Community//

Rising Star Judah Holiday: “Diversity brings about new dynamics that maybe haven’t been done before; Life is diverse, people are diverse, why wouldn’t that be represented?”

Everyone should have an opportunity to shine despite their ethnicity. Diversity brings about new dynamics that maybe haven’t been done before. Life is diverse, people are diverse, why wouldn’t that be represented? The end. Miami-based singer/songwriter Judah Holiday delivers a timeless breed of pop music full of infectious melodies and hypnotic beats, a dynamic that makes […]


Everyone should have an opportunity to shine despite their ethnicity. Diversity brings about new dynamics that maybe haven’t been done before. Life is diverse, people are diverse, why wouldn’t that be represented? The end.


Miami-based singer/songwriter Judah Holiday delivers a timeless breed of pop music full of infectious melodies and hypnotic beats, a dynamic that makes every track instantly euphoric. On his forthcoming debut LP, that warm and breezy sound serves as a backdrop for his deeply reflective lyrics — and ultimately turns his unflinching honesty into something powerfully life-affirming. The lead single from Holiday’s debut, “Good Life” brings his nuanced songwriting to a piano-laced and impossibly sunny track sparked from a 2018 stint in rehab. “I started taking Adderall as a kid because I was a terrible student, and after a while it just became a part of me,” says Holiday. “I basically grew up thinking that I needed medication in order to do well in life.” Co-produced and co-written by Kevin Rudolf (the singer/songwriter/producer known for his four-times-platinum hit “Let It Rock”), “Good Life” brilliantly counters the bleakness of rehab with the brightness of sobriety — a contrast brought boldly to life in the song’s riveting video. Growing up in the Bronx, Holiday began playing drums at age seven, then moved on to guitar in order to explore his natural affinity for melody. After writing his first song at age 14, he steadily built up a body of work showing the strength of his melodic talents, and later began gigging at iconic venues like CBGB Gallery. Although he quickly became a regular on the Lower East Side scene, Holiday increasingly longed for a change of pace, and in 2011 relocated to Miami. With his surroundings igniting an intense fascination with electronic dance music, he then immersed himself in studying production and introduced a whole new vitality into his sound. He also soon crossed paths with Rudolf, after serendipitously buying a guitar from his fellow New York native. “I played him some acoustic versions of songs of mine, and he ended up digging them, and now we work together almost every day,” Holiday says. As his artistry has evolved over the years, Holiday’s music remains rooted in a classic sense of song craft (largely inspired by his lifelong love of artists like James Taylor and Neil Young) and — above all — his undeniable intuition for unforgettable melody. “Usually the melodies come to me at the most unexpected times, like waking up from a nightmare at 3 a.m. or being out at breakfast with a bunch of friends,” Holiday points out. And by rigorously following those instincts, he continually channels a feel-good energy into even the most vulnerable material. “I started making music because I had a lot of trouble expressing myself, and songwriting was a way for me to speak my mind without interruption,” says Holiday. “Today I still just write based on what I’m feeling in the moment, and if it ends up connecting with people and makes them want to sing along, then that makes me happy too.”


Thank you so much for doing this with us Judah! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Growing up in the Bronx, I began playing drums at age seven, then moved on to guitar in order to explore my natural affinity for melody. After writing my first song at age 14, I began gigging at iconic venues like CBGB Gallery.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

I failed school miserably and was on top of the world when making music. It was a very clear career path.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I bought a guitar from Kevin Rudolf, which led us to eventually becoming friends and working together. Funny enough, the other day Kevin gave me one of the Les Pauls he played many times on stage, which poetically brought our meeting full circle. A testament to how close we’ve become.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Rehearsing for a big performance at the end of this year (still can’t say what, but soon!), promoting my new album ‘Feelings in My Head’.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Everyone should have an opportunity to shine despite their ethnicity. Diversity brings about new dynamics that maybe haven’t been done before. Life is diverse, people are diverse, why wouldn’t that be represented? The end.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Things take time to Occur — Be Patient.
  2. Don’t believe everyone. Some people just want your money.
  3. Set realistic goals for yourself.
  4. Practice your craft everyday so when you get a surprise appearance for something huge, you are ready. That does happen.
  5. Enjoy the process.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Don’t strive. Just Do. In time, with hard work and a good life balance you’ll see things come to fruition.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

In Judaism, it’s customary when a person passes away that during the 7 days of mourning, usually someone sponsors a meal at the mourner’s home so they don’t have to worry about cooking. I think hunger and thirst is the worst feeling and if there were a way to get all 7 billion of us to donate $0.50 per month to help the hungry, we’d have a big fund right there for food. A lot of people would be satiated.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My Parents have supported my music career for my entire life. They wanted me to be happy first and they were willing to take this ride with me and it’s actually paying off!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“This Too Shall Pass” — struggling to get through an addiction is rough and my manager’s mom uses this saying. He wrote it to me one day and it stuck in my mind ever since.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Larry David — I love his wit and humor and he seems like he’d be pretty pretty pretty good to have a breakfast with 🙂

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@judahholiday on Instagram and /judahholiday on most other platforms.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Rising Star Joe Logli: “If I could inspire a movement, that would help the greatest amount of people, it would be to promote clean energy, and discourage the use of fossil fuels, and other sources of energy that harm our environment”

by Yitzi Weiner
Community//

Rising Star Filmmaker Kathy Kolla: “We need to keep up the momentum of diversity on-camera and behind-the-camera in entertainment”

by Yitzi Weiner

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.