With less than a fortnight to go before Santa does his rounds over the world’s rooftops, I felt that my guest this week should be someone who is a bit Christmassy yet a bit sazzy …. someone like the dropdead gorgeous Hollie Kamel, with her seasonal name, her angelic voice, and her sazziness! Hollie is a popular wedding, party and event singer – and I caught up with her recently to chat about music, her wedding business and her passion for fashion too .. welcome Hollie…
Hi – I am Hollie Kamel and I am a Professional Singer and UKA Salsa Dance Instructor & proud mummy to a gorgeous little 5 year old called Jasmine Lila.
You’re a professional wedding, party & event singer. When did you realise you had a passion for singing? What made you take the plunge to pursue wedding singing as a career?
I first started singing as a child, as I come from quite a musical family (my brother has had a few top 40 download chart hits!). To begin with I was in the school musicals and then went on to perform on radio and at about 16 started to train classically to give me a strong foundation of technique and skill to perform from. However, my career took a very corporate path, in media, marketing and sales and my singing and dancing was always a part time profession. This all changed once I had my little girl, as part time corporate doesn’t really exist, so I took the leap of faith to launch myself as ‘Hollie your Wedding Singer’, perfect for Weddings, Parties & Corporate Events!! 😉
You offer an excellent range of bespoke entertainment including solo singer, duo, and a mini function band. What tends to be the most popular package?
I provide Solo Singer, Party Duo & Themed Show packages and to be totally honest, they are all really popular and different in their own right. Where everything I do is bespoke, I always tailor make the package to meet and exceed the client’s needs and depending on their event, the service they choose will reflect this. (I do find that Vintage/American Songbook/Jazz is hugely popular & of course, Party Singer!!).
What do you love most about being a wedding singer?
What I love most about being a wedding singer, is that you are blessed to share and be a huge part of their wedding day and all the love, celebration and emotion that surrounds it.
You have a vast range of songs in your songlist portfolio. What are the most popular songs requested for the wedding ceremony, wedding breakfast/reception, and for the evening do?
Most popular Wedding Ceremony songs include:
• How Long Will I Love You
• At Last
Most popular Breakfast/Champagne Reception songs include:
• Let There Be Love
• All of Me
Most popular Evening Reception songs include:
• The Shoop Shoop Song (in his kiss)
• All about the Bass
• Dance with Me Tonight
Is there any song on your list that you really enjoy belting out? Any song on the list that makes you groan?
Songs I love to sing:
• Somewhere over the Rainbow
• At Last
• Rather Be
Songs I could live without singing for a while
• Wind Beneath My Wings
• I Will Survive
What music genre do you enjoy listening to?
Where do I start with the genres I like listening to…..I love SO many kinds of music and it really depends on my mood. I love vocal based music like Eva Cassidy and the Carpenters, James Taylor etc, but I also love R&B and of course Salsa!! I have a HUGE passion for West End Musicals!
If you had the chance to sing a duet with anybody in the world, dead or alive, who would be your partner and what song would you sing?
If I could duet with one singer (dead or alive) in the whole world then I would love to choose to sing with Jessie J (as I think she is vocal Viagra) but her range is SO huge that I wouldn’t be able to – so instead I choose to sing Somewhere over the Rainbow with Eva Cassidy !
Have you had any unusual song requests?
I have had some very strange requests in my time including ‘Gilbert O’Sullivan’ numbers and Copacabana!
Singing all year round at weddings, parties and events must be a strain on your voicebox. How do you try to keep your voice limbered up and ready for performing? How do you avoid the dreaded sore throat/croaky voice etc?
As a Singer it is really important to continually look after your voice, so I always do the following before a performance:
• Warm up
• Avoid dairy
• Take Vocalzone
• Drink lots of water
As a cure for a ‘sad’ voice I do the following:
• Take Singers Throat mix (the most evil tasting liquid in the WORLD)
• Drink Honey and Lemon (Hot)
• Vocal REST!!
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing on and off stage?
On stage you will find me wearing very glamorous evening dresses or ‘themed’ attire (such as Vintage) with ridiculously high heels and accessories and ALL my hair and make up intact!! Lol!
Off stage you will normally find me in skinny jeans, ugg boots with a skinny rib t-shirt in the summer and a trendy jumper or hoody in the winter!
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
As far as retailers go Amazon is amazing for costumes and accessories. I love QUIZ at Lakeside/Westfields for glamorous party wear and Ali Express for every kind of costume, dress or outfit (but it takes about 8 weeks to arrive but is CRAZY cheap!!)
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wishlist?
My next purchase needs to be another shorter style, sparkly or sequinned party dress for xmas season (more laid back events).
Boots or Shoes?
For me, boots or shoes is hard, because boots at home and shoes at work nearly always!
Links you would like to share eg website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can follow you and your career
Many thanks for chatting to us today – I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous, Fun & Eventful New Year! For those readers in the UK who are looking for some fabulous entertainment then Hollie is your girl – she’s simply divine! My wedding song was Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” – what was yours? Please do tell!
All photos were published with kind permission of Hollie Kamel.