Songlines Across New Zealand
  Hollie Smith Interview conducted by email 17.05.09
SANZ: When you tour away from NZ what do you miss most about NZ
HS: Its been a while since i've been away from NZ touring and it was never for to long so I have to say I didn’t miss much, it was a great but brief way to experience the world.
SANZ: If you had to pick a song of yours to be your signature which would it be and why
HS: good question, probably 'I will do' or 'Provider' off the 'long player' album... just slow groove based songs but with a gospel and powerful ending.
SANZ: What have you been up to since the release of Long player
HS: I have had the best of times and the worst of times! have been held up with contractual dilemmas so under the radar regarding the second album so far but this has now been cleared so now finishing off the writing for this and gearing up to record soon.
We also had great European, Australian and NZ tours which were all successful.
SANZ: What inspired you to become a singer/songwriter
HS: Never made a conscience decision, it has always been the natural direction of everything ive done since I was a kid.
SANZ: What been the most memorable moment in your music career
HS: probably hearing my choir arrangements coming to fruition within the 'long player' recordings with the mission choir in wellington. I wasn’t sure if I was gonna pull it off but the choir were so amazing it was an emotional and inspiring moment.
SANZ: is there a moment you'd like to forget about and can you tell us about it
HS: There are to many at the moment...! as much as there has been positive moments and as well as many lessons learned there’s been a lot of things i've not been able to talk about publicly but they will come up I assume within the promotion of the next album.
SANZ: (here is a strange question) when you are in a music store do you get the urge to check if they have any of your cds in stock
HS: I dont have too! my mother does that and is the one insisting they order it in. thanks mum.
SANZ: What would you prefer to do work and record in a studio or perform live
HS: they are two such different mediums... I do prefer performing life however watching something grow into what you hear in your head while in the studio can be rad.
SANZ: what would you say is the best thing about performing live
HS: The energy. I cant sing half as well in the studio as I do live, its my meditation really, no one can touch me and no other thoughts matter. I am often criticised for my lack of conversation and 'performance' but sometimes I cant snap out of my little hollie bubble!
SANZ: how has her life changed since being in the music business
HS: i've always been in music but being in the music business is reasonably destructive for me. the industry is difficult if you dont find the right perspective which I think im still trying to find.
SANZ: What are your future plans for music
HS: album two!!!!! yaay. planning to record at end the year and then will be looking to release early next year if all goes well...
SANZ: What are your plans for the remainder of 2009
HS: see above question! I have learnt not to run before I crawl, stagger and put the scissors down.
SANZ: How did you come to do the cover of sensitive to a smile by the Herbs
HS: they were doing a tribute album to celebrate 30 years of the herbs... it was supposed to be a number of nz bands doing different tracks but unfortunately the logistics fell through, they asked if it was possible for me to continue in doing 'sensitive' for them anyway with which I was happy to oblige. I enjoyed the project and it was wicked finding the kids to sing on the track.
SANZ: How did you come to sing Don Mcglashans song Bathe In The River
HS: this one was even further removed! don rung and asked and I said yes. he wrote the song and it was my first 'session' work I walked into the studio net him and sung it 4 times and walked out..hahah... it has become a personal song to me over time, especially cause i only perform it with don and we have only done it a small amount of times to really special events.
we preformed it last year at Turangawaewae Marae for the settlement of the Waikato River, 'bathe' had been a suitable anthem for them throughout the negotiations and it was a incredibly powerful thing to be a part of.
SANZ: Do you own any of Dons music such as the mutton birds or his solo career
HS: of course, don was the main reason why I decided to do the track as I had a large respect for his work. when you go into a session the last thing you expect is to walk out with is a friend, but he has been incredibly supportive and has always been very respectful and loving.
SANZ: what are your thoughts on NZ idol and the idol series overall
HS: tricky question... I think we have so much talent here and I dont see the winning artists or finalists getting the respect and chances they deserve. if your smart enough to take advantage of that situation then its a good platform but you do have to 'play along' so much with the marketing that I dont really see it creating longevity for the winners which is a shame.
NZ is a very small market and if you get boxed into a certain stereotype it is very difficult to break that barrier, however I do see it bring power and positivity into lower demographics of NZ society which is amazing so its still a very unique tool.
SANZ: What would you consider a classic NZ song
HS: anything Dave dobbyn or crowded house...
SANZ: and what would you consider an iconic NZ song
HS: anything Dave dobbyn! hahaha
SANZ: Who are some of your favourite NZ bands/artists to listen to
HS: Pasific heights, shapeshifter, electric wire hustle, freddys, anika moa, ria hall, so many... how long you got?.... bic, opensouls.. tyra Hammond, ...
SANZ: What was the last NZ album you bought
HS: Pasific Heights... buy it.
SANZ: What would you say is the most recognisable NZ song around
HS: can you wait till ive named the songs from my next record cause it will be..ha... I hope...
SANZ: Who would you consider an icon in the NZ music industry
HS: icon im not sure, but anyone who can maintain music in this country is because they love it so they are all inspirational.

I would like to thank Hollie Smith for her time to do this interview and thanks to Lauren Carswell for inputting two questions into this interview
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