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Hozier

Singer from Wicklow

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Nina Cried Power

Hozier

Hozier Biography

Andrew John Hozier-Byrne, known professionally as Hozier, is an Irish singer-songwriter and musician. Hozier's music primarily draws from folk, soul and blues genres, often using religious and literary themes in his work. He had his international breakthrough after releasing his debut single "Take Me to Church", which has been certified multi-platinum in several countries, including the US, the UK, and Canada.Early life Andrew John Hozier-Byrne was born on 17 March 1990, in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. His father, John Byrne, is a local blues drummer whose day job was working at a bank; his mother, Raine Hozier-Byrne, is an artist. Hozier grew up in the Irish countryside, near the vill...
Andrew John Hozier-Byrne, known professionally as Hozier, is an Irish singer-songwriter and musician. Hozier's music primarily draws from folk, soul and blues genres, often using religious and literary themes in his work. He had his international breakthrough after releasing his debut single "Take Me to Church", which has been certified multi-platinum in several countries, including the US, the UK, and Canada.

Early life

Andrew John Hozier-Byrne was born on 17 March 1990, in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. His father, John Byrne, is a local blues drummer whose day job was working at a bank; his mother, Raine Hozier-Byrne, is an artist. Hozier grew up in the Irish countryside, near the village of Delgany.

As a child, Hozier self-identified as a "class clown" and an "unfocused student," calling school a "monotonous nightmare." He once worked a job "scrubb[ing] toilets at a golf club", which he described as a "good experience of hard work". Hozier began writing songs at the age of fifteen. He taught himself guitar and sang in his school choir. He attended Delgany National School and St. Gerard's School before studying Music Education at Trinity College, Dublin. He was refused a year's deferral by the college after missing exams to record demos for a music label.

Career

2008–2012: Beginnings

While in Trinity, Hozier became involved with the Trinity Orchestra. He was a member of the choral ensemble Anúna from 2007 to 2012 and appears as a soloist on their 2014 release Illuminations singing "La Chanson de Mardi Gras". He toured and sang with the group internationally including performances in Norway and the Netherlands. Hozier played at Oxegen Festival in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, he opened up for a performance for Alex Winston in Dublin. In 2012, Hozier appeared as a backup singer for Billy Ocean.

2013–2017: Take Me to Church EP, From Eden EP and Hozier

Hozier wrote the song Take Me to Church in 2013 in between-playing open-mic nights in Dublin; the rough demo resulted in him signing with indie label Rubyworks Records. Hozier released his debut extended play Take Me to Church, on 3 July 2013. which appeared on the Billboard 200. He initially recorded track demos in his attic studio before working on the record with producer Rob Kirwan. The titular single, "Take Me to Church", was released in September 2013. The music video, alluding to themes of homophobia, was released that same month, having been created on a "shoestring budget" and filmed entirely in black-and-white. The video was subsequently was shared by actor Stephen Fry, appearing on the front page of Reddit, and subsequently going viral. "Take Me to Church" saw Hozier's rise to prominence, with the song scoring top five positions around the world and gaining multi-platinum certifications; the song also garnered critical acclaim for its lyricism and messaging. The EP's concluding track, "Cherry Wine", appeared in Zach Braff's movie Wish I Was Here, chosen for its "heartbreaking lyrics and poetry". It was later performed on the Late Late Show. In 2014, Hozier released his second EP, From Eden.

Hozier performing at The Troubadour in West Hollywood in 2014

Hozier released his eponymous album, Hozier, on 19 September 2014, including tracks from his first two extended-plays. The album drew inspiration from folk, R&B, and blues music. Hozier met critical success; Helen Brown of The Telegraph noted that it was "an intense, youthful lyrical tangling of religion and romantic obsession that regularly finds him poised 'between love and abuse'". Hozier peaked at number one in Ireland and finished second on the US Billboard 200. The album is certified 2x platinum in the UK and US. After the release of "Take Me to Church", the record released five singles released from 2014 to 2016: "From Eden", "Sedated", "Work Song", Someone New", "Jackie and Wilson", and "Cherry Wine", which all appeared on the Irish Singles Chart. The music videos for "From Eden" "Someone New" and "Cherry Wine" featured actresses Katie McGrath, Natalie Dormer and Saoirse Ronan, respectively. He embarked on an American and European tour to support the album.

