Musical barriers are never going to hold Holly back
a few months after sending it, Graça Machel gave a talk at my school and told me she loves my song. You can imagine how that felt.”
When she was 13 she signed her first publishing deal, with Sony AT V, and when she was 15 she signed her first record deal and released her first album. “I think people expected my album, 24/7, to be pop, but it wasn’t because that isn’t me. It was Afro-pop and it did really well.”
Soon after her album dropped she was approached by Ukhozi FM to join their Nyosi Volume roadshow.
Fast track to 2016 – she joined forces with Shota to release their hit single, Sabela, she was featured on Professor’s hit single, Colour Blind Love, and she released Gumba.
“For me 2016 was really a great year. I travelled a lot and performed for thousands of people, which means so much to me. I collaborated with Shota on Sabela, which was a great success. I still get goosebumps when people sing it back to me word for word.”
I told Holly I heard a song of hers while on holiday in Namibia.
“That is so cool. Some of my music is played in like 14 different countries across the continent, which is a little overwhelming when I think about it but I am so grateful.”
Although 2016 was a great year for her, she sees 2015 as the highlight of her career so far. “I got to perform at the Cape Town Jazz Festival alongside PJ Powers and the Mahotella Queens. I was the youngest to ever perform on that stage. It was such an honour.” So what’s next for Holly? “Well right now I am in my third year at university studying contemporary media. I am going to be doing a lot of collaborations with some big names in the industry, not just in South Africa but also in other parts of Africa. I’d love to release another album but I want to do so when the market demands, not just when my mother and friends will go out and buy it.”
‘I’m not some white girl trying to be something she’s not,’ says Holly Wasserfall.