Student Spotlight: Carson Holley

OHS fifth grader is making strides in the music industry

By Sofia Santelices

Most kids at a young age don’t have ambition for a particular future occupation. Carson Holley, however, is not like most kids. At the tender age of six, Holley decided as soon as she took her first step onto a stage that performing was more than just a passion. “It was really after playing the role of Molly in the musical Annie at the Gainesville Community Playhouse that I decided I was always going to do this no matter what,” she said. Her first performances included singing the National Anthem at professional baseball games. With her first two singles released at the end of last year, Holley, now 11, is living her dream.

Holley is multilingual when it comes to her music, having the talent to sing in English, Spanish, German, Italian, and French. She is also currently working under three agencies: Legacy Talent Group for acting; and IBA Music and Goin’ Native Records as a recording artist. “I’m also a Membership Candidate for Actor’s Equity Association,” Holley said. In addition, she is also commissioned by local companies and hired around Gainesville to perform her talents.

Recently, Holley spent two months completing all aspects of her new single, Que Late. She spent six to eight hours recording the single, and around 12 hours recording the music video. Holley emphasizes the importance of self-expression through her new single. “I really want my music to stand for being true to who you are,” she noted. Her next single is said to be released in the spring. 

Even though Holley is young, she understands the realities of her choices, and how her musical style could develop in the future. “Even though I will grow and change as an artist, and one day I may not think [Que Late] is as good as my work is in the future, [but] I wouldn’t change anything about it,” she mentioned. 

As for her role models, she pulls her influencers from a hodgepodge of individuals. “I don’t think it’s possible to have a number one inspiration,” she said. “I have so many influences and mentors and inspirations out there from people I know in real life to celebrities,” she continued. Currently, her two favorite songs are her recently released singles, Que Late and This Christmas. 

For her work locally, Holley played Matilda in the Oak Hall production of Matilda this past fall, and as Scout in the Star Center Theatre performance, To Kill A Mockingbird. “Matilda has always been a dream role for me so I absolutely loved her,” she said. In the future, Holley hopes to one day collaborate with Shakira, Dove Cameron, and Kristen Chenoweth. “One of my celebrity inspirations right now is Kristen Chenoweth because she has managed to do it all – Broadway, singing, television,” Holley mentioned. “Everyone says I’ll eventually have to pick one and I always say, ‘But she didn’t!’.”