Hollie smith is one of NZ’s most predominant female musicians, this diminutive Pakeha, in her twenties, has the voice of “a big black mama from a Southern Baptist choir.”Over the last ten years she has toured internationally with her music and worked on numerous collaborations with other Artists including Fat Freddy’s Drop, Trinity Roots, and Recloose. The 27-year-old performer who is a beloved star in her home country with her chart-topping 2006 single ‘Bathe in the River’ set the stage for the 2007 release of Long Player which was put out on Smith’s own SoundSmith Records label and was promoted and distributed by EMI in New Zealand, which has sold near double platinum there.
At the 2007 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, Smith won “Best Female Solo Artist,” “Breakthrough Artist of the Year,” “Best Aotearoa Roots Album” and “Best Producer”. 2010 saw her releasing a second Album ‘Humour and the Misfortune of Others.’ Which again landed at Number 1 on the NZ charts in the first week and received rave reviews and sell out shows nationwide and while a grounded spiritual essence imbues Smith’s sultry songs and transcendent live performances, the press-dubbed “Kiwi soul sister” is always described as “beyond humble.” Smith has opened for such prestigious international acts as Bob Dylan, Coldplay, and Simply Red.
Smith is a songwriter, singer, arranger and producer with input and collaboration from numerous likeminded souls on both albums. ‘Humour and the Misfortune of Others’ had a very strong presence from notable producer Riki Gooch a.k.a Eru Dangerspiel and the incredible musical calibre of Hollie’s band – Darren Mathiassen (drums), Tyson Smith (guitar), Crete Haami (bass).
Her earlier release saw help from Jeremy Toy and the priviledge of working and spending time with James Poyser (Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill). She recorded with Poyser in Philadelphia in September, 2007 on three tracks (“Miracles,” “Walk Away” and “New Dawn”) for NZ re-release of Long Player.