A brief reminder: “Don’t take your life for granted.”
1. This is Greg Holden, a Scottish-English singer/songwriter who makes soaring, purpose-filled songs that carry real emotional weight.
His first big breakthrough was in 2012, when he co-wrote American Idol-winner Phillip Phillips’ five-times platinum debut single “Home.”
2. Holden’s latest single “Hold On Tight” is all about appreciating the beautiful gifts of life while you still can. The anthemic chorus is simple, but jarringly direct: “Don’t take your life for granted.”
Holden wrote the song after a low point in his career, when he went broke while attempting to tour in support of his self-released 2011 album I Don’t Believe You. “I realized I wasn’t really enjoying what I was doing,” he tells BuzzFeed Music. “I was expecting too much and not appreciating anything.”
After “Home,” brought him some success, Holden went on a trip to India and Nepal that changed his perspective on things and inspired him to be more positive in his music. “I was able to see how lucky I was, and that we all are, really,” he says. “The sentiment behind that song is appreciating what you have and living more in the moment.”
3. For the “Hold On Tight” video, Holden teamed up with Jon Jon Augustavo, the director of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop,” to make something that would elevate the inspirational lyrics of the song.
4. The narrative video tracks five people who benefit from a random act of kindness — everything from getting a lift after their car breaks down to receiveng the heimlich maneuver — and then choose to pay it forward.
5. In the end, the chain of kindness comes full circle in a way that’s heartfelt and moving without feeling saccharine.
“We wanted to find a way to convey a positive message without being cheesy,” says Holden. “With a theme like this, you can definitely get into Hallmark territory, but we did our best to create scenarios that felt a bit more organic and natural.”
6. The video’s release date, Feb. 17, coincides with Random Acts of Kindness Day 2015, or “RAK15,” “a global movement using social media and real world engagement to change the world one random act of kindness at a time.”
“We wanted to encourage other people to pay it forward and hopefully create a domino effect,” says holden. Similar to the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” RAK15 asks people to challenge their friends to perform one random act of kindness within 24 hours.