After touring for years with her husband’s band, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Ellie Holcomb stepped out on her own in 2011 to much acclaim. Her first solo EP, “Magnolia,” charted that year, and subsequent works have been critical successes, which helped the singer with the honey-tinged voice earn the New Artist of the Year accolade at the 2014 GMA Dove Awards.
It’s not the first time she’s moved out of the shadow of a successful man in her life. Her father, Brown Bannister, is a renowned contemporary Christian music producer in Nashville, and she grew up in the industry. But Holcomb has said in the press she “set out to avoid the music business altogether” and swore she’d “never marry a musician.” Instead, she pursued a master’s degree in education.Obviously music was a calling too loud to ignore, and she eventually quit her job to tour full time with her husband. Since then, Holcomb has performed everywhere from faith-based The W Conference and Sparrow Conference to The Bowery Ballroom in New York City and Texas’ famed Austin City Limits Music Festival. “My stage presence is generally the same [in either arena],” she says. “I may be more selective with the ways I introduce songs when I’m in a secular venue, but my goal is to speak and sing the things God has shown me to be true.”
“I am always amazed by how music connects our stories. What an honor to get to perform and see your songs resonate with other people. I love hearing people’s stories after the show as well.”
After recently having her second child, she has taken some time off to be a stay-at-home mom. However, she will make appearances later this year at Agape Child and Family Service’s HeartLight 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee, and the annual “Drew & Ellie Holcomb’s Neighborly Christmas” in Nashville before heading to Kauai, Hawaii, next May for the Love Song Couples Getaway.
3 QUICK Qs WITH HOLCOMB:
What does music have that words don’t?
“Music has a way of sneaking in through the back door of our minds and speaking to our hearts in ways that words sometimes can’t. It’s an accessible, nonthreatening and beautiful way to carry the truth into our souls.”
Why does music matter at a large conference?
“It certainly helps set the tone for the entire event, drawing people’s attention from whatever they are coming from—whether that be exhaustion, pain or business.”
What are you working on next?
“I am letting more music come out. It’s a sweet season of getting to be home with my kids more and getting to write as well.”