The April release on Society of Sound comes from the emerging talent of Londoner Hollie Stephenson, with an album recorded in LA and Jamaica and produced by the legendary Dave Stewart.
Still only a teenager Hollie’s voice and songwriting abilities belie her years with the soulful, impassioned music that you’ll hear on this month’s Society of Sound steeped in a love of some of the very best songwriters and vocalists in music. Here’s a selection of just some of Hollie’s favourites songs and why they mean so much to her.
Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday
This is the song that I would describe as my key to music. I heard it for the first time when I was 3, and was completely captivated by every element of it; this song was my first experience of emotion.
Ticket to Ride – The Carpenters
This was the first song I learnt to sing all the way through. I remember when my mum and dad took me over to Ireland to see family friends, and I sang this song to them; they were the people who told me I could sing and that’s when I got my best worst idea; singing is what I want to do.
A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke
This song always hits a chord with me. I’m very aware of the history of inexcusable injustice towards African-American’s that still exists today, as I am heavily influenced by their music and took great interest in all aspects of their world.
Punky Reggae Party – Bob Marley & The Wailers
I’m a massive fan of reggae and I’m head over heels in love with Jamaica! I really love Bob Marley, he’s unquestionably my King. This is one of my favourite reggae tunes – reggae always makes me feel elated – however this one in particular makes everything in life alright.
The House That Jack Built – Aretha Franklin
Listening to Aretha makes me think that anything is possible vocally. She’s so incredible, if I could chose how I sound, this would be it. I just think she’s amazing, so much soul and she has a wicked range!
Jimmy Mack – Martha Reeves and The Vandellas
My mum’s first love is Motown, we would always be playing Motown on the drives to and from school singing really loudly and out of tune along to whatever was playing.
Read more about Hollie Stephenson here