Where do you want to be? If it’s kicking back with your buds, this California pop-country trio of brothers will put you there.
You’d think the three DeLaura brothers might have too many sibling issues to pull off such a genial trio as Holiday State. The easy vibe and relaxed charm they exude make sense when you find out they grew up in a musical family in California’s Orange County. The boys — Brandon, Brett, and Bryan (yeah, their mom really did that) — spent their childhoods in Rancho Santa Margarita, in a house on old country land where the Oregon Trail once passed, where their parents encouraged their creativity, and where music was a constant.
Today they credit Old Dominion, Kane Brown, Rascal Flatts, FGL, Brett Young, Sam Hunt, Backstreet Boys, Morgan Wallen, Boyz 2 Men, Alan Jackson, and Keith Urban as some of their musical influences. Growing up, they individually listened to an eclectic mix: Brandon gravitated to R&B and hip-hop, Brett to pop and disco, and Bryan to punk and alternative. They came together musically when they discovered a shared love for country and started going to weekly line-dancing gatherings and attended Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California.
The special something in their look and sound surely has something to do with the fact that they’re brothers and also their mixed heritage: Their father is from Honolulu and instilled in them an appreciation for their Hawaiian culture; their grandmother and the boys’ aunts were professional hula dancers on Oahu. A bit of aloha spirit does seem to pervade their music.
As Holiday State, the brothers have released four singles: “Friday Feelin’,” “Steal the Thunder,” “Sun up Sun Down,” and “Cut Me Loose.”
We talked with the DeLaura brothers about the new video for the new single “Where I Wanna Be” and making music together as Holiday State.
Cowboys & Indians: What was it like growing up in California? What was your first memory of getting into music?
Holiday State: Growing up in California was really cool. We lived in a suburb called Rancho Santa Margarita, about an hour south of Los Angeles and 25 minutes inland from the beach. It was nice because we could travel to the ocean and the mountains in the same day. Our first memories of music were attending family get-togethers and watching our grandma and her five sisters perform the hula. They were professional hula dancers on Oahu for many years. We always had great parties with lots of food and lots of island music.
C&I: Tell us about the inspiration and writing process behind your upcoming single, “Where I Wanna Be.”
Holiday State: We wrote “Where I Wanna Be” prior to the pandemic, as a tribute to the most important people in our lives, and it took on a whole new meaning due to Covid. We hope it’ll give people listening an escape, to put themselves in a place where they “wanna be” during these crazy times. Everyone can relate to the feeling that it doesn’t matter where we are, but as long as we’re together, we can get through this.
C&I: How does being siblings affect the way you write songs together?
Holiday State: We know our strengths and weaknesses, so where one of us lacks, the other makes up for. Brett is very conceptual and has great ideas to write about. Bryan is very melodic-based and brings those super-catchy melodies to life, and Brandon is the more lyrical one and adds that R&B feel to our sound. Being siblings, people always ask if we argue and fight through the process, but with us it’s different. We’ve always gotten along well, and that’s how it’s been since childhood.
C&I: What do you hope 2021 will look like for Holiday State?
Holiday State: The ultimate goal is to get under a label, work with more songwriters and producers, and possibly collaborate with other artists on a couple of songs. We’d also like to get our music on the radio and get started on our first full-length album.