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Hozier on epic poems, Uber rides and making a non-lockdown album

 A woman and a man sit on separate couches while holding microphones during an interview.
Scarlett Shapiro
Hozier (right) talks with Radio Milwaukee's Salam Fatayer prior to his sold-out show at the Rave on May 19.

When Hozier made a tour stop in Milwaukee a few weeks ago, it was special before it even started. He had already revealed a major run of dates for the fall that didn’t include the city — and then delighted his fans here by announcing what he called “pop-up concerts,” one of which took place at the Rave/Eagles Club on May 19.

 A man holds an electric guitar while singing into a standing microphone with several stage lights shining down from above.
Scarlett Shapiro
Hozier at the Rave on May 19.

Hozier enraptured the audience with an awe-inspiring, sold-out performance. The combination of his magnetic stage presence and the intimate setting forged an enchanting atmosphere that held the crowd spellbound. Earlier that day, I had the opportunity to sit down with him one-on-one for an enlightening conversation that delved deep into his profound creative process and explored the wellspring of his artistic inspirations.

Throughout our discussion, we ventured into myriad topics: the connection between his music and the female gaze; themes of desire, constraint and even destruction; and the inspiration he drew from Dante Alighieri’s Inferno from The Divine Comedy, unraveling intricate layers of meaning and weaving symbolism into his one work.

Before we wrapped up our conversation, we did find time to lighten up a bit. I couldn't resist asking him about his ideal companions for an Uber ride, plus I posed the beloved Radio Milwaukee question about childhood smells, inviting Hozier to share memories from his early years.

Listen to the interview using the player at the top of the page, enjoy his recently released single “Francesca,” and get ready for his highly anticipated third full-length album, Unreal Unearth, which comes out Aug. 18.

Audio Storyteller / 88Nine On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee