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Friday, June 22, 2012


When I first heard "Dive" (Chris Cox remix) in a club eight years ago, I had to know who this diva was! Thus began my love affair, dj-wise, with Debby Holiday. Mention "Joyous Sound" to most gay men and they kvell! The Tony Moran/Warren Rigg mix of "Surrender Me" still sends chills up my spine. So it is a special pleasure to interview the one, the only, the fabulous ... Ms Debby Holiday!

Dj Buddy B: Debby, I've been such a big fan of yours since I first heard "Dive," so it's particularly sweet that you would do a Q and A for my blog in time for Pride. Thank you so very much! 

Debby Holiday: Aww, my pleasure!

DBB: What are your Pride plans, with so many Pride celebrations around the world? Will you be performing?

DH: Oh, yes indeed! I'll be at Seattle Pride this weekend! Can't Wait!  Lots of friends there AND I'll have a chance to hug Phil B,who's spinning!

DBB: You and Dj Phil are a winning couple, musically.  Love out to you both!

Debby, we adore you in NYC! Will you be doing a show here any time soon?

DH: Oh, bless you -- I tell ya,  I am WAY overdue for a NY show! Hmmm - gotta ask one of my agents about that. [laughs.] I will however, be performing at Cobalt in DC on July 14th and Rehoboth Beach at the Blue Moon on July 15th. Both venues are new to me, so definitely looking forward!

DBB: We will so be loving you once you get here!

It's so great to see you on the Billboard dance chart so frequently lately! You just had a top-ten charter with producer Phil B ("Never Give Up") and, now, your song with John LePage, "Key to Your Soul" is climbing up. You actually had two numbers on Billboard at once. How did that feel? And to what do you attribute this recent Billboard boost?

DH: Well, it took me about two weeks to even remember that! "Hey, wait a minute, is my name on two singles at once?" [laughs.]

Definitely a pretty cool feeling. I've been very blessed so far. Eleven singles all in the top 25! I attribute that to a lot of hard work AND working with great people! "Never Give Up"and all !! :)
DBB: Billboard said you straddle the fence between soul, rock and disco, yet you always seem outside the box. Could you tell us a little about your musical influences and background?

DH: Oh, very eclectic. From David Bowie and AC/DC, Janis Joplin to Tina Turner, Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Aretha Franklin ... and ... Chopin. My father had every possible kind of musician traipsing through our home as a child so I learned to appreciate and love a lot of different styles of music. Oh... and the first live show I saw ... Bette Midler!   

DBB: It is the rare dance diva who writes or co-writes most of her material, but you are one of them. How do you feel about that?

DH: My father [soul legend Jimmy Holiday who co-wrote "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" amongst others] wrote a few huge hits, so song writing is an honored art form in my heart and mind. It means a great deal to me -- to have the pleasure/honor of sharing thoughts -- especially the uplifting songs because I know music saved my life many times. [Mine, too, Debby. ~ Dj Buddy B] When I felt no one understood, music was my constant solace.

DBB: You did a fabulous, blow-the-roof-off cover of "Heaven," produced by LePage and LFB,  a classic 1990's club hit originally recorded by Sarah Washington. What was it like to tackle something that already had the status of this sort?

DH: Well, it was very odd at first. I mean, come on, Sarah Washington is amazing! So, I tried to stay true to her passion while making it my own. I had a blast and am really thankful John suggested the whole idea.  

DBB: It turned out wonderfully!

I'll ask you about other disco divas, now, if you don't mind. For example, Cyndi Lauper is NYC's grand marshal in our march this year. In July, I have the opportunity to see Nona Hendryx (of Labelle). Like you, she definitely is on the edge of the soul/rock/dance scene. In August, Martha Wash. I wanted to get your take on these women with powerful voices who, like you, have guided us to the dance floor and made us wanna sweat.

DH: Not much I can say except: all hail those beautiful women! Strength, grit, tenacity ~ adore each and every one of them!! It's a good thang to sweat! Ohhh, yes!!

DBB:  The club world has had some terrible losses recently; I'm referring especially to the deaths of Whitney Houston and Donna Summer. What effect did these events have on you?

DH: The loss of such powerful voices and spirits always makes me reflect on why we are here, how short our journey is and that we MUST try to cherish every minute. The ups -- the downs -- all of it! I will be forever in awe and grateful to the musical voices that were here with us ... lifted us up, gave us hope, made us dance, smile, FEEL Life.

DBB: Last questions. Care to comment on the President's stance on marriage equality? And anything special you'd like to shout out to your gay fans all over the world?

DH: I am SO proud of our President. It took a great deal of courage to be the first American President to say it! I know he lost a lotta Bible Belt folks over speakin' his truth. To my gay fans/friends, I say ... I love you! We are all equal, PERIOD! We will continue to spread a message of love and equality and strength and unity. One mind, one open heart at a time ... we Belong! Each and every one of us!

DBB: We love you, Debby. And thanks so much for your time and for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. Happy Pride and have a great summertime! You are beautiful, inside and out!

DH: Thank you for having me!  I feel very fortunate to know some delicious beings like yourself. Big ol' hug to ya!

Debby Holiday, available on iTunes. Support our artists that support us. Happy Pride to all! Good luck, Debby, in Seattle! xxxx!


  1. Awesome interview! Ms. Holiday is very cool!

  2. Great interview DBB; keep 'em coming!

  3. Major thanks! But it's the Answers that make the interviews, as you know, Johnny.