Divine is thrilled to have been able to interview up and coming singer-songwriter Ben Hazlewood recently. Ben is an Australian-based artist, who recently paired his song “Darkest Hour” with a touching video full of different clippings from recent events in celebration of the LGBT community. It really sheds light on how love prevails.
As is the usual thing, we asked Ben some revealingly personal questions about himself before getting onto the big ones. This is what Ben had to say.
What’s your favourite pizza topping?
What is your most essential appliance?
Hair dryer (we know a lot of people who would feel the same on this one)
If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
I would apologise to my future self for all the stupid shit I did.
Do you love or loathe Harry Potter?
Love Harry Potter!
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
What song would you say best sums you up?
At the moment, the soundtrack to my life is “See Her Out (That’s just life)” – Francis and the Lights…
PS This could change tomorrow…
Now onto the serious stuff.
You first became noticed on New Zealand Idol in 2006, as we understand it you were 17 years old. How did you find being in the public eye at such a young age? Were there any lessons you learned back then you’d like to impart to other young people doing the same thing?
I learnt that shows like that are TV shows and meant to be entertaining for that purpose. They are not the be all and end all of your career, it’s just another stepping stone. Take the opportunity and use it to learn and grow as much as you can as an artist / performer.
Following your appearance on NZ Idol you then went on to compete in The Voice Australia, 2012. What differences did you find between the shows in terms of coaching, support and publicity?
I swore I would never do another reality singing show but after I met the team on The Voice they helped change my mind. The approach they had was a more inclusive, collaborative process rather than you simply being just another contestant.
I learnt a lot from the music team and my mentor, Joel Madden. It was a great platform for me to launch myself as an artist and I had great support throughout the whole process.
I think The Voice AU was definitely on a higher level than NZ Idol and being that it was the first season in Australia, there was a lot of hype and excitement based around it which led to some great opportunities after it finished.
You have recently released the video for “Darkest Hour” which actively supports the LGBT community and of course, your performance at the 2nd annual Australia LGBT Awards. You said
“This song is a reminder that through the darkness there is still light and strength within you to keep the fight alive. The video is a celebration of the LGBT community and everything that’s been achieved throughout the years working together to support each other as a community. A tribute to all the people that have paved the way for the future generations to grow and live with more love, understanding and acceptance.”
With you being so active within the LGBT community how else do you believe we can get this message across to today’s generation that tolerance and diversity is to be applauded?
At this point, all I can do is use my voice and music to support those who need inspiration and hope. One voice can be a powerful thing but many voices is a force to be reckoned with. If we stand together in the name of peace, love and acceptance then that can change a whole lot in this world.
You represented Australia at the International Music Festival in Spain last year with your and Mali Koa Hood’s duet “Paint Me Black”. How did it feel to be chosen to represent Australia and to then go on to win the competition?
Of course, any acknowledgement of my music is amazing. Its why I write music— to share with the world so it’s awesome that this song was received so well.
It was such a good time working with my friend Mali Hood on this track. We had such a great vibe creating this song and expressing the emotion behind it, so I am really glad to see that it translated to so many people.
Thanks to all who voted!!
Are there any words of wisdom you’ve give someone imparting on the same journey as you, trying to make it in the music industry?
Make sure you nurture, develop and harness your skills. It needs dedication and hard work. If your following your passion be persistent, be patient, be humble and make sure you enjoy the ride.
Finally, for our readers (myself included) who would love to see you perform live, where and when can we look out for you?
The main reason I do this is to perform live. It is the best high for me and why I create music. My team is currently working on a new touring schedule so hoping to announce that in the coming months.
Thanks so much, Ben, for answering these questions and we hope your career continues to snowball and you achiever everything you want for yourself.
Divine featured Ben in an earlier promotional post and you can check it out here.
Divine Magazine Music Review – Ben Hazlewood
Ben Hazlewood of Australia is making some serious waves with both his voice and dedication to the LGBT community. His latest track and video are a true testament to standing together no matter your creed or colour. ‘Darkest Hour’ is a truly inspirational mix of melody and vocals. The video, which features footage from the recent 2nd LGBT Awards ceremony march in Australia, is both heart-warming and just upbeat enough to encourage those to fight for what they believe in and who they are at heart. This artist is not new but up and coming, winning The Voice Australia and releasing a previous album called ‘Loveless’. He provides us with fresh, determined music which I admire from any artist for keeping up that effort in every musical bar.
His last album Vanta is a true masterpiece which echoes, in my opinion, the music of early Savage Garden’s Darren Hayes and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine. I may be biased in this opinion as Savage Garden were the first album I ever bought and owned and still features heavily in my own mixtapes.
The best track to experience this Maroon 5 and Savage Garden Mashup (Hazle Savage 5 if you will) is ‘Hideaway’ one that will get you to Car-eoke all over town. His voice is strong and uncompromising throughout the album with great backing tracks not in competition with his amazing voice but working with it to show this guy’s unrestrained potential. As a fan of many male vocal artists ranging from Alex Clare to Paolo Nutini I can be quite a hard customer to impress and Ben Hazlewood has certainly impressed me with the mixture of all my favourite artists in one clear cut voice and the music production is on point. One of his top tracks ‘Wanted’ is sure to get your heartbeat into cardiac arrest (In a good way!). The album is smooth and transitions from one song to another effortlessly, and remains consistent in the strength of voice and presence in your soul. I don’t want to give too much away about the album and what to expect as I feel you will need to find out for yourself through the many online profiles and channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and Spotify. This album is definitely worth the purchase. Also check out his website, benhazlewood.com for stunning merchandise along with the amazing artwork which is just a bonus with any musical purchase. Just look at that front cover. I hope to see Ben in the top charts in the UK very soon as he clearly deserves it.
Music Reviewer – Divine Magazine
Here’s where you can find Ben
Article courtesy of Ben and http://www.totalassault.com/