A day after winning the biggest award of her life –Record of the Year – Holly Rey was already plotting her future.
Last weekend Rey, real name Holly Wasserfall, became the second woman to win the only public-voted SA Music Awards (Samas) category, after Brenda Fassie, who won the same award for Vuli Ndlela two decades ago in 1999.
But Rey told City Press that she would not rest on her laurels and believes more is still coming.
“The day after the Samas, I sat down with my team and told them winning an award is just the beginning; we need to work twice as hard,” she said.
Rey said she was already working on an extended play record – a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single. She said she was not planning to record an album simply because “people don’t buy albums these days”.
It was a big surprise for the Durban-born musician when her name was announced at Sun City last weekend.
She said she was still pinching herself after her smash-hit song, Deeper, was voted the Record of the Year.
“This is a big highlight of my career,” said the excited House musician.
She disclosed that her music was inspired by Fassie, Mandoza, Professor, Liquid Deep and Mi Casa.
In the Record of the Year category, Holly Rey beat some of the big artists, such as DJ Ganyani, Vusi Nova and Mlindo the Vocalist, among others.
On Friday Samas organisers told City Press the voting figures weren’t available.
“We put in so much hard work in this song but winning was a total surprise. I was sitting in the general VIP area as I was not put with the other nominees,” she said.
Her win has changed her life.
She said since last weekend her phone had not stopped ringing.
“This shows that hard work pays off. Hustling for so many years can sow a seed of self-doubt but I feel that I’m just a winner.”
Speaking about being the second woman to win this significant award, she said this was important to her because she looked up to Brenda as her idol when growing up.
“I am so overwhelmed, but at the same time I find it difficult to digest the fact that out of all the amazingly talented women in our industry, none of them has won in this category for 20 years.
“I think it says a lot about how tough things are for us [as women] in the music industry.”
She admitted that people were treating her differently since winning the award.
“Some of the people who have never supported me were the first to reach out. I feel like winning finally gave me the credibility they were looking for. I am glad I’ve won their hearts.”
When asked how she felt about the fact that many people thought the voice behind Deeper was of a black woman, she laughed at the assumption.
“It is a compliment. House music is a culture so, if people feel that way, it means I’m fitting well into the culture.”
She said when she wrote the lyrics of the song, she wanted to show people “how it feels when you first fall in love with someone and you just can’t contain the feelings”.
“Love is bigger than your heart. You wear it in your smile and eyes. Everything is brighter, better and more alive when you first fall in love and that’s what Deeper is about.”
She worked with popular Durban producer Mondli Ngcobo on Deeper.
She said she would like to do collaborations with different artists, such as female rapper Gigi Lamayne, Professor and others.
So, who is the special man in her life? “I am single and happy,” she said with a smile.
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