"Take Me to Church" was later nominated at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards for Song of the Year in 2015. At the awards show, he performed the song with Annie Lennox, and later at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. On 12 November 2015, he won the VH1 Artist of the Year, a fan-voted award. At the ceremony, he performed "Take Me to Church" and The Beatles' "Blackbird" with singer Tori Kelly. In June 2016, Hozier released the song "Better Love" as part of the Legend of Tarzan soundtrack. Hozier subsequently took a one-year hiatus from his work, moving back to Ireland to "reconnect" after touring his debut album.

2018–present: Nina Cried Power EP and Wasteland, Baby!

In September 2018, Hozier returned with the release of the extended-play Nina Cried Power. The record features a collaboration with Mavis Staples on the titular track. He released his second studio album's lead single, "Movement", on 14 November 2018, alongside a music video. Hozier's second album, Wasteland, Baby!, was released on 1 March 2019, including tracks from his previous EP. The thematic elements of the album center around his interpretation of the apocalypse while looking for thematic elements of romance and redemption. Reviews were largely positive; Elisabeth Woronzoff of PopMatters stated it "light[s] the artist's skill and vision of his craft... [and] that it [..] delivers while edifying the artist as an impactful voice in the art and activism sphere." The album debuted atop the Irish Albums Chart and the Billboard 200, Hozier's first number-one US release. Wasteland Baby! has since been certified silver in the United Kingdom and gold in the United States.

Hozier performing at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on the Wasteland Baby! Tour in 2019

After Wasteland, Baby!'s release, Hozier embarked on a worldwide tour across North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe to promote the album. Wasteland, Baby! released two further singles released in 2019 that debuted on the Irish Singles Chart: "Almost (Sweet Music)" and "Dinner and Diatribes"; the music video for the latter track features an appearance from actress Anya Taylor-Joy. He was the closing headliner of the inaugural Railbird Festival held on the grounds of the Keeneland horse track in Lexington, Kentucky. Hozier was one of the headliners for the Electric Picnic 2019, a three-day festival held in Ireland on 30 August to 1 September. He performed at the Glastonbury Festival 2019, a five-day festival held in June in England. He also performed at the Lollapalooza 2019, a four-day music festival held in Chicago in August.

In March and April 2020, Hozier did multiple live-streamed performances on Instagram and Facebook to raise money and awareness for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. On 27 March, he performed on the Late Late Show. On 14 April, he announced that he was releasing his cover of "The Parting Glass" for streaming on all platforms, with proceeds going to ISPCC. On 26 June 2020, Hozier participated in an RTÉ fundraising special, RTÉ Does Comic Relief, with proceeds going towards victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the special, he performed a cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” in Croke Park, and performed a sketch with Irish comedian Aisling Bea.

Artistry

Influences

Hozier has credited artist-activists Nina Simone and Woody Guthrie among the influences of his music.

As a result of his countryside upbringing, many of his early music exposure came from his parents' record collection of blues, jazz and soul, incorporating artists like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Bukka White and Tom Waits. Hozier's first musical memories were drawn from his father's career as a drummer playing music in Dublin. He has stated that his musical education was "grounded" in Chicago blues artists such as John Lee Hooker, Otis Redding and Nina Simone, who he pays tribute to in the track "Nina Cried Power". As a child, he was a fan of the bands Stereophonics and Daft Punk. His draws inspiration primarily from Irish and Black artistry; he has said that the "roots" of jazz, rock, soul, and R&B have been largely shaped by black culture and finds importance in "crediting the legacy you're crediting". His guitar work draws from Celtic folk inspiration as well as musicians Ali Farka Toure and Tinariwen. Hozier has stated that "the best vocalists I can think of are female". Musically, Hozier has listed Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, Woody Guthrie, Van Morrison, Ella Fitzgerald, St Vincent, Feist, Little Green Cars, Paul Simon, Willie Dixon and Lisa Hannigan as musical and vocal influences.

