Holden: "I love being in the studio working on my songs"

Holden: “I love being in the studio working on my songs”

Holden in the final of Amici the victory of the critics' award went head to head with Marisol, the young dancer who ultimately won the recognition. But a Joseph Cartaas he was born, was awarded the Radio Prize, an important recognition for the career development of the Roman singer-songwriter.

The surname Carta is somewhat “challenging”. In fact, his father is Paolo Carta, guitarist and producer and husband of Laura Pausini. There is therefore “familiarity” with the music so much so that Joseph, born in 2000, started very young and already in 2019 published, like Holden, his first EP where he stood out for the single “If I was good with you”. But it's with the next oneNa Na Na” which reaches 50 million streams on Spotify.

In 2021 “Prologue” his first album which was followed by other singles until arriving in 2023 at the landing of Amici di Maria De Filippi, a talent that I saw him reach the final (second singer excluded on the final evening). With the talent come the different songs presented in the competition with which “La Tarma”, the same as, enters the stable Angelina Mango and with which Maneskin began, which produces and publishes “Joseph” his new EP of six songs.

Holden moves in the pop/urban field and already presents itself as well “structured”, so as to carry out careful work in writing and production, with a lot of autotune and which sees a feat with Gaia and a song, “Nuvola”, co-written with Angelina Mango.

We met him immediately after the Amici experience and on the eve of the release of the new work, the one closing the talent show.

How do you feel after Amici e alla eve of the release of a record?

After such a long experience everything is clearly fantastic. It was a period as beautiful as it was challenging. It's been an 8 month journey, so I'm really happy.

What purpose was Amici from a human and artistic point of view?

From a human point of view it helped me a lot, even from an artistic one, but I would say above all human, perhaps even more so. I believe That in the beginning there was a a bit of fear and the expectation of trying to do everything well. But then it was right. It was right to fall anyway in situations that were difficult to manage, small challenges. Clearly yes It puts a lot to the test, but I think that's exactly where I learned from. I learned this lesson of the must go on show, in the sense that I tend to put myself down a lot, and this helped me a lot. Friends, this teaches you that it's never the end of the world and indeed when you manage to get up from a fall you always learn something. It's a huge school, however every day we work and prepare the episodes, so month after month you see how much you can acquire and the training is a lot and everything is very demanding, but you come out with a really important baggage.

What record is that that just came out?
Joseph” it is a record that represents me, in its nuances, in the songs that compose it, even the cover has a quite important message, because in any case it is called with the my name, but my face is behind the microphone, precisely to underline this main message: who I am and what I like to do. I like making music, being in the studio behind at the desk, I like to participate in everything that represents the creation of a piece and the organization of a record. And then above all there is this factor of study. He often salts them they are underground, they don't have windows, so it is similar to a bunker. I've always been a bit of a “nerd”, laboratory, so I like it when I'm in a place so closed, soundproofed, cut off from the world. Paradoxically it makes me feel free at the same time. In fact the cover contains precisely this concept with a studio in the middle of nowhere.

How many of these songs are the result of Friends and how many are pre-Friends?
Actually all the pieces that make up the EP they were mostly done there, during school. Some were auditions, some needed work, some were finished, so the bulk of the work was done there.

You do everything, you are essentially a songwriter because you deal with the writing but also with the production, how you approach it to writing and working on every single song?

Very much for fun, in reality for me music is above all entertainment and certainly also a way of communicating. I would say that it varies from piece to piece. Often perhaps I start right from the production, from a musical idea. Other times Instead I start with words if I have an idea, an inspiration for a phrase, for a concept, for an image.

It's true that everyone is one in the end, but how generational do you feel?

Generational? I don't know, it's actually not a simple question, in the sense that clearly many of the values ​​and I necessarily have the characteristics of my generation. But for other reasons and aspects I don't feel so strongly about it. I think it's not easy to channel and categorize everything. I feel clearly part of my generation, but perhaps I also feel part of something else.

How much dad influences on your education, your creativity and about the making of the songs?

My father and my mother gave me a great fortune which was to grow up in music. SI'm just guitar, piano, drums the three instruments that I have found at home since I was little eqThis was fundamental. We are three male brothers who all grew up with a passion for music and the pleasure of doing it.

What does dad say?

He likes what I do. He's very happy that I do my own thing, have my own path and every now and then he comes out with a compliment. It always makes me so happy. He likes me to be the protagonist of my things. He respects my work and that there is passion behind it.

Give me three adjectives to define this album.

Emotional. Introspective. And maybe… “Joseph”, even if it's not an adjective because I've always waited, I've always dreamed of making a record, a project that was called with my name, that represented me in full.

How come you chose Holden as stage name?

It was a combination of events and times that coincided. I initially wrote in English. In the period following the writing of the first pieces in Italian, my brother recommended that I read the book “Young Holden” (written in 1951 by the American author JD Salinger). My brother Jacopo is an enthusiast, he always recommends new books to me, he is always the first person I contact if I have to buy some book, see a film, he is passionate about everything in art. Actually we are all three. He advised me to read this book and, from the first pages, there was a clear reference to the protagonist.

In November you will be on a club tour. What will you bring on stage? What approach will you have? Will there be a band playing?
I'm so happy to finally play live and there will be a band. Then we're organizing everything again, so that's it still in the embryonic stage, at the start. I will definitely sing and play the songs from the EP and even those of “Prologue”, my first album that came out with the Covid, so there had been no way to sing it live. I can't wait to play, because it's a part fundamental Of this job, a beautiful part and puts you even more in contact with the public and so I'm impatient.

You said you like being in the confines of the studio, so you don't afraid to go on stage? And what have your experiences already been?

I've always been more in the studio and missed the live experience. I missed being on stage and sing live with an audience and I definitely had everything to learn. And for this Amici was very important, it was a way to learn, to do many “firsts”. Above all, the most important lesson was learning to have fun and still try to balance emotion and clarity during the performance on stage. But it's not something that scares me, maybe it did at first, but now I feel more confident and calm. I will fully experience the tour and have a lot of fun. So from the live shows of the next experiences I expect this: live in the moment and have fun.

What do you expect for the future?

For the future I'm just thinking about writing new music and having fun doing it in the studio. I would really like to collaborate because it is a part that I miss in my experience and it is a way of growing.