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October 10, 2011 | by  | in Arts Music | [ssba]

Unforgettable Wallace Gollan

Wallace Gollan is all smiles and curls.

The prestigious accolades, scholarships to overseas institutions, and her constant involvement in the Wellington music scene, see us meeting just days before she records an EP with her band, The Dreamers. Shrouded in a cloak of self-assurance, the unrelenting tenacity that saw her as a 6-year-old memorize her lines for a school production despite her inability to read, has subsequently seen her go from strength to strength.

Gollan is the first to acknowledge how fortunate she has been “with the experiences I was able to have quite young”. Lending her voice to the Kiwi Kids albums, which were distributed around New Zealand schools, afforded her valuable exposure to recording studios. Her euphonic voice has been fostered via singing lessons that began at the tender age of seven through to thirteen. While they focused mainly on a classical repertoire, her love of jazz, already nurtured by her father, compelled her to croon jazz numbers in her own time.

Now just shy of her 21st birthday, the confidence that she exudes has seen her unperturbed with the sizeable audience that filled the TSB Arena as she serenaded them at the World of Wearable Arts recently. While Wallace states that this is the result of a gradual process whereby “You stop worrying so much about what the audience is thinking of you, and you just start doing it for you,” it could perhaps also be attributed to the adulation she has received in the form of numerous awards and scholarships. Impressively, she has received the ‘Most Outstanding Musician’ and ‘Most Outstanding Vocalist’ awards at the National Youth Jazz Festival, along with the ‘Best Vocalist’ award at the Queenstown International Jazz Festival, and has received and undertaken a scholarship with The Jazz Workshop Sydney.

However, it’s the sensation that Wallace is fast becoming that far exceeds her numerous accomplishments. As we meet, it is only a few days before she enters the studio to record an EP with The Dreamers, which sees her bringing some of her own work to tangible fruition. Gollan, a team player to the very end, is quick to point out that the material was a collaborative effort, though she admits to an apprehensive excitement at the prospect of showcasing one of the songs for which she penned lyrics. The effort that Gollan places in The Dreamers, is put forth equally into her other projects, the Wallace Gollan Trio and her other latest endeavour, though they are “just rehearsing at this stage”.

This coming February will see Gollan relocating to Sydney, where she has previously performed and attended jazz workshops. While this affords her some familiarity and a network from which to draw from, she is intent on making the most of the mini musical empire that she has forged for herself in Wellington, hoping to record an EP of her own work before the end of the year. Conceding that Sydney is merely a “stepping stone” for her before she heads to London, she is understandably “excited about it because you get a bit blasé and safe here”.

While the next few years will see her exploring Europe and other foreign lands, it has already become clear, that although 1951 may have seen Nat King Cole sing ‘Unforgettable’, over sixty years later Wallace Gollan is well on her way to becoming it. *


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Comments (6)

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  1. Sean Feehan says:

    Awesome article Wallace. Good luck to ya’ll for the EP!

  2. Jean Pompey says:

    Great article! It is inspiring to read about a young woman who is collating so many great achievements. I wish you all the best Wallace.

  3. Pender says:

    You are wonderful, Wallace :)

  4. Kempton says:

    You will be missed in ol’ welly Wally. Show them what you’re made of!

  5. Kristyn R says:

    What a great read :) So good to hear Wallace

  6. Ivalene says:

    How neat! Is it raelly this simple? You make it look easy.

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