Nashon Holloway will play Saturday night at 9 p.m. at Union Cabaret & Grille in downtown Kalamazoo.
“My mother had a recording contract that she turned down with Columbia Records when she was about my age. They essentially said that she couldn’t give a lump sum of her paycheck to her mother, and she started realizing that this probably wasn’t the business for her because family was the most important thing," she remembers.
Her mother - and family - are still supportive of her career.
"She really believes in my talent and I’m thankful for that but at the same time she want to make sure that I’m able to support myself,” Nashon says of her mother.
Holloway’s music is a mix of rock, jazz, and soul. Born and raised in Kalamazoo, she’s concentrated on channeling her passion for singing and songwriting since childhood. In college she participated in a few singing ensembles and formed her first group, The Blend. The group was short-lived, but she was able to create her own rock and soul sound, as heard in the song "Easy Go."
After graduating from WMU in 2012, Holloway found herself in a series of odd jobs – from working at grocery stores to hemming pants - in order to support herself to devote time to her passion.
“When I worked at Meijer on my lunch breaks I would go practice singing in the bathroom or I would practice dancing in the fertilizer aisle because I knew there wouldn’t be a lot of traffic because it didn’t smell so great," she remembers. "I look back on it now and I’m like, ‘Wow, I’ve always wanted this.'”
She created her current group Nashon Holloway and the Soul Messengers in 2012 and spent this past year performing covers and original music around the region, all of which has helped to find her hook in and out of the studio. Within her music you can hear her mulling over the changes in her post-grad life, as she references in her song, 'Throwin' Stones.'
“I wrote that – I think it was the first time that I got an apartment and I left my parents’ house and I was just trying to figure out which way do I go with my career, my life, my relationship and religion and all these sort of things," she says. "A lot of my songs from that time in my life revolve around that sort of message of just ultimately having to take a leap of faith.”
Holloway’s show tonight at Union Cabaret & Grille is going to be her last for a while. She’ll be spending a few months in Dubai to work on a few music projects, and will perform again in the states this summer. She says she can’t wait to get started.
“I have so many songs that I write – I really don’t think I’m supposed to sing all of them, I think they’re for other people to," says Holloway. When I go over there I’ll just be taking off, really.”