With a big, soulful voice rooted in American blues and gospel, Hozier has spent 2014 on a clear path to stardom. His breakthrough song, "Take Me to Church," has racked up millions of views online, and his U.S. tour is sold out. He's been favorably compared to Lorde and Adele. But to the 24-year-old from Ireland, big stages and big crowds are still a bit intimidating.
The singer born Andrew Hozier-Byrne recently spoke with NPR's Melissa Block about his music roots, his love of the blues and his fast rise to fame — and brought along his band to play a few songs live in the studio. Hear their conversation and the music at the audio link, and check out a hand-picked playlist of Hozier's favorite songs on Spotify.