Taking a Holiday
By Jeffrey Epstein
Debby Holiday may not be a household name just yet, but the odds are if you�ve been to a club this summer, you have heard her single �Dive� played on a regular basis. Holiday, the daughter of musician Jimmy Holiday (who cowrote songs like �Put a Little Love in Your Heart�), has a deep soulful voice that resonates on her tuneful rock album Half A Mile Away, and in the dance version of �Dive,� which shot to #5 on the Billboard dance charts. We sat down with Debby, who performs October 2 as part of the Kingdom party during the Gay Days at Disneyland, for a chat about her transition from rock clubs to discos.
You�re a really soulful rocker. What (or who) inspired you to make the transition to dance diva?
Well, I have to say it was a group effort. I spent the better part of 2003 portraying �The Blues Singer� in the award�winning play The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife, written by the undeniably talented Del Shores. He called me up one day looking for music for his new movie. He wanted a dance track. I went looking through my songs and came up with �Dive,� which I had written about a year earlier. I emailed an MP3 to him and to my PR guru, Andrew Briskin. Andrew all but insisted that it needed to be a dance remix. Next thing I knew, it was in the hands of Chris Cox, Scotty K, and Scott Anderson of Solar City. They all were very excited�so I said, �Damn, let�s do this thang!�
Did you ever think ahead of time that �Dive� would turn into a big, summer anthem?
[Laughs] The only indication I had was the title that Chris Cox chose: �Dive�Chris Cox Club Anthem.� The fact that he deemed it �Anthem� gave me a great feeling. But, honestly, I have been amazed, thrilled, and, yes, even a bit surprised by the overwhelming response to it.
Did you have a lot of gay fans before?
Wow�I don�t really know if I had a lot. I have several gay friends who turn up at my rock/soul shows, so I guess I never really made the distinction when looking into the audience.
What�s the difference between playing a regular gig and playing a gay club or event?
Well, for me the only difference is I have the pleasure of witnessing a beautiful display of sweaty, shirtless men singing along with me and reaching up to grab my hands. Love that! [Laughs]
What made you want to perform during the Gay Days at Disneyland?
Oh, well�who wouldn�t want to play at �The Happiest Place On Earth�? It just seemed like the easiest thing in the world�a park full of joy�I�m in! I, like most folks, still get a thrill when I think of the wacky world of Walt and all the fun and fantasy he created so many years ago.
What's your favorite Disneyland ride?
�It�s a Small World� because the sheer insanity of it�is mesmerizing. You just don�t get more Disneyland than that.
Who is your favorite Disney character?
Easy: Goofy. I relate to him. That should give you some insight to my nature. [Laughs]
What do you think surprises people most when they meet you?
Honestly�what I hear the most is �Wow, you�re so nice and uh... normal.� I suppose a lot of singers feel the need to separate themselves from others. I am just the opposite. To me, the whole idea of doing a show or singing a song is to communicate, and I don�t think that communication should end when you step off the stage. I mean, that�s the whole point of life: exchange with others, affirmation of our existence. And that�s not easy to do if you�re not open and accessible to those around you.
Would you want to sign with a major label or do you prefer doing your own thing?
I�ve been thinking about that lately. If the major deal was right, I would think about it. Right, meaning, musical freedom to be who I am, sing about what turns me on and makes me tick�not someone else�s vision of me. Otherwise, I�ll be perfectly happy to keep on doing it my way, with or without a major nod.
What�s up next for you?
Well, I�ve been so busy with �Dive.� I�m not complaining! I would like to get back to a little more writing over the holiday season, but, most importantly, the next dance single is on the way! It�s in the works as we speak. I can only hope to be equally blessed with a little bit of love from the universe on the next release as well. [Laughs] I�m such a hippie. And, I�ll be singing �Dive� and the next track around the country�and beyond�in the coming months while also promoting Half a Mile Away. Guess there�s not a lot of TV couch time in my immediate future. And that�s damn cool with me.