Ben Hazlewood, the highly acclaimed finalist of "The Voice" in Australia, has debuted his brand new single Wanted and is premiering the track online via Soundcloud and YouTube. Fans can now purchase the single at iTunes. Hailed by EQ Music Blog as "a powerful, alternative pop effort with underlying soul influences," the treacly, aching Wanted, with its anthemic, heart-rending chorus announces the arrival of a genuine force on the scene, unafraid to put his heart beyond his sleeve.
Contemporary pop. Alternative rock. Many points in between. "Wanted is a song about unrequited love and the angst and frustration, the desperation that comes with it," Hazlewood says. "It's a powerful plea to the person you feel more for than you have ever felt before. The last cry for a change that you anticipate may never come."
At 26, Hazlewood is a fiercely independent singer and songwriter who has the experience of someone twice his age, and a broad love of music that makes his own something timeless and wholly distinctive amidst a sea of aspiring voices -- as evidenced by his new single, Wanted, and the wealth of material he's been working on for his upcoming debut album slated for release in early 2016.
As a teen, Hazlewood partnered with aspiring producer Geoff Duncan -- still his main collaborator today -- who owned a studio and helped him hone his craft and vision. Hazlewood wound up competing on "New Zealand Idol" when he was 17, and a year later he moved to London. He joined a band and spent three years on the independent rock circuit, working with noted songwriter Wayne Hector (One Direction, Nicki Minaj, Olly Murs), developing their live chops and building an enthusiastic following until their label collapsed, taking the band down with it.
Undaunted, Hazlewood decided to move to Australia, where he set up shop and became a finalist on that country's edition of "The Voice" working with Joel Madden as a mentor and impressing even those he competed against. "That guy was good," says Seal, who coached some of Hazlewood's rival singers. "Really great voice, great presence. He had it all. You knew we'd hear more from him in the future."
Most recently Hazlewood's muse has led him to Nashville, where he reconnected with producer Duncan and found a sympathetic scene in Music City for the wide-ranging stylistic synthesis that infuses his songs. There are plenty of songs written, recorded and in motion, and more new ideas coming. The result, Hazlewood promises, will be a debut album that plants a flag for an artist who's ready to make an impact now, and well into the future.