Kaz Hawkins

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Irish Blues Singer Kaz Hawkins at Bill's Bar & Lounge, Boston, MA. Wednesday, December 3, 2014.

Kaz Hawkins
Birth nameKaz Hawkins
Born1973 (age 47–48)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
GenresBlues, soul, roots
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, radio presenter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, piano
Websitekazhawkins.com Edit this at Wikidata

Kaz Hawkins (born 1973)[1][2] is a Northern Irish blues, soul & jazz singer, songwriter signed to Dixiefrog Records Paris, France is also a radio presenter, public speaker, actress and mental health activist. Born in Belfast Northern Ireland, she now lives in France.

Early life[edit]

Hawkins was born and grew up in Belfast. She enjoyed singing at church, and was influenced by her grandmother singing at home.[1] In her youth, she auditioned for the television show Opportunity Knocks where the musical director told her grandmother to let her listen to Etta James.[2] She suffered abuse by a relative as a child which she kept a secret from the rest of her family until she revealed the extent of it following an attempted suicide decades later.[1] To cope with the distress, she self-harmed. After her recovery she covered the cuts with tattoos.

Kaz became addicted to cocaine and suffered domestic violence from an abusive relationship, which ended after the police were called when she returned home. Kaz's song "Lipstick & Cocaine" is a thank you to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer and doctor who saved her life after a brutal attack from her ex partner.

After a two years clean from cocaine she began to form songs from the poems she had been writing in her journals. She began learning acoustic guitar and now uses in her music to aid mental health awareness.[2]

Career[edit]

Hawkins sang in cover bands for 20 years before she began creating original material.[3]

She has released four studio albums, two EPs (no longer available), one live album (digital only) and a compilation album exclusively on vinyl.

In 2017, she began presenting a blues show on BBC Radio Ulster, "Kaz Hawkins Got The Blues".[4] produced by Ralph McLean. She is also Ambassador and honorary member of The UK Blues Federation. She is also an avid supporter of mental health awareness[2] and was an ambassador from 2017-2019 for Aware NI,[5] where she wrote and donated a song called "Don't Slip Away" to help with Youth Suicide in Northern Ireland.[6] She has been called the "one-woman mental health musician" [7] and given talks at Boston University,.

Kaz was invited to Florence Academy of Art in Alabama where she told her life story using words and song to show how music can be used as a mental health tool, she was asked to join in a various artists album "Something In The Water" to help highlight children not having access to arts in Alabama. The album included one of the original Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, David Hood and respected musicians Clayton Ivey & Will McFarlane supporting a line up of international artists covering songs recorded in Alabama.

Kaz visited prisons and schools in Beauvais, France at the invite of Le Blues Autour Du Zinc Festival where she highlighted the need for music as a tool for recovery. After that successful visit, she was invited to meet with and perform for patients at a mental institute and women's refuge near Limoges at the invitation of Le Buis Blues Festival, France..

Awards[edit]

Hawkins won the 2018 for Northern Ireland Blues Act of the Year at the UK Blues Awards and she was a Nominee in 4 Categories – Female Vocalist/Songwriter/Personality and Northern Ireland Blues Act of the Year. She was the most played artist of 2017 IBBA and was the first UK act to win at the EBU - European Blues Challenge in Denmark in 2017.[8][9] She was a Semi-Finalist in The Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge, Memphis, 2017[10][11]

Hawkins won the Album Of The Year award in the 2016 IBBA CHARTS (International Blues Broadcasters Association)[12]

Winner – 3rd UK Blues Challenge 2016 (representing UK in Memphis & Denmark)[13]

She was Runner Up in the British Blues Awards for Female Vocalist 2016,[14] winner at the Pure M Awards for Best Video 2016 for "This Is Me".[15] In 2015, she received the Barry Middleton Memorial Award for Emerging Artist at the British Blues Awards.[16] The same year, she won all Ireland "Best Female at the Pure M Awards in a triple win of awards [17] She has also been a nominee in the NI Music Prize in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Get Ready (2014) [18]
  • Feelin' Good (2017) Kaz Hawkins Band [19]
  • Feelin' Good (2017) [20](USA Version)
  • Feelin' Good (2018)[2] reissue Kaz Hawkins
  • Don't You Know (2017)[21]
  • Memories Of (2020) [22]

Live albums[edit]

  • Live at The Park Avenue Feat. Sam York (2018)[23]
  • Live at La Traverse. Digital only (2020)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Collection on Vinyl (2018)

Singles[edit]

  • "Better Days" (2013)[24]
  • "On This Little Island" (2020) Single - Mathis & Kaz (Earlybird Records, Germany) [25]

Appears on[edit]

  • "Shake" (2014) Track 4 on Various – The Best Of 2014[26] (Renamed Louder Sound)
  • "Let in Be" (2015) Track 6 on Simon Murphy - Let it Be Spotify
  • "Won't You Save My Soul" (2019) Single - Eugene De Rastignac Spotify
  • "Something in the Water" (2019) Various Artists - Florence Academy of Fine Arts, United States Hear Now

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "She was abused as a child, almost killed by an ex-partner and attempted suicide ... now Belfast singer Kaz reveals how she turned her life around". Belfast Telegraph. 11 March 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Little, Ivan (4 March 2015). "Kaz Hawkins: When I get up on stage, I'm in this safe place where no one can touch me". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Arts Q&A: Kaz Hawkins on Van Morrison, Gladys Knight and her new radio show". Irish News. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Kaz Hawkins Got The Blues". BBC Ulster.
  5. ^ "Aware Ambassadors". Aware NI. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "Kaz Hawkins sings the blues and exorcises her demons in new show My Life And I". Irish News. 1 October 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Kaz Hawkins at the European Blues Challenge