BIMM Berlin students attend Hozier soundcheck

26 February, 2016

Twenty of our very lucky BIMM Berlin students were treated to a real ‘once in a lifetime’ experience when they were invited to attend the live soundcheck of Irish singer-songwriter, Hozier, before his gig at Berlin’s 3,000 capacity Columbiahalle venue.

Andrew Hozier-Byrne, who goes by the stage name of Hozier, first came to the world’s attention in 2013 when he released the song ‘Take Me To Church’, which hit the No.2 spot in both the UK and the US, and became a multi-platinum-selling single all around the world. He had another UK Top 20 hit with ‘Someone New’ and his debut album ‘Hozier’ went to No.1 in Ireland, No.2 in the US and No.3 in the UK. Since then he’s won a plethora of awards across Europe and the US, and has been touring almost constantly.

We often mention BIMM’s enviable connections to the music industry, and this fantastic opportunity for our students was a result of just that! One of our BIMM Dublin lecturers ­– Rory Doyle – has been playing drums with Hozier on his recent tour, so arranged for the soundcheck visit to take place.

The students in attendance came from across the range of BIMM Berlin courses, including those studying Songwriting, Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums and Music Business. On arrival, they were escorted through to the backstage area of the venue, before being guided to the balcony to watch Hozier perform.

The atmosphere of the soundcheck was intimate and special – almost like a private concert just for the BIMM Berlin students – and at one point the stage lights were suddenly directed onto the balcony and Hozier said “hi” to the group.

After the soundcheck, our students had the opportunity to meet Hozier in person for a quick chat and a few photos. Members of the group asked him about his musical inspirations (blues, soul and jazz) and discussed the use of poetry and biblical imagery in his songs. Songwriting student Celine asked him how he recorded his album, because she felt that the subtle nuances of his vocal recording sounded more authentic than a typical studio recording. Hozier agreed with her theory, saying:

“I recorded the vocals in my attic, as well as all the instruments.”

The feedback from BIMM Berlin students who attended the soundcheck has been fantastic, with Songwriting student Max stating:

“Getting the chance to watch Hozier’s soundcheck and meet him in person was an amazing and inspiring experience. It was interesting to watch the band play in an intimate atmosphere and I really got an idea of how well thought through his songwriting and song orchestrations are.”

Another student commented on the soundcheck, saying:

“It made me realise what a thorough musician he is. The instruments were real, not electronic. It was great to see. He’s really down to earth and you can see that when he’s on the stage.”

Songwriting student Celine attended Hozier’s concert later on in the evening and said attending the soundcheck beforehand and meeting the musician had really added to her enjoyment of the gig:

“It was a much better experience, since I knew his amazing personality and that he was so true to his own music!”

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Hozier for allowing us to share in such a unique and memorable experience, and also to BIMM Dublin tutor, Rory Doyle, for making it happen!

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