Hozier has hailed Kendrick Lamar and Chance The Rapper as the leaders of the “golden age of hip-hop”.
The ‘Take Me To Church’ hitmaker grew up on blues and soul as a kid but he is also a huge fan of the rap stars, and has heaped praise on them for writing lyrics that have “substance”.
When asked which modern artists he’s inspired by, the Irish musician told Hot Press: “There is a real golden age of hip-hop taking place. There’s so much substance to the work of Chance The Rapper and Kendrick Lamar. To make it into the popular sphere like they have, while reflecting their lives and outlook so honestly, is a powerful thing.
“It’s leading by example and people respond to that, so, yeah, those two.”
Hozier – whose new record ‘Wasteland, Baby!’ features soul legends Booker T. Jones and Mavis Staples – has credited singing in choirs from a young age and discovering harmony with how he wound up being a pop star.
He told the Daily Star newspaper: “I sang in choirs because I was forced into them as a kid and then you get a taste of being part of harmony and holding a line within a harmony, there is something really nice about singing inside a choir and being locked in with people.
“I sang in all sorts of different choirs, and then in Anuna, which does all sorts of ancient music and world music, and that influence my love of harmony.”
Meanwhile, Hozier recently admitted he never expected ‘Take Me To Church’ to be a hit.
The 28-year-old Irish musician wasn’t prepared for being catapulted to fame after the song topped the charts around the world in 2013, as he didn’t pen the track with the intention of it being a “mainstream pop record”.
He said: “It was amazing. I didn’t think it would be a mainstream pop record. I don’t make music for the sake of it being a chart success.”
Hozier – whose real name is Andrew Hozier-Byrne – said it was important to make sure his new record contained songs that he wants to hear being made rather than writing music for commercial gain.
He added: “For this album, I made sure I was writing music that moved and gelled with me.”