Songwriting

Hozier states that his writing differs based on the starting point; varying from a couplet and lyrical idea, or a musical hook that he "flesh[es] out from a fairly embryonic point". Lyrics "by far take [him] the most time", describing a "slow process of repetition" while "not lean[ing] too much on verbose phrases" to maintain the integrity of the sentiment. His process is described as "slow, methodical work" and he is "meticulous" about wording; he has stated that he "can defend any idea by the time someone hears it, because he's put it through a strainer seven times." His lyrics often contain vivid literary references and draw imagery from nature and religion; they tend to focus on themes of romantic relationships, love and politics. Hozier has dismissed comparisons of his work to poetry, stating that to consider it such "would be a disservice to poetry itself." The "subversion of social norms" plays a role in his music, which often discuss the defiance of organised religion and social convention. Hozier references the Irish concept of craic, which he interprets as subverting social norms and self-respect, and has stated "if the Irish are not taking the piss out of something, what's the point really." Hozier's songwriting has been influenced by Irish music and folklore, as well as poets Seamus Heaney, and W. B. Yeats. He has said that his first record contained a "fairytale aspect" influenced by Oscar Wilde.

Steve Baltin of Forbes has stated that briefly studying music theory in college has influenced Hozier's sound, and that he writes from a "socially conscious" perspective. Hozier has stated that he believes "the personal is the political"; much of his work holds direct references to topical events. The "Take Me to Church" music video features two men in a same-sex relationship, and highlights the injustices and violence perpetrated against members of the LGBT community. The video was inspired by videos of violent crimes against gay men in Russia. The music video for the song "Cherry Wine" was released to raise awareness of domestic violence. "Nina Cried Power" is a song that highlights artists such as Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, and Mavis Staples whose work takes a political or social justice stance. The music video features Irish activists alongside protest footage. "Be" also contains many allusions to sea level rise and refugee crises, referencing President Donald Trump and The Apprentice. In November 2019, Hozier released a new song entitled "Jackboot Jump", following live performances of it on tour. This song, besides being a direct reference to George Orwell's 1984, alludes to social demonstrations in Hong Kong, Russia and in America. In 2019, Hozier performed an unreleased song whilst on tour entitled "But the Wages" that refers to temperatures rising as well as riots all around the world, while wages remain the same.

Activism

Hozier is part of Home Sweet Home, an organisation led by celebrities including Saoirse Ronan and Glen Hansard. In 2016, the organisation illegally took over an office building in Dublin to house 31 homeless families. Hozier, who had a Protestant upbringing in the Quaker faith, is an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church. He has shown support for the Irish abortion referendum and stated he felt "pride" in his generation and the democratic process following the vote. On 5 June 2020, Hozier announced that all royalties from his song "Jackboot Jump" would go to the NAACP and Black Lives Matter following the George Floyd protests.



Source : Wikipedia
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Hozier Videos

Hozier Discography

  • 2013EPTake Me to Church
  • 2014SingleAngel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene
  • 2014EPFrom Eden
  • 2014AlbumHozier
  • 2014AlbumHozier (Bonus Track Version)
  • 2014SingleLike Real People Do
  • 2015EPLive in America
  • 2016SingleBetter Love (From "The Legend of Tarzan")
  • 2016SingleCherry Wine (Live)
  • 2018EPNina Cried Power
  • 2018SingleShrike (Live at Windmill Lane Studios)
  • 2019SingleJackboot Jump (Live)
  • 2019SingleThe Bones
  • 2019AlbumWasteland, Baby!
  • 2020SingleThe Parting Glass (Live from the Late Late Show)
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