SOUTH AFRICA – Kwa-Zulu Natal singer and songwriter, Holly, is finding a growing – and increasingly devoted – audience for her beautifully crafted original songs.
Already the 14-year-old is proving age is no barrier to racking up a full schedule of live dates that see the Durban-based artist reaching fans all across the province.
One of Holly’s biggest live shows to date was a performance at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Fan Park in Durban on July 7th where she was amongst the featured entertainers at the semi-final between Germany and Spain.
“It was intimidating playing for 20 000 people and the sound was not great but I managed to hold my own and, I hope, win over some new fans,” says Holly.
Winning over fans is proving an easy call for the talent artist who has already recorded her first album, ‘Strawberry Skies’.
Available in a limited independent release for now, Holly is currently looking for the best possible record deal for a national release of her debut. Aiding her in this is Sony/ATV Music Publishing in South Africa, which signed Holly to a publishing deal earlier this year on the basis of her prodigiously mature songwriting.
‘Strawberry Skies’ was produced by Marciano Rebelo Monjane, a highly regarded Mozambican musician whose previous work with Peter Gabriel’s Real World label enables him to add a global sheen to Holly’s Afro-rooted folk-pop songs.
Among the standout tracks on her debut is ‘Siyabonga Madiba’ which Holly has turned into a great live track when playing live with her band.
Just recently, the song proved a deeply moving hit with the 3000 people attending the Moral Regeneration Movement’s 2010 meeting on July 30th in Stanger, attended by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe
Upcoming dates include an appearance at ‘Celebrate Durban’ in September as well as a performance at the gallery of renowned SA artist, Peter Engblom in Eshowe. Attached to the Eshowe Hotel, the gallery will see Holly perform an acoustic set with Marciano on second guitar, Harris on third guitar and Pazgenic on Vocal Percussion.
Holly has also been named an ambassador for the Music Literacy Africa – a project created by her first music teachers, Barbara Kerr and Helen Mennie that aims to teach music literacy, instrumental proficiency, musical expression and performance through intense exposure to music in KZN’s rural areas.
“I really believe in what they are achieving with no funding and very few resources,” says Holly. Part of Holly’s work with Music Literacy Africa will be to perform at a fundraising concert in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands as well as working with the children in the programme during the holidays and putting together a production that features the choir’s Zulu song-based repertoire and Holly’s own material. Holly will also be performing at St Anne’s Diocesans College in Hilton on the 08th of October