18 year old HOLLIE STEPHENSON is a new blue-eyed soulster who’s being touted as the “next big thing” by more than a few knowing music biz insiders.

Hollie started taking music seriously at an early age and when she was just 12 she wrote her first proper song and blagged herself a gig at Camden’s Bar Vinyl. Her bravado brought her to the attention of former Eurhythmic DAVE STEWART who took the young Ms S under his wing.

After a period of mentoring, Dave took Hollie off to his LA studio to work on an album which was eventually finished in Jamaica… and that long player is finally being released in May.

The self-titled 13 tracker has been produced by Stewart and all the songs are Hollie Stephenson originals… and for someone so new to the game, Hollie has, thank goodness, written some “proper” songs. You know the kind of thing… they have a decent tune, a beginning, a middle and an end! What’s more she delivers them in an enthusiastic, energetic, good-to-be alive fashion, so different to the prevailing “music to slit your wrists to” mood of much British music!

The musical soundscape is varied too… here a dash of Brill Building pop (‘Pointless Rebellion’ has a whiff of ‘The Locomotion’ about it), there a touch of Stax horns (try ‘Lovers Game’) all topped with a garnish of Northern Soul (‘My Own Tears’), meandering balladry (‘Sunday Morning’) and jangling guitar pop (‘Man Of Few Words’). Sure, vocally Hollie owes a lot to Amy Winehouse (‘Hard Way’ could be an Amy outtake), but is that such a bad thing?

Whatever, you can make up your own mind when HOLLIE STEPHENSON is released in Membran/DSE on 6th May…. in the meantime, find out more @ www.holliestephensonmusic.com