Irish singing sensation Hozier has revealed that he has mixed feelings about this year’s Easter Rising centenary celebrations.
The Co Wicklow star said that while he believes it is right to mark the centenary of such an important event, he is uncomfortable with the idea of celebrating a violent chapter in Ireland’s history.
The Easter Rising saw rebels rise up and seize control of the GPO in Dublin and declare Ireland to be an independent nation.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the events and every county in the country is set to mark it with their own commemorations. There is also a schedule of national commemorations set to take place.
Hozier believes that it is right to celebrate Ireland’s success in gaining independence – and the nation’s achievements over the subsequent 100 years. However, he is not convinced that violence is something to be celebrated.
The 25-year-old told the Irish Sun: “I really am in two minds about the centenary celebrations because while I feel it’s important that we mark 1916, ‘If you ask me is violence worth celebrating?’ That’s a very difficult question because nation building doesn’t come from peaceful activity.
“No revolution takes places without bloodshed. It’s a slow and bloody business.”
He said that while the Easter Rising was a major turning point in Ireland’s bid to finally be free from British rule, it also eventually led to further bloodshed in the Civil War.
He said: “You can’t mention 1916 without also mentioning the civil war that came afterwards, which was a very, very difficult time.
“But all things considered, I think what Ireland as a nation has achieved in the past 100 years is fantastic and worth celebrating.”
Hozier burst onto the mainstream in 2013 with his global hit single Take Me to Church. His debut album went on to sell over 1.5 million copies worldwide.
He is set to take a little time off after a gruelling year in 2015, but says he will be looking to start working on his follow up album later in the year.
He admitted he is struggling to find the balance between freeing himself to explore creatively, and keeping happy the millions of fans he has won over in recent years.
He said: “That is the big fear. I have a lot of influences I would like to explore, that maybe don’t fit with a Hozier album so to speak.
“But I guess I trusted my instincts the first time around and I will do the same the next time around. I know myself where the line is, on what I can explore on the follow up album.
“It is a little bit daunting as the first album was such a commercial success, and passed into the mainstream, something I never expected. But I will burn that bridge when I get to it, or after I cross it. But no matter what decision I take, some of the audience of the last album will follow on (to the next album) with me, some won’t.”
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