Behind every overnight success, are months, in fact probably even years of hard work. Just ask Holly Rey who broke out in South Africa with her smash hit, Deeper in 2018 – instantly becoming an overnight success. While this song catapulted her to the heights of fame in South Africa, the truth is that she had been working hard on her career for over ten years before this!
Just when it looked as if things might not work out, she made a massive hit and of course, the rest is history. Today, Holly Rey is one of South Africa’s biggest house vocalists and to further embellish her status as a top musician, she released her newest single this past Friday titled Wanna Be. We had the privilege of jamming the single the moment it dropped and speaking to Holly on the day of its release to find out how she’s coping with the demands of fame, as well as the challenges presented by the South African lockdown!
Moziak Magazine: We’ve just heard your new single Wanna Be. Thank you for giving us some great music during this Lockdown period! How happy were you to have it see the light of day – especially at a time when artists are delaying their releases!
Holly Rey: Very happy because some people are postponing their releases, and it wasn’t easy to make sure that this sees the light of day you know. A lot of musicians have decided to postpone their releases because of Covid-19 and I did not want to do the same. But it’s here and people can listen and enjoy!
MM: We love how well it was written, almost like the classic love songs of old. What went into the writing of your new single?
HR: You’re right, I wanted the writing to stand out on this song. It’s definitely a love song, but not only a love song between two romantic partners. It can apply to any kind of love; love of a mother, love of a sibling etc. I wanted this song to mean something to anybody who is feeling in love with someone important in their lives.
MM: What challenges has the lockdown presented for you when it comes to promoting your song?
HR: Well, usually we would release the song and immediately hit the road on radio tours. With the lockdown restrictions that’s not possible so we have had to be creative about how we want to promote it. However, this has opened up opportunities – for instance, we’ve done live performances on air where we might not have always had the opportunity!
MM: How did it feel to be the first female musician to win the SAMAs Record of the Year Award in 20 years?
HR: It was incredible. I mean I was expecting a nomination because Deeper got some incredible love on radio, but still, to beat some of the songs that were nominated – for example AKA’s Fela in Versace – was something incredible. Even at the SAMAs, I was sat on the other side of the arena on the night, I got my tickets late in the game, honestly it was a spectacular experience.
MM: After achieving such a big feat, what goals do you have your eyes on next?
HR: I would like to get my name to be recognised beyond our continent now. I’ve done some shows in Europe and many African countries, now I would like to take my act further and wider.
MM: What would you have been doing this past long weekend if it hadn’t been for Covid-19
HR: I had shows planned! They’ve already been cancelled or postponed. But we had a few gigs lined up. I’m not resentful about this, I understand the bigger picture.
MM: Instead what were you up to?
HR: A lot of NETFLIX! And plenty of family time. I was back in Durban before the Lockdown was announced so I decided to stay with my family.