Although only 17, Hollie Stephenson has a passion for music unlike anyone else her age. Obsessed with jazz, blues and soul since the age of three, it was clear a career in music was the only way for her. Her staggeringly beautiful singing skills caused Dave Stewart (The Eurythmics) to proclaim:
“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.”
Hollie’s debut single, “Pointless Rebellion”, a sassy ska/bluebeat number, will be releasedon June 9 through Membran/Orchard. The video was directed by Gareth Bowler and shot in Central London. Bowler won the opportunity via a competition hosted by SBTV and DSE, in conjunction with Talenthouse, offering film and video directors worldwide the chance to break into the music video making business.
Hollie is set to headline a number of UK dates following the release of “Pointless Rebellion”, with her debut album (as yet untitled), following this autumn. Hollie’s keen to keep creative control over her work, and so will be launching a Pledge Music campaign later this week.
Hollie wrote her first song at age 12, the very moving, “Stone Tears”. A free spirit, she also decided to get herself a gig at Camden’s Bar Vinyl. The live performance of this song was recorded, and it was this which caught the attention of Grammy and BRITs Award winning producer, and half of the Eurythmics, Dave Stewart.
Stewart invited Hollie to his LA studio early last year, not long before her 16th birthday, and it was here where the first half of her debut album was recorded, with some of the best musicians from the West Coast of the United States. She also performed a few shows in LA to rave reviews, causing American Songwriter Magazine to say they were:
tively stunned – and enthralled – by her performance”.
Hollie, who has no formal music training, said:
“My mum is a massive Eurythmics fan so when Dave got in touch she said, ‘This is really something’. He’s amazingly supportive and he gets the best out of me.”
Recording of the second half of the album took place in Port Antonio, Jamaica, which was also filmed as part of a BBC documentary, “Lost Archives of 17 North Parade”. The film tells the story of the legendary Jamaican artists who recorded in this tiny studio, and the rediscovery of the audio tapes of their recordings. As part of that project, Hollie “duetted” with the late Dennis Brown – on a track, When You Get Right Down To It, that he had recorded, but never completed, when he himself was 16 too.