Hozier talks about fame and the politics behind hit single Take Me to Church

Irish singer Hozier talks to CBC's Ian Hanomansing about his rapid success and the politics behind the hit single Take Me to Church.

Irish singer sits down with Ian Hanomansing to talk about his rise to success

Irish singer Hozier talks to CBC's Ian Hanomansing about his rapid success and the politics behind his hit single, Take Me to Church. 1:42

You might not know how to pronounce his name, but chances are you've heard his hit song, Take Me to Church. 

Known simply as Hozier (pronounced HO-zee-er), Irish singer Andrew Hozier-Byrne is taking in all of his new-found success from his hit song.

"It wasn't an overnight hit, and I supposed that's why it's still hanging in there." 

His song Take Me to Church was nominated for song of the year at this year's Grammy Awards, losing to Sam Smith's Stay With Me. But it was his duet at the award show with legendary Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox that proved to be one of the best performances of the night.

Hozier's quick rise to fame

The 24-year-old singer credits the internet and streaming services like Spotify for playing a major role in the global success of the song. 

"A lot of it has to do with the video being shared online, and I think the immediacy of the internet and how fast information can get around the world. We were finding early on people were listening to the music in different parts of the world much quicker than they would have."

Take Me to Church is not only catchy, but also tackles big issues like LGBT rights and homophobia.

"The song references the Catholic Church, but I suppose at the core it's an ideology that would undermine a very natural wonderful part of being a person. That's where the video and the song meet."

The video, shot entirely in black and white, shows a gay couple being persecuted by a gang. Hozier says the video's concept was particularly inspired by the struggle for LGBT rights in Russia and attacks by far-right and neo-Nazi groups.

"I am a politically motivated person, and that will come through in the music. I'm not sure if every song will be Take Me to Church, but I can only hope that people enjoy the body of work that I have ahead of me."

Tune into CBC's The National on Sunday night at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) to see the full interview with Ian Hanomansing.