Look up “soul” in the dictionary, and dusky-voiced chanteuse Hollie Smith embodies every aspect of the term. The young New Zealand songstress clearly possesses “deeply felt emotion, as expressed by a performer or artist,” is indeed “the moving spirit of some action,” and definitely boasts “spirit or courage.”
It’s heady praise for the performer, who is already a beloved star in her home country. Her chart-topping 2006 single ‘Bathe in the River’ set the stage for the 2007 indie release (on Smith’s own SoundSmith Records label) of Long Player in New Zealand, which has sold near double platinum there. At the 2007 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards, Smith snagged “Best Female Solo Artist," "Breakthrough Artist of the Year," "Best Aotearoa Roots Album" and “Best Producer”. Yet, despite the accolades, the press- dubbed “Kiwi soul sister” is beyond humble. While a grounded spiritual essence imbues Smith’s sultry songs and transcendent live performances, she’s also quite simply a cool chick--an avid rugby fan with half-sleeve traditional Pacific tattoos who likes to throw back a pint at the local pub.