Hozier

March 17, 1990
  • Andrew Hozier-Byrne is an Irish singer-songwriter from Bray, County Wicklow. The son of a musician, Hozier was raised on blues music. He told The Cut: "My dad was a blues musician around Dublin when I was a baby, so the only music I would listen to growing up was John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. It's music that feels like home to me. Then I discovered Motown and gospel and Delta blues and jazz, so a huge amount of my influences are all African-American music."
  • Hozier began playing publicly in his mid-teens by performing Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolf songs. He recalled to Grantland: "I started learning open tunings, so some of the first guitar I was good at was slide guitar, because it's quite intuitive in a way. I used to do it at talent shows and stuff like that, and I suppose in a way it was something that was very much my own, and when you're a teenager, it's nice to have something that is very much your own thing. People didn't know where I was coming from with that, and it certainly wasn't anything my peers were into."
  • He was a member of the Irish choral group Anúna from 2009 to 2012, and appears as a soloist on their 2012 CD Illumination singing "La Chanson de Mardi Gras."
  • "Take Me To Church's" music video, which criticized the repression of gay people in Russia, generated a lot of heat for Hozier. He recalled to Rolling Stone watching the clip's view count ticking up. "At one point it was getting like 10,000 views an hour or something," he said. "I remember it quite clearly, just going to bed and kind of freaking out."
  • To celebrate his debut eponymous album's release, Hozier surprised his fans by posting his cell phone number on Twitter and telling them to call him and tell him what they thought of the record. The Irish star wasn't concerned about going public with his number as he was about to change it anyway.
  • Hozier considers there to be a difference between making music and writing songs. "To me the words are the core, that's where the character and story is," he told The Sunday Telegraph. "I'm fascinated with what a song can be in the eyes of history, a snapshot of an era, almost like a photograph of the times the songwriter lived in. Whether that's songs from the early 20th century mentioning rations and lines for food or Justin Bieber singing 'baby, baby, baby,' you get an insight into the cultural mentality and society's values, hopes and fears."
  • Hozier's parents had been brought up as Catholics but it wasn't an experience they wanted to pass on to their children. Instead, the singer and his brother were raised as Quakers. "There's a simplicity," he told Q magazine about the denomination. "There is no priests, there is no service – no middle man."

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