Not crying over split milk: Musician Holly Hoo, left, and writer Rosie Fea PICTURE: KATE ROEBERGE PHOTOGRAPHY

More than 20 artists from Queenstown’s creative realm will exhibit their latest work to help launch a friend’s new song.

Local gal Holly Hoo, real name Holly Hoogvliet, is dropping her first officially-released song, called Phonebook, at her Queenstown Arts Centre event tomorrow.

Instead of just having a stock-standard song-release gig, she decided to grab her creative friends and create ‘The Expiry Date’ exhibition for everyone to share what they’ve been working on — not just her.

Although she’s only releasing one song tomorrow, she has a large body of work called The Milk Project, which she’ll be performing live alongside Hamish Grant, Scott Kennedy and Dave Gent.

After the launch, Phonebook will be released on Spotify.

Hoogvliet says she wrote the songs in a really short period of time after a gut-wrenching time in her life that led to heartbreak.

“It’s not cruel, it’s not sobby, I challenged myself to be almost comical and express what I needed to but in a creative way that everyone can relate to.

“The best thing I learnt about it is that when I wrote those songs they were about me and they were about one particular person but as soon as they were complete — not about me anymore.”

And, above everything, they’re completely and utterly honest.

Hoogvliet is also a qualified occupational therapist, but after finishing her degree in 2016 at the University of Otago she decided it wasn’t for her.

She’s been working at Artbay Gallery for the past year, and later next month she’s heading back to Dunedin to study human resources.

In amongst her busy life she never really took the time to fully focus on her music — until now.

Adam Murray, known as Radram, has produced The Milk Project for her.

Hoogvliet remembers hearing back the first song he got his hands on and being blown away.

“It’s almost like a gift back to myself.”

But it wasn’t just Murray who helped get her music off the ground — most of the people in ‘The Expiry Date’ have contributed to her artist identity.

Friend and writer Rosie Fea is mentioned a lot by Hoogvliet.

“She’s a real comedian actually.”

At Hoogvliet’s lowest point she received an email from Fea with six “hilarious” voice memos making light of breakups and breakdowns.

One of the voice memos ended up at the start of Phonebook, which has also been made into a video clip and will be shown at tomorrow’s event.


Holly Hoo and The Milk Project present The Expiry Date Friday at the Queenstown Art Centre, 7pm, free entry