Meet the Bray singer cracking America
Published 13/03/2014 | 10:21
Irish singer Hozier has made a splash with critics at Austin festival, SXSW.
The Bray native is currently tackling the elusive American market, doing promotional work in New York and now Austin, Texas.
There was a massive interest in Andrew 'Hozier' Byrne ahead of his SXSW gig, with two critics hailing him as 'a SXSW superstar about to be a household name' and a 'must-see' act at the uber-hip festival.
He played a set at Spotify's headquarters yesterday to critical acclaim - just one week after selling out a gig at Whelan's in Dublin in just 45 seconds.
After Texas, he'll be heading to Los Angeles to tackle all corners of the US.
During a recent interview with New York Magazine, he revealed the inspiration behind his hit song Take Me To Church, which has racked up two million hits on You Tube and propelled him to nearly instant fame in Ireland.
The song, which highlights the ongoing gay rights issues in both Ireland and abroad, in particular same-sex marriage, has been hailed for its message.
"Coming from Ireland, obviously, there's a bit of a cultural hangover from the influence of the church," he told the magazine. "You've got a lot of people walking around with a heavy weight in their hearts and a disappointment, and that shit carries from generation to generation.
"So the song is just about that — it's an assertion of self, reclaiming humanity back for something that is the most natural and worthwhile. Electing, in this case a female, to choose a love who is worth loving."
He added that the issue of same sex marriage is one of basic human rights, rather than something which only affects homosexual couples.
"To me, it's not even a gay issue or a civil rights issue, it's a human rights isse, and it should offend us all. It's just simple. Either somebody has equal rights, or they don't. And certainly in the Irish constitution, marriage is genderless," he said.
"There's no mention of a man and a woman. I didn't even have that many close LGBT friends or anything like that, but I suppose it was growing up and becoming aware of how you are of a cultural landscape that is blatantly homophobic."
Other Irish acts featuring at SXSW include Cian Nugent, Dott, Heathers, Hozier, Kid Karate, RAMS Pocket Radio, September Girls, The Strypes, The Young Folk, Unknown, Wonder Villains, and Wounds.