Upclose: Ben Hazlewood

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Then I went into a little lockdown mode, I guess, for 6 months. I just started writing as much as I could, and walked away after those 6 months with about 65 songs. Then chose the best ones that we thought were going to showcase my writing and vocal ability, and created the EP, "Loveless".

What's been your inspiration for the EP?

Probably just going through a whole lot of things over the past couple of years. It's all about that, and my experiences through the show (The Voice) and after the show. Just everything that's happened, I've just gotten in and started writing about it all. I guess that's the inspiration.

When did you decide that music was going to be your career?

To be honest, maybe around 8 years old. My dad was a singer, and was involved in several different bands in New Zealand. So I kind of always grew up watching him sing with his bandmates and stuff. My mum is also a dance teacher, so I've been dancing from a young age as well. So I've always been in the creative, performing situation from a really young age.

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What music do you listen to, what would we find on your iPod?

On my iPod at the moment I've been listening to a lot of The Script as always, they're one of my favourite bands. Um, One Republic, Emeli Sandé and Ellie Goulding. I just really connect with songwriters who write about things that you can tell that they've been through.

What would you be doing if you weren't in the music industry?

I have no idea... I really don't know, I haven't really given it that much thought. At one point I thought I'd be an architect, and then another point I would've been involved in dancing or something. I didn't really have a strong passion for either of them. So it was always just music.

What do you think about when you are performing?

I need to be able to find that connection with the song, and make it my own and relate it to my own story, so I share the feeling. But it's quite weird because once you get on the stage I don't think you're kind of in a normal frame of mind. I think you get transported into this really different sense about you ,where you're just singing and it's a massive adrenaline rush. Especially when you're performing your own music that you have such a strong connection with. So in some ways I think it all just fades away, and it's just that moment and that song. So, I don't really have too many thoughts when I'm on stage, it's just a surreal kind of moment.

Do you have any mentors that inspire you on a daily basis?

My family, because they're really really supportive of me. I look up to people like Ryan Tedder from One Republic. Who was a musician for a really long time, and he went on this reality TV show about songwriting. From there he started writing hits for Leona Lewis, Bleeding Love, and Beyoncé, Halo, and his song, Apologize. Obviously he just kept going, and kept writing and making himself better everyday. So I feel like I look up to him that way.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

Just that I'm doing a lot of live performances at the moment. I'm hopefully gigging as much as I can, I'm hoping I can get as much support as I can. Not only from people downloading the EP, but from the people coming out to the shows and seeing us perform live. Because the EP is really good, but my band and I are even better live. So it takes it to a whole new level.

You can follow Ben on twitter @benhazlewood, instagram @benhazlewood or like him on Facebook.