Student prepares to release debut EP

Jacob Holcomb, sophomore applied theology major at California Baptist University, has been writing music since high school. He used his love for music and strong emotions create his debut EP “Noyeaforsure,” set to be released on March 12.

Growing up in Portland, Oregon on ‘70s folk and rock such as The Eagles and James Taylor, Holcomb now takes inspiration from names like Frank Ocean, The 1975 and John Mayer to create his own unique style of indie/alternative singer songwriter with themes of vulnerability and processing emotions.

Holcomb played orchestra violin through middle and high school but started playing ukulele and writing music with friends. 

This caused him to see music as an outlet for processing different feelings and emotions, teaching himself guitar. He fell in love with it and hasn’t stopped since.

Starting each song with just him and his guitar, Holcomb always wanted to release his own music but did not have that final push until he showed his good friend Jacob Gallegos, who produces and releases his own music some of his work.

“We were working on some worship stuff because we go to the same church back home,” Holcomb said. “He was showing me some of his stuff and asked if I had anything so I showed him some of my songs and he was like, ‘Is this for a project?’ and asked if I wanted to bust it out while I was home over winter break, so we went to work.”

Holcomb and Gallegos recorded the whole EP in Gallegos’ bedroom. Holcomb doing all the guitar and main vocal layers and Gallegos doing drums, piano and some harmonies.

Gallegos shared about his relationship with Holcomb and their creative process.

“Our relationship grew with a passion for writing some sick tunes,” Gallegos said. “I remember one Tuesday afternoon listening to some of the ideas that Jacob had put together and thinking, ‘wow, this guy’s got a talent.’ So, naturally, I had been pestering him to record his stuff from then on. It wasn’t until Jacob came back from school for a month on winter break when we finally started laying some tracks down.”

“The recording process was very casual,” Gallegos said. “Generally, Jacob was in charge of the creative aspects of the project, while I attempted to make the creativity come to life.Ultimately, we came to an indie-acoustic type feel with electric guitar and piano sentiments. I’m very stoked at how it’s turning out and think it sounds fantastic. I can’t wait to bump the tunes on a hot summer day with the windows down, possibly crying.”

“There are four songs on the EP, and they were all written within the past four months and the emotions that came with that time,” Holcomb said. “These songs are all about the same time in my life and go together very well and speak into one another.”

These songs on this EP expands a range of emotions that Holcomb was feeling and processing through last semester and winter break. Feelings of loneliness and reacting to parts of life and plans not working out, partly because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a feeling a lot of people can relate to and understand. They were feelings of rejection and responses that left him saying “Noyeaforsure.” This was the inspiration for the title of this EP and the songs behind it.

“It was a season of waiting and not knowing what I have or what I am gonna have and just sitting there feeling that way with everything,” Holcomb said. “I felt like that with all realms of my life.”

Holcomb said he hopes people will be able to hear and latch onto this project and has plans for more projects in the future.

“I’m stroked for this,” Holcomb said. “I think it will jump start me to be more motivated to keep releasing music. Especially if this project is received well, but even if it isn’t, this is my nudge to start doing it. I also have some plans for this summer. Even if no one listens to it — I want them to, obviously — but it is just fun for me. I will continue to write and continue to record when I can and I know what I want to start working on when this is done but I’m playing by ear and just figuring it out right now.”

Mike Contreras, sophomore applied theology major and Holcomb’s roommate, shared his thoughts about Holcomb and his music.

“Jacob is a super creative dude and he’s been writing for a long time,” Contreras said. “I am so excited that he is releasing his first EP. It’s super special getting to listen to him play the guitar and write in our room, and now I get to hear it come to life in this EP. I personally love the songs on this EP and I hope everyone can take a listen.”

“Noyeaforsure” will be available on all streaming platforms in March. 

This EP is close to Holcomb’s heart and he said he has loved making it and hopes listeners will love it too.

“Give it a shot — you might like it,” Holcomb said. “It might add some songs to your playlist. And if you don’t like it, that’s OK. More than anything, however it’s received, I’m just stoked to do it. It was a great process and I just love making music so much.”

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