Holly Holden studied music and performance at schools in London and Cornwall. She began song-writing at university in Bristol, playing folk-inspired songs at open mic nights. As a student of languages and cultural anthropology Holly lived in Berlin and Ecuador, where she collaborated with musicians of many different styles, from Ugandan rapper Abba Lang, to the marimba band of Esmeraldas.
In 2012 Holly formed a collaborative project X Planet with Cuban rapper Alayo Style. Their album Xistence, recorded in Santiago de Cuba with reggaeton producer Kiki Pro, combined reggae, rock, blues, bolero and hip hop to kisomba, and was well received in Cuba and London.
In Summer 2013 Holly toured throughout Europe with dubstep producer Mala for live performances of his ‘Mala in Cuba’ album at festivals including WOMAD, Worldwide Festival, North Sea Jazz and Fiesta des Suds. In 2014 she joined Johnny Flynn and The Sussex Wit, singing and playing percussion and harmonium on a headline European tour and at several UK festivals including Glastonbury.
Holly joined forces with drummer David Beauchamp and guitarist Frank Clarke in 2014. Inspired by Holly’s many musical collaborations, this colourful trio combine bitter-sweet pop tunes with Caribbean rhythms in a deliciously danceable fusion they call Tropical Soul. Holly Holden y Su Banda have performed at international music festivals in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, in New York night clubs, at London’s best independent music venues and at festivals like Tropical Pressure and Green Man. They have also recorded and self-produced a 5 track EP set for release in Spring 2017.