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SAN DIEGO – Debby Holiday, a popular rock, soul and dance-music singer, will take the stage for a special performance this Saturday at Michael Mack’s “Montage Reunion” party at Spin Nightclub.
The event, which will take place in the space that once housed Club Montage, is being organized to “bring back the magic” of the legendary night spot.
Los Angeles native Holiday, who has performed in San Diego several times, says that there is something special about this city that keeps bringing her back – noting that it was the second place she ever performed live in.
“Every time I come back [to San Diego], I have nothing but positive experiences,” Holiday told San Diego Gay & Lesbian News in an interview. “I think of San Diego as a sister city to L.A. – it’s the next big thing. You have great diversity, oceans, a beautiful environment, but it’s less kinetic and more laid back than L.A.”
San Diego is also home to some people who are very special to Holiday, such as Mack – the well known local LGBT event promoter - who has invited her to perform at the event this weekend.
“I remember the night I met Michael Mack,” Holiday said. “I was at [Club Montage] and saw this man with a gorgeous smile. That was Michael Mack, and he has been a sweetheart since day one. I am a fan of ‘The Mack.’”
Holiday, who grew up in a musical family, remembers the path to becoming a dance music star fondly.
She credits Del Shores, the well-known director, producer and writer, for coming up with the idea of her putting together a dance-music album. She took his advice and did it.
But it was through another person with local ties that put Holiday’s new track out there, and also led her to meet the many wonderful people she now works with on a regular basis.
Holiday’s good friend and manager, Andrew Briskin, who passed away last month, sent one of Holiday’s rock songs to Grammy-nominated producer, remixer and DJ Chris Cox and he was hooked. Since then, Holiday has collaborated with Cox and numerous other well-known DJs to produce her dance tracks that have a loyal international following in the nightlife and dance music scene.
“Andrew was brilliant at marketing and booking, and he led me to many of the successes I enjoy today,” Holiday said, holding back tears. Holiday said that just the other day she was going through her files and found the first e-mail that Briskin ever sent her in 2004.
“Just as I remember Andrew to always be, the tone was so exciting, refreshing, and positive,” Holiday said. “He was full of infectious positivity.”
As for her ascent into the gay dance music scene, Holiday says she loves being a part of it.
“The basic general idea is that people [in the scene] are coming out to have a good time,” Holiday said. “It’s not political, there’s no agenda, it’s just people enjoying life and celebrating. It’s wonderful.”
Holiday recalls always having a connection to the gay community, as some of her best friends growing up were gay.
“I have been so fortunate to meet some amazing people throughout my life, who happen to be gay,” Holiday said. “With that in mind, I know what it is like to be discriminated against, being black and Irish, growing up in a Jewish neighborhood.”
Holiday was not afraid to admit that she uses her microphone to do a bit of preaching sometimes.
“I like to tell my audience that every single one of them, no matter who or what they are, are beautiful,” Holiday said. “I tell them to keep standing up for what is right every single day.”
Holiday likes to think that even if just one person in the audience is inspired or made to feel better about themselves because of her message, then she has done her job.
“Keep dreaming and keep believing” is a phrase that Holiday likes to share with everyone she comes in contact with and wanted to close the interview with.
“As trite as it sounds, I really mean it. There is so much vitriol in the world today, it’s nice to be able to share positive energy,” Holiday said.
What’s next for Holiday
Holiday says that she has another dance track being released soon with the legendary DJ Phil B.
“Working with [Phil B] is ridiculously fun,” Holiday said, nothing his “great English accent.”
She also is starring in Del Shores’ newest film, “Blues for Willadean,” which opens in Los Angeles and other select cities next month. The film, which Holiday says is a “musical dark comedy about domestic abuse,” features other well known actors such as Octavia Spencer of “The Help.”
Holiday sings throughout the film.
The Montage Reunion Party
Michael Mack Presents will host “The Return of Montage” every third Saturday of the month at Spin Nightclub, located at 2028 Hancock St. in Middeltown.
This Saturday’s event is the official kick-off party for the new monthly party, and will feature New York superstar DJ Brett Henrichsen, and the live performance by Holiday.
Doors open at 10 pm, and the club has after hours until 4 am and possibly 6 am if there is a crowd.
For more information, click HERE.
Find Debby Holiday on Facebook HERE.