Striker-Turned-Singer: Gavin Holligan Interview

It is often said that in life, when one door closes, another window of opportunity opens.  Never a truer word was spoken in the case of native South Londoner Gavin ‘Hollerz’ Holligan, the former Wycombe Wanderers and West Ham striker, whose premature departure from football gave him a chance to focus on his other great love: music. Alongside Lynden David Hall, Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis and Adele, Gavin is an alumnus of the renowned BRIT School. An autodidact pianist, Holligan received his first Casio keyboard at five years old and never looked back.

Fast forward nearly 25 years and Gavin is not only a sought-after session musician but a singer-songwriter, producer and entrepreneur currently doing the promotional rounds for his debut EP, We’re Coming.  Soul Culture joins him in the hustle and bustle of London Victoria Station to discuss his musical odyssey, including how he made the transition from full time sportsman to music-maker. Read more

Interview: Mary Mary on Grammy wins & an Entrepreneurial 2010

Twelve years ago if you were to tell sisters Tina and Erica Campbell that they would be three time Grammy winners, have a platinum selling debut album and three Gold certified albums, they would have probably laughed in disbelief. Gospel music rarely crosses over into the mainstream charts and any artist – regardless of their genre – is extremely lucky to have a career that spans over ten years. “Sometimes I look around and I have to pinch myself to believe that this is really happening. Did I really achieve all this?” says a very humbled Erica, one half of acclaimed gospel duo Mary Mary.

She begins to reminisce, “Tina and I use to share a tiny apartment, so when I look back it amazes me how far we’ve come. I have to thank God for all he has done for us, he has really blessed us and for that I’m truly grateful.” With the guidance of producer Warryn Campbell, Tina and Erica were making a name for themselves in the late '90s within the Gospel music scene. But it was 2000’s hit “Shackles (Praise You)” that put the duo on the map and broke them into the mainstream market. “I had no idea the single would be that huge” she says. Performing under the name Mary Mary, the single was a huge success on both sides of the Atlantic and their debut album Thankful - released later that year - went Platinum.

A decade later and five albums down the line the singers are still going strong and staying relevant in today’s music scene, with the last twelve months being one of their most successful years to date. Read more