The EP “Nina Cried Power” is a taste of what will be the second studio album by Hozier, coming out in 2019. We talked with him a few hours before the live in Milan
Hozier has recently moved from Italy (specifically to the Alcatraz in Milan) to present live – in addition to his previous successes, such as the super hit Take Me to Church – also the new tracks contained in Nina Cried Power . The EP, released in September , is the same admission of its author as a sort of teaser of what will be his second studio album, out in 2019. We talked with him a few hours before the live.
Hozier and Mavis Staples during the recordings of Nina Cried Power
The anticipations on the new album
” All the songs have already been recorded and the mix is in its final stages – reveals Hozier – The album will be released in early spring of 2019. There will be some singles: Movement is the first of them. The EP was a good “teaser” for some of the themes and atmospheres that will be on the record. Probably Nina Cried Power will be included in the tracklist. It will be a very varied album: there are very folk, traditional, and more rock and roll songs. “
Nina Cried Power : a protest song
Regarding the title track of the EP Hozier speaks with great transport and circumstantial reasons that have pushed him to write a real protest song: ” I wanted to make a song that was full of hope and not cynical , that looked at the work of other artists under different circumstances: for example Mavis Staples, Woody Guthrie or Nina Simone (all mentioned in the text, ed ), all people who made their voices heard on topics they felt important. And this constituted a document of what we often find inspiration. It’s just my thanks for all this. I wanted to write something that spoke of the spirit of solidarity and protest “.
The conversation takes a marked “social-conscious” turn that has now remained the preserve of a small minority of artists: ” For me everything is political – continues Hozier, inadvertently quoting Pasolini – Even the clothes we wear and the music we listen to or create have a political dimension. If something involves people’s experience, it has a political implication. Songs are not just songs: they are documents of a time and a place. They are important because of the context in which they were made “.
The song was also born of a feeling of frustration to see that, for fear of passing through a moral stand on a pedestal, few artists today take the trouble to write songs for a better world. But once it was different: “For people like Mavis Staples (living legend of soul / R & B, sing with him in the piece, ed ) it was not an option: it was something that had to be done. For them the need for change was a very serious matter, as was the fact of writing songs about it. “
The collaboration with Mavis Staples
The featuring of Mavis Staples has its roots in an admiration for the world of black music that animated Hozier from an early age: “As a kid I was very much listening to the Staple Singers (the band of Mavis, ed ). I loved gospel music, its vocal harmonies. Then I discovered his context and I was fascinated. Songs like Long Walk to DC were an invitation to join the march. “
For her, she nourishes the highest esteem both as a musician and as a person: “I know she had heard Take Me to Church and she liked it very much, she hummed it from time to time. When the song was born there was no doubt that it had to be done with her. We did not meet until the day we recorded it. You can not imagine how kind and charismatic it is: the sweetest and most warm person I have ever known. We had a great day recording vocals in Chicago. “