Get To Know Hazlett [Interview]

Riley Furey

Hazlett and I had a very wholesome beginning. We first started talking because he reached out to me to let me know he was a fan of my writing, and from that day, I naturally got deeper into his music. He is a folk renaissance man with a big heart, and I wanted to dive deeper into who he is, how he’s been enjoying his first ever North American Tour, and what’s to come next from him.

Let's get into it, shall we?

If someone’s never heard of you or listened to your music, how would you describe yourself to them in a sentence?

“Ballroom Folk”... I stumbled into that phrase a while ago and I think it really sums up the music and also me. I like how initially it feels like you know what it is but there’s also layers to it and more to uncover.

Not to be basic, but my favorite song of yours has to be “Blame The Moon.” Can you tell me a little bit about how this song came to be?

That song came about in this cabin on the west coast in Sweden. Me and my buddy Freddy packed a car full of guitars and said we have a week to pull some magic out of nowhere – a week later we had the whole “Goodbye To The Valley Low” EP.

I know you’re from Australia. How do you think this impacted the music you make?

It’s pretty huge now that I look back on it. Even though I didn’t record my music until I went to Sweden, Australia shaped me. It’s where I played bass in bands around town, loaded gear in and out of my car every week but it’s also the place where I took a risk later in life and decided to try singing. It’s where I then sang in pubs for 4 years. It’s where I got applauded, heckled, and ignored, but it built me up and taught me everything I know.

Who are some of your favorite Aussie bands?

At the moment listening to a lot of: Royel Otis, Middle Kids, Ryan Downey, Angie McMahon, Spacey Jane, Hayden Calnin, Yb.

I also read that you are currently based out of Sweden. Why did you choose to move there, and if you had to describe the music scene in Sweden with one word what would it be?

It was one of those life turning points. I went up there on a whim to give music one last go, and the very first person I met there is the same friend I’ve written, recorded, and released every song with every since – Freddy. It’s tough to answer in one word, but I would probably go with “possibilities.”

It’s very clear that there is much more to you than your music from how you convey yourself on social media. What is your favorite thing to do outside of making music?

A staff member at the venue the other night actually asked me if there were 5 objects to summon you what would they be, which I think applies here. 

A basketball: I'm a big basketball fan, in fact most of my American geography is based around college basketball teams.

A coffee: Coffee is my love language and first port of call wherever I go.

A pen and paper:  I love writing just about all the time about anything I’m thinking. 

A pedometer: My favorite thing to do in new cities is just run and walk around and explore. 

An apron: Cooking is one of my favorite things to do for people.

As I mentioned in the intro, you’re in the United States for your first time on tour over here. How did that come to be, and how have your first set of shows been so far?

It came together really last minute actually, and to be honest I didn’t think it would happen. But with an expensive visa lawyer, sleepless nights, and a lot of luck, I managed to get a visa to come and play. I still can’t believe I’m finally here. The shows have been so great and I had no idea there would be this many people liking or even knowing my music. It’s been very surreal so far.

What most surprised you about the U.S.? Were any of the stereotypes about it true?

People singing the lyrics back to me has been the biggest surprise to be fair. When it happens though, I freeze up a bit on stage. Its one thing that playing in pubs didn’t prepare me for! And I haven’t come across any stereotypes yet, although I am in Texas at the moment so I’m going to venture outside and see if everything is bigger here.

While we're here, are there any stereotypes you want to disprove about Australia?

Vegemite gets a bad wrap with people outside of Australia, and I think that’s only because people are using way too much like it’s Nutella or something. Vegemite is a lot like soy sauce but in a spread form and you don’t want to use too much. So try it again with lots of butter and a thin spread of Vegemite.

I could ask you so much more but to keep this interview concise, is there anything you want people to know that’s coming next for you, or that you’re excited about?

I just want to say thanks to anyone for being here, you’re changing my life. That goes for you too Riley, it means a lot. Also there’s a “Goodbye To Valley Low Part 2” coming out this year…

Hazlett has been putting in the time, and he recently caught a big break touring with LANY amidst an abundance of streaming success. It makes me happy to know that he has stayed grounded through it all, and I couldn't appreciate him more for taking the time out for this interview. You can listen to his music for yourself, starting at my personal favorite below, and make sure to try Vegemite by listening to his instructions.

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