it” written on them. I was like, “Save them for when concerts come back!” I am beyond blessed for the people who follow my journey — it is rewarding to see how fun it is for them and it is just as fun for me, too! Music is supposed to be fun! If I’m not having as good of a time as they are, something’s not right. Being able to connect with the people who listen to my music is such a wonderful gift; you can’t take it for granted. Knowing there will be people with you every single step of the way is incredible. I’m blessed.
Recording the new single. Working on your production skills. Putting together the cover art. How does the art represent the song’s message?
I love this question — rarely do artists get asked about how the art has to do with the song. My friend Jordan Merrigan did the entire photoshoot and album art. The album art is dominant and confident I would say — the song describes what it’s like locking eyes with a woman for the first time. It has some heavy guitar riffs and stadium drums on there that really give that rock vibe. I really love the urban vibe of the artwork as well; it kind of gives it this thematic and seductive-esque flare that none of my others tracks have had. I am so excited to see the reaction to this song!
You said that this song is your most exciting song yet. What makes it so special for you?
This song truly feels like me. For the last year, I’ve been beginning to discover and pinpoint my voice, my sound, my brand. Throughout COVID-19, I really delved into myself as an artist and a writer, although I did not write this song, and I feel that this song is the best representation of the kind of music I want to record in my career. The minute I heard the demo I knew it needed to be cut. It’s special to me because not only is the production absolutely incredible (a big thank you to Chris Loocke), but I could hear myself listening to this song as a fan. If I can be a fan of my own music, that makes me one happy camper. Let me know what you guys think of the song as well!
EXTRA(ORDINARY) campaign. First, being ordinary. Second, doing something extra on top of the ordinary. Connecting to your journey as a rising country artist. Sharing your daily extras with fans. What inspired you to document your journey?
What inspired me to document this journey was the desire of wanting to not only tell my followers my work, but showing them. If you take steps every single day to do something extra on top of the ordinary, perhaps putting a reminder in your phone that asks, “Did you show up today?” you will see the results that come about. It could be ten pushups or reaching out to an old friend. Or even going to meet someone at a venue. It could be reading an extra chapter per day. Whatever it is that you choose daily will make sure that you are being extraordinary. How do I become extraordinary? By doing extra every day, which then compounds on itself come a year’s time. As an artist, I want to showcase my daily extras (plus it keeps me accountable) and it will also inspire other followers of mine to follow suit and become a better version of themselves. So, what’s your extra for today?