NEPA Scene Staff

Pa. country/folk singer Zandi Holup signs with Big Loud Records, picks ‘Gas Station Flowers’ as new single

Pa. country/folk singer Zandi Holup signs with Big Loud Records, picks ‘Gas Station Flowers’ as new single
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From a press release:

With an unmistakable voice and evocative songwriting prowess, Zandi Holup is a wildflower – unique, free as the wind, and blossoming in Music City.

Born and raised in the Philadelphia suburb of Fort Washington, she drifted from city to city until she found her home in Nashville six years ago. Influenced and cut from the same cloth as legendary folk singer/songwriters like Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell, Holup’s raw brand of original folk country flourishes through raw, unfiltered storytelling reminiscent of Dolly Parton and emphasized by her emotive vocals. A grassroots following placed her on the map as snippets of demos and unreleased songs resonated across social media in increasing numbers.

Her first and only public release, 2021’s “Wait for You,” was co-written by Scranton singer/songwriter Mike Miz, who also relocated in Nashville and performed it with her locally at the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains and Turkey Hill Brewing Company in Bloomsburg. Created in just 30 minutes as part of the Song House, a collective of songwriters pioneering a new generation of songwriting by using social media to test market songs, the track sat at No. 1 on the all-genre Spotify Fresh Finds playlist, amassing over a million streams with no promotion outside of her over 479,400 TikTok following.

She has opened for the likes of Steve Earle, Amanda Shires, and most recently Ann Wilson of Heart at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre. Named a 2023 Artist to Watch by The Nashville Briefing, Holup signed a publishing deal with Arthouse Entertainment and TurnTable Music in partnership with Universal Music Publishing, along with a record deal with Big Loud Records, just announced last week.

“I feel blessed to be working with a record label that doesn’t try to intervene with my creation but gives me the tools to create my art in a larger way,” Holup shared.

“From the beginning, Big Loud has seen me for who I am, my vision, and never asked for me to change, but to keep going while they support me.”

“After no more than 10 seconds into hearing Zandi sing for the first time, I knew in my bones that I had to find a way to support, champion, and collaborate with her,” said Nate Yetton, VP of A&R.

“We are so thrilled that she’s chosen to entrust her prolific artistry and treasure trove of repertoire to us here at Big Loud.”

“Finding and developing great talent is critical to the Big Loud way,” added CEO/Partner Seth England.

“Zandi has a truly unique voice and sharp pen. We’re honored and excited to invest in her development and help bring her songs and her perspective to the world.”

Her first offering on the label, “Gas Station Flowers,” arrives today on all major streaming platforms.

Recorded at Music Garden Studios, the song was produced by Al Torrence, producer and guitarist in Charles Wesley Godwin’s backing band, The Allegheny High, who also played on the recording. She has penned over 150 songs in the past two years, so there is plenty more to come.

Holup, whose father is from Luzerne, began writing music when she was 12. She moved through the Northeast, then to the West Coast before landing to Nashville to pursue her musical dreams. Inspired by the folk singer/songwriter movement of the 1960s, her true-to-life lyrics and affinity for melancholy are no surprise, though if there’s one thing this young woman is certain about, it’s that she is different.

Holup has a low, husky voice and songwriting with an edge. Her music is a voice for the unheard, singing about the good, the bad, and the ugly. She is no frills, relatable, and raw. Her music has been described as “delicate and earthy,” “gritty,” and “visceral.”

“I’ve always felt extremely connected to storytellers,” Holup noted.

“I come from a creative family and grew up listening to artists whose influence led me to put the poetry I’d been writing to music.”

Her work is in good hands. Big Loud Records’ own success story began in 2015. Tallying over 17 billion global streams, 13 No. 1 U.S. airplay and 19 No. 1 Canadian airplay hits, and RIAA gold, platinum, and multi-platinum certifications, their roster is home to genre standouts Morgan Wallen, Jake Owen, Lauren Alaina, Hardy, MacKenzie Porter, Ernest, Ben Burgess, Dallas Smith, Larry Fleet, Griffen Palmer, Shawn Austin, Lily Rose, Jake Worthington, and Ashley Cooke.

In 2019, the independent label partnered with award-winning songwriter Nicolle Galyon to form female-driven label Songs & Daughters, launching the career of flagship artist Madison Kozak and teaming with critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter Hailey Whitters. Records was honored as the No. 1 Billboard Hot Country Songs label in 2021, as well as a platinum label at the 2021 CRS/Country Aircheck Awards, with Billboard 2021 40 Under 40 honoree Stacy Blythe (SVP Promotion) and Ali Matkosky (VP Promotion) earning SVP-VP/National Promotion and Director/National Promotion titles respectively.

Adding accolades, Seth England is a two-time Billboard Indie Power Player, SVP/GM Patch Culbertson is one of Billboard’s 40 Under 40 for 2022, and England, Joey Moi (Partner/Producer/President of A&R), Craig Wiseman (Partner/Songwriter), Austen Adams (COO), and Candice Watkins (SVP Marketing) are 2021 and 2022 Billboard Country Power Players.

Photos by Jason Riedmiller Photography/NEPA Scene