Last night I witnessed something special! I had the pleasure of attending The Oak Room at The Hospital Club in London where Dave Stewart introduced the young singing sensation Hollie Stephenson to a small group of music industry executives, family and friends.
With an 8 piece band put together by bassist Yolanda Charles Hollie took to the stage to deliver a set that any seasoned pro would have been proud of. Introduced to the stage by Dave Stewart, Hollie showed no signs of nerves on stage, although she did admit afterwards to being very nervous. Despite the obvious comparisons that Hollie will get with Amy Winehouse, she has her own unique style that will define her as an artist. I think what I am trying to say here, is that she is the real deal, so naturally talented, I’m not sure she knows it herself yet.
Having recently turned 16, which you have to keep reminding yourself, her lyrics are delivered with such meaning, passion and depth, and as well as being an incredible vocalist, she wrote the songs herself, some when she was just 13. Her maturity in her writing is way beyond her years. Yolande Charles and her band did a great job of enhancing Hollie’s vocals without taking over so Hollie remained the focal point throughout each song.
With the right guidance and advice, Hollie could become a huge success, and she will get that guidance from Dave Stewart and his team.
In last night’s Evening Standard feature with Dave and Hollie here, Dave says “I think she’s the real deal. There are certain things that are like a lightning bolt. She’s got it. I just know having worked with lots of special voices that she has got her own special voice.”
The pair first met when Hollie was 13 after someone flagged up her music to him. He stayed in touch, put her in contact with other musicians and she has just got “better and better,” he said. Last month she flew to Los Angeles, where Stewart is based, to record for the first time. “She is not precious about it, but she’s just nuts about music and seems to have grasped the whole thing at a very young age,” he said.
Her set list last night included 3 hi-lights for me:
- Man of Few Words
- Broken Heart Strings
- Lovers Game
Take a listen here to the last 2 songs