After a four-year wait, he’s back with new material - and Andrew Hozier Byrne does not disappoint.
"It’s brilliant, I love it, I’ve listened to it about 15 times already," said Ray D’Arcy, speaking with Hozier (you can call him Andy) about his new single Nina Cried Power.
We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
The Nina in question is one of his personal heroes, Nina Simone, and he talked to Ray about what a joy it has been to perform with some of his idols in recent times, including Mavis Staples and Booker T. Jones, which means an awful lot more to him than penning a hit.
He’d rather write something that the legends of blues and soul would like to listen to than make a splash in the charts (luckily for him he doesn’t have to worry too much about the latter…).
"Blues music deals with very adult longing, and grief and joy as well, too. When I was a kid, once I got a kind of a taste of that, I found it very hard to enjoy pop music of the 90’s in the same way… I’d rather be trying to live up to the legacy of your influences by making music that they might go, actually, 'You know what, I like that song'."
He has become an idol to many himself in the last few years, but how does a humble Wicklow man handle the applause?
"You kind of just don’t think about it as much as possible. It wasn’t until I got back to Dublin that I had to be faced with the thought that people know who I am now, because when I was on the road, you’re used to crowds shouting at you - but then when you’re back in Dublin and you’re sitting in a pub and somebody (goes) 'Ah there’s your man, there goes your man,' that’s very odd. It took me some time."
"I’ve never worked as hard on anything and I’ve never been as busy," Hozier said of his new album, but he makes sure to take time out to reconnect with family, friends and reality, things like "putting the bins out once a week". Superstars have domestic waste needs too.
"You have to be sceptical of people’s praise of you… I’m a firm believer in not believing your own hype and not believing your own BS too. I think that’s important."