By Charlette Hannah
What a great end to New Zealand music month! Hollie Smith, Wellington soul singer/songwriter, has sign to the Manhattan Record label, part of the prestigious BlueNote group. Fellow label-mates include Norah Jones, Van Morrison, Tim Finn and Cassandra Wilson, and formerly Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk.
It's so inspiring to see a young female New Zealander recognised by an international label. The story is almost like a movie - label president Bruce Lundvall heard two of her songs while driving in his car, and instantly recognised her talent. "I think Hollie is simply an original and I don't know where she is going to end up going in terms of her direction," he says. "She's certainly a soul singer, but obviously there are soul singers everywhere. She happens to be one of the good ones. Really one of the best I've heard in a long time and that's where we start. She's also a good writer, a beautiful woman . . . She simply has that star quality you can't describe."
Hollie's management was contacted, and after a week spent in New York, she signed to the label, which will take her recently released album Long Player, to the world.
For the full story, visit Hollie's MySpace