by Jennifer Taylor in Leading Hearts Magazine
All relationships can be tough to navigate, but that is only amplified when you are struggling through the confusion with no one to confide in.
This is a snapshot of feelings that recording artist HOLLYN experienced in a relationship that, in all honesty, ended in heartache and grief. That season and afterward inspired her to write six songs — the culmination of her current album Bye, Sad Girl.
“Bye, Sad Girl is all about stories. Mainly, my story of when I walked through a pretty rough time in my life almost two years ago.
I went through a six-month period where I was in a relationship that was very confusing and crippled me with a lot of anxiety and depression. I really didn’t know how to talk about it at that time,” HOLLYN says.
“I remember feeling so isolated and like nobody could really feel what I was feeling. I had never been through anything like that before. It was so different and new to me that I kind of felt crazy.”
HOLLYN wants everyone who feels alone in these situations to know there’s a God who loves them. She started writing the songs about six months after the relationship ended but knew they were nothing like her other recording projects — because all of the emotions of her journey were just spilling out.
“I wanted these songs sung to me when I was in that situation. I didn’t have that,” she says. “It’s dark. It’s lonely. [These girls and guys] just need someone to give them a hug while it’s going on. This whole project is about connecting with people through pain, through grief, through the process, and allowing them to share their stories based on what they’re going through right now or what they went through five years ago.”
Now, as a newlywed, HOLLYN was able to work on the project in collaboration with her husband, Dillon. She notes his creativity inspires her, and they were able to each share their giftings in collaboration for the project.
“He obviously knew about this part of my story and the break up that I had gone through and how it was a very identity-shifting time for me. So, we had talked about it before. I said, ‘I have these six songs. What would you think about me doing this project, releasing these songs out one at a time and just being able to share my story in detail?’” she says.
“I think every song deserves to be heard at a level that you could promote and really share the story behind each one.”
A Greater Vision
Through networking with Dillon’s friends, the couple connected with artist Alexis Franklin. As the result of multiple phone conversations, Alexis was able to bring HOLLYN’S vision to fruition. Then, a graphic artist took it one step further into animation for the videos.
“I love all of them, but especially “I Don’t Know If We Can Be Friends.” The art for that song is a guy standing pretty close to a girl. The only thing connecting the two is thread that spells out stress that the girl cuts with scissors,” she says.
“I had never seen that image of the scissors actually cutting that thread. When I saw that, I just thought, Oh my, this is so powerful. It’s going to speak to so many people—with all the stories that have been shared.”
Through her experiences, HOLLYN also learned to start drawing healthy boundaries with people, and that eventually led to a healthy relationship and marriage. She was walking through the process in a gracious, loving way with friends, family, a counselor and trusted people in her life. She started seeking how she could be the best version of herself for her and others in her life.
“When I met my husband, we started by becoming friends, talking, and eventually started dating. I had to be very honest with him because there were times that I was extremely afraid and I would question, ‘Am I supposed to be dating this person?’ I had all these traumatic feelings that played back, not because of anything he had done, but just remembering my last relationship,” she says.
“Being honest with the person you are in a relationship with is key, and communication, because I could have just inwardly gone crazy.”
“The right person is going to accept you and everything you have gone through the past and say, ‘Hey, that doesn’t scare me. I see you. I know who you are.’ [My husband] was such an influential part of me coming to healing and just understanding what true love is and what that love honestly is supposed to look like,” she says.
With the release of Bye, Sad Girl, HOLLYN is working on a tour and continuing to write new material. “Stuff is just pouring out of me right now. It’s been such a beautiful season and I’m just so excited for these new songs to point people in the direction of healing. That’s what I want to do with my music.”
To follow the lastest with HOLLYN, follow her on her YouTube channel, social media and iamhollyn.com.
Get this issue, available now at leadinghearts.com