Laura Patiño is Holiday Mountain; a crazy, “in your face” persona whose colorful personality is only a cover for the vast intelligence and spiritual analysis of Patiño herself. Having grown up eager to feel not just comfortable, but in love, with her own skin, Patiño created Holiday Mountain, with drummer/producer Zander Kagle, to be a fantastical figure with a sociological bent: to show humanity that its facades and digital insecurities are holding it back from its greatest accomplishment: love.
Interviewing her was a pleasure as her wisdom and confidence came forward through her vulnerability and honesty. She is a woman that is consistently growing in self-love, as we all should, which might explain why her persona is so whimsical. Hence, I know she is going to be like a supernova at Berlin NYC during her residency performances on September 28, October 5, October 12, and October 19. Moreover, her album Shia has enough bassline to make you jump like a rocketship. Overall, Patiño is a neon interpretation of inner freedom, and you will love her hypnotic rhythms and quick wit.
Diandra:Your music is heavily influenced by your Mexican heritage. If you could write a
Cumbia for Donald Trump, what would you call it and what would be a lyric or chorus?
Patiño:I would probably call it ‘Complejo de Napoleon’. (Napoleon Complex)
Diandra: Shia was inspired by the actor Shia Labeouf. What of his career and persona did you find so musically inspiring?
Patiño: I watched Shia LaBeouf most of my childhood in Even Stevens so I grew up knowing him as a pretty normal and funny Disney kid. As time went on, he really became his own unique force and I love that he has the conviction to pursue a life that feels authentic to him in a world that often pressures entertainers to look, sound, and act very similar to one another a lot of the time.
Diandra: In songs like Buffin, you comment on the obsessive nature of social media? Why do you think these platforms ignite social addictiveness?
Patiño:Social media sites are purposefully engineered to get us addicted. Our innate need for human connection (which can be powerful and amazing) mixed with our competitive nature has really drastically changed the way my generation relates to one another. All these platforms can definitely be used for good, but social media is literally as addictive as a drug. I think can drugs can be powerful and positive tools too in the right context, but becoming dependent on anything to make you feel better about yourself is a shitty feeling to live with. This social transformation advanced so quickly and I think sometimes we get scared to talk about all the side effects of it that can be really toxic on our relationships to ourselves and others.
The song ‘Buffin’ in particular talks about going through your significant other’s phone & invasions of privacy. It reminds me of a scene I loved in the ‘Sex & the City’ episode ‘The Freak Show’ (yes, I do know basically every SNTC episode by name) where SJP waits for this perfect hot guy to leave his apartment so she can rummage through his stuff to find out what could be wrong with him. Now, almost 20 years later, instead of going through someone’s closet, she would probably just be clicking through pictures of his ex-girlfriend’s family reunion on Facebook at 2am- it makes me wonder where our neurotic tendencies will take us in another 20 years.
Diandra:Your videos are bombastic in nature, and allow you to use a “persona” to send forward some very truthful human commentary. What is it about being a persona, as an artist, that allows you to feel so free with your thoughts?
Patiño:I think I created Holiday Mountain’s persona naturally in my mind as she’s all the things I wanted someone to be for my younger self. When I was growing up, it was hard for me to find female figures that I felt like authentically expressed things I was experiencing. I wanted to someone to tell me it was ok to be loud, and yell, and stand up for myself. Someone to tell me it was ok to be horny for whoever I liked and it was also right to say ‘hell no’ to someone I didn’t like. There is so much put on young girls and a lot of the female stereotypes we still see perpetuated in the media are just patriarchal hypocrisy; like girls are just supposed to be slutty looking virgins all the time. All this contradictory stuff left me with a lot of internal fire and I wouldn’t say my intention is to be a “role-model” but my intention is to hold a mirror up to the absurdities we put on women and people in general in hopes that other people will suffer less from bigotry moving forward.
Diandra: If there was one artist, besides yourself, that you respect and feel embodies the “essence” of music, whom would it be?
Patiño:I would give that to Billie Holiday (to whom the ‘Holiday’ in ‘Holiday Mountain’ is for) because her voice is so honest and beautiful in the most unique way. Like all her suffering, joy, anger, and life experiences can be heard in the tone and inflection of the way she sings.
Diandra: You have been very open with your struggles to feel beautiful in your body image, which is so common amongst women. If there is one song on your album that you feel most empowers female beauty, which one is it and why?
Patiño:Yes, I certainly still struggle to feel beautiful in my skin all the time but I think it’s about continuous self-love and valuing my intuition over popular opinion. ‘Bump That Bass’ is great for empowering that sense of beauty because it’s basically about letting go of all the fear of sticking out and just letting your inner joy shine while you’re here and alive.
Diandra: Self-expression is very important for you. What about being raised in a Catholic household inspired and/or inhibited that importance?
Patiño:Above all, my family just wanted to see me happy so they helped me and motivated me to get into things that would allow me to express myself in healthy and productive ways, which I really appreciate. It was really important and a gesture of love that they allowed me to find my own path and still supported me even though we have different views on some things.
Diandra: Going off on your passion for freedom of self-expression, are you completely against censorship?
Patiño: I think censorship is in an unfortunate spot right now, where a woman’s natural naked body will get taken down off any social media platform, but the worsening epidemic of hate speech and trolling has basically zero repercussion to the sick people who troll (aside from their own deepening self hate). In fact, Buzz feed just published an article on Twitter’s ten year failure to stop harassment. I’m against censorship of the human body as I think it allows us to detach from seeing one another as equal people, but I certainly think social media outlets need to rethink allowing themselves to be a breeding ground for ignorance and hate.
Diandra: There are those that have criticized your music and videos, like Como, as ”too loud” or “too edgy”. Do you think that such criticisms are valid or are they missing the point of your radicalism?
Patiño: The people who criticized the video were the exact people who needed to see it. The point is to shake people up and say “Hey! Don’t you see how absurd and basically hilarious it is that you’re so used to seeing a female entertainer shaking a huge plastic ass and plastic boobs that you get mad at someone who is joking about it?!” There is so much pain and sadness behind our desire to make ourselves seem ‘perfect’-especially for women. I’d rather just have a sense of humor about it, and if someone is really pissed it’s because the art caused them to realize something new and change scares people, but that doesn’t mean they won’t come up to years later at a show and say “after I saw your performance I realized I was super gay and changed up a lot of my life and now I’m a way happier person” -that’s a true personal story by the way!
Diandra:In looking back at your progression as an artist, what would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learned about the music industry?
Patiño: Make something that just feels completely honest to you and don’t worry about other people so much.
Diandra: If you could sum up your music into one singular message what would it be?
Patiño: Do it your way and never give up.
Diandra: Moreover, if you could some up the reaction you wish fans to have into one giphy, what would it be?
For More Information On Holiday Mountain, To Buy Shia, or To Catch Their Club ResidencyAt Berlin NYC On September 28, October 5, October 12, and October 19. Click Here.