Ben Hazlewood Shares His Biggest Inspirations

Australian singer-songwriter gives the lowdown on the songs that paved his musical path

Ben Hazlewood My Top Ten

Upon first listen of his latest EP, EOS, Ben Hazlewood’s soaring vocals set to hypnotic electronic beats would make you think he’s a man who was raised with pop music, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Australian singer-songwriter grew up with an eclectic musical palette, listening to everything from Eminem to U2 and citing classic rock as one of his biggest influences.

It’s no surprise, then, that when asked to think of the music that inspires him, Hazlewood’s answers often fall into songs written in decades past. ARTISTdirect chatted with the up-and-coming crooner about the music that shaped his formative years, and the songs he’s most proud of writing himself.

First single I bought…

It was probably something with an instrumental track included so I could sing it. I can’t remember the single but I know that the first album I bought was Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP. I made my older sister buy it for me as I wasn’t old enough to buy it.

First live show I attended…

The first show I attended that I remember blowing my mind was U2. My dad and I went to see them and, I remember it was the first time I was like, “Right that is what I wanna do with my life, Perform on stages like that.”

First song I learned to play…

The first song I learned to play on Guitar was “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” – U2. It was only four chords and still took me a while to work it out.

The song that encouraged me to learn my instrument of choice…

I remember watching Rolling stones Live DVD with my dad and seeing “Gimme Shelter”  – the woman’s voice on that record was so incredible I had never heard anything like it before!  It did really inspire me to belt the shit outta everything I sing and to try get as much passion and power into my voice.

The song that reminds me of home…

Any time I hear anything from Crowded House, it reminds me of home, especially “Better Be Home Soon”.

My guilty secret track…

“Blown Away” – Carrie Underwood. Haha I don’t know why, but I love that track!

The song I wish I wrote…

“Take Me to Church” – Hozier. Such an inspiration from a song writing perspective. It’s  such a well-constructed, emotive, unique song.

The finest song from my all time hero…

“The Chain” – Fleetwood Mac. Have loved this song for so long. I love Stevie Nicks. She is one of my idols.

The song I’ve written of which I’m most proud…

I think at this point “Hideaway” Is my favourite. It has a good vibe and is really emotive. Its one of the only songs I have written that’s taken me a while to actually understand what I was writing it about.

The song that should be played at my funeral…

“Vincent” – Don McLean 

My favorite track from my most recent project

“Sail Away”. I’s something I am really, really proud of. It took a while to get the sound and vibe right, but we got there in the end. Plus the video is sick!

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