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Meet Irish musician Hozier

Andrew Hozier-Byrne, aka Hozier, is a 24-year-old Irish musician, with humble beginnings in a small town. His love for music and songwriting began in his teenage years, which led him to study music in college in Dublin. But all he wanted to do was write songs, and did not feel college was the place for him to explore that particular side of music. So he dropped out and began to create on his own, for as long as it would take him to succeed. That time has come.

Irish flag
Photo by Jeremy O'Donnell/Getty Images

Hozier's first single "Take me to Church" off the four-track 2013 EP of the same name, instantly put him on the map. Already at seven million hits on YouTube, it's a powerful track that fuses blues, rock, gospel and soul together. The video is particularly chilling, depicting how humans treat each other in the name of religion. His concept behind the video was to shed light on what was happening at the time (and currently) in Russia, with the respect to the treatment of the LGBT community. This single alone, enabled him to launch a North American tour, not to mention performances on The Ellen Degeneres Show and David Letterman.

Hozier's influences lie with the likes of Tom Waits and Nina Simone, and has no hesitation in admitting female musicians are the best vocalists out there. His sound is stripped-down folk, rock, and blues all intertwined, and his voice matches each style perfectly. His second EP, entitled From Eden was released earlier this year, and boasted another four fantastic tracks, including the delightful "Work Song." He has admitted some of music to be a bit more on the romantic side than he would like, however credits it to a break up that occurred in his life around that time. His debut album, Hozier, is set to release in September 2014, and will combine most of the tracks from his first two EPs, including "From Eden"; plus six new ones, including "Sedated."

Hozier's North American tour begins at the end of September, with a stop at The Phoenix in Toronto on October 28th. His music is available on iTunes, YouTube and Soundcloud. Give him a listen.