Nominated for the 2018 Australian LGBTI Music Artist Award, Ben Hazlewood has captured the hearts of his audience with his raw emotion. His newest song, “Darkest Hour” is an emotional tribute to the history of gay rights and the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
Ben began his singing career at the young age of 17 on New Zealand’s Idol. He went on to become a finalist on The Voice Australia. Now at 28 years old, he has established himself as a songwriter attempting to change the world with his words.
“This song is a reminder that through the darkness there is still light and strength within you to keep the fight alive,” said Ben about his newest song “Darkest Hour.”
The song was released at a time to commemorate Pride celebrations and to remember the anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shootings.
Ben said “Darkest Hour” was written about one of his closest friends who was going through hell and back. “I began writing the song to let them know I would be there for them, in hopes it could be a source of strength to help them get through the dark times.”
He said he wrote the song with a friend on a rooftop overlooking Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia during sunset. Ben said, “He began playing the piano part he had already written, and the melody and lyrics just fell out of me.” He added that,” I think I knew exactly what I wanted to say.”
Ben said this was the first music video he put together himself, “I wanted to create an empowering video to celebrate how much the LGBT community has achieved throughout the years, also to pay homage to those who paved the way for a more accepting life for the next generation.” The video has poignant clips of Pride and marriage equality marches. It is a strong reminder of how far we have come in the fight for equality and how love will overcome.
The music video of “Darkest Hour” has powerful images taken right after the Pulse Nightclub shooting.” Ben said he was in Miami when it happened. “I just remember being so close and yet so far away and feeling utterly helpless. My heart broke for everyone in that situation. I really felt I needed to include this moment in the video to remember the beautiful souls that were lost that night.”
Ben said the biggest message he wants us to take away from his song is that the dark times are the hardest, but if you can keep hope in your heart you can make it through.
He hopes that everyone in the LGBT community around the world continues to rally together in support of love. “As a united front we can achieve so much. As you can see, looking back, it’s a proud moment. However, we still have a way to go”
Ben referred to a quote by the Dalai Lama, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
I asked him if he ever expected such an international response to his song, He said, “I am so overwhelmed with the support of the song and video. I have received messages from people all around the world who have heard it and are sharing their stories with me. I cannot tell you how much that means to me as a songwriter.”
Ben also said, “I consider myself a spokesperson for unapologetic love, a platform LGBT falls into and one which we should all be gathering behind.” Ben Hazlewood has taken his songwriting talent and showed the world the power it can have.
“Darkest Hour” is on his new Apple EP, EOS which is available on iTunes.