Interview: Holiday Sidewinder Gives Us The BTS Word On Her Juicy ‘Leo’ Clip
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Having delivered ‘Leo,’ one of the most infectious pop tracks of 2018, we thought we’d catch up with Holiday Sidewinder to talk about her vintage Versace-inspired clip for the track.

Addressing the double standards that women experience when it comes to the world of dating, normalising behaviour that for some reason has different implications based on your gender, encouraging strength and erasing shame – Holiday Sidewinder is clearly not afraid to examine the burning issues facing many women in the world today. However, expressing these ideas in a four minute bubblegum pop video is her true masterstroke.

Dropping a few weeks back, the clip, which was directed by Thom Kerr and conceptualised by Holiday, takes inspiration from shoots spied in 80’s Vogue Magazines. Using a crew of male models largely as props, the fierce singer is the centrepiece of the shots which offer a compelling visual reinterpretation of male and female roles within the music industry.

We were so in awe by ‘Leo’ we had to hear from the powerhouse herself – check out Holiday Sidewinder’s thoughts on the track and her forthcoming debut LP Forever or Whatever (coming soon) in our interview below:

Tell us what ‘Leo’ the track is about?

Leo no, doubt, is about fucking and promiscuity (I hate the connotations of that word, but that’s why I wrote the song) and all the double standards that entails for women. It’s was my personal experience following a big break up. I regained and strengthened my sexual agency and that’s what this is all about. It’s a celebration and a schooling.

There’s obvious messages of female empowerment lyrically, do you think pop music is a good/important platform for communicating such ideas?

Music a hugely sexist and male-dominated industry and yet songs and videos are the most powerful platforms we have for influencing society emotionally and philosophically, so YES, it’s the perfect place to communicate ideas about female empowerment. If your music reflects life, then it will no doubt, subtly or not, communicate ideas that ring true to you and others in your generation; capture a zeitgeist. If those ideas are embedded in melodies and rhythms that capture people’s spirits and attention en masse -then eureka! The struggles that I can communicate (with any kind of authority or experience) are mostly to do with relationships, impoverishment and sexism, so that’s what will reveal itself in my song

The track definitely has plenty of 80’s flavour to it. What sort of stuff were you listening to when you wrote it?

I have pretty eclectic taste, have a look at my weirdo playlists. I think for this track we were probably referencing some Tom Tom Club, The Cure, Paradise Garage + Studio 54 stuff. I was listening to a lot of Salt n Pepa and The Beastie Boys.

Tell us about the concept behind the clip?

I wanted it to be fun, cheeky and empowering (like the song) and eye-popping because – the internet. I was thinking of all the videos drenched in beautiful lady ass and tits grinding around fully clothed male artists. I wanted to continue a conversation that J.Lo, Eartha Kitt, Charlie XCX, Madonna and many others started, and flip the script. Challenge the eye.

I had saved one of Richard Avedon’s pictures from the 90s Versace campaign where Christy Turlington is clothed facing the camera and there is a nude man curled in to her side, and I thought there was something touching, classy and powerful about it. So the idea sprung from there and we just improvised on the day.

What’s the most difficult part about being surrounded by five adonis-like men?

Not getting distracted or shy, not looking at their naked flaccid penises! Haha! I was just very mindful of treating them with the professionalism and care that I would hope a male artist would treat 5 nude females on set! I wanted to set the bar high!

What is the best part?

Are you kidding? I was like a little girl in a candy store! I’d like to be all sass and bravado for you the way a man would about it, but you know what -aside from their magnificent bodies, which obviously take a lot of stamina and hard work to maintain – I have 5 new flaming hot, super sweet and supportive boyfriends now. We go hiking together. The dream! :-)

Your debut LP Forever Of Whatever is coming out soon. Can you describe it in a sentence?

Weird, Wild and Wonderful; imagine you’re on the “It’s a Small World After All” ride at Disneyland.

You’ve been touring with Alex Cameron for a while now. Is there anything you’ve learnt from him or the experience that you’ve adopted for your own shows?

The thing I take with me the most from Al Cam + Roy Molloy is a sense of liberation through humour, bravery, playfulness and recklessness. What you really hone is reading an audience and all the little tricks that excite people; timing, dynamics, where to use silence, interactions… It’s showbiz baby and we’re here to entertain you!

Alex’s crowd love the raw honesty of the lyrics, the ‘slightly’ fictional world of Al + Roy as business associates – their sharp wit, catchy choruses from Forced Witness, driving synth rhythms from Jumping The Shark and the dance moves! I’ll take a dose of those with me for sure. It’s in me now.

What else can we expect from Holiday Sidewinder in 2018?

SHOWS SHOWS SHOWS and I’d like to just stay super productive now this first LP is finally finished. I feel confident that the honey is flowing and I just got to put it in a jar for you. I’m also finalising touches on a really exquisite and beautiful album with Nick Littlemore for his Two Leaves collaborations project too that should be out sometime.

Words by Harry Webber September 18, 2018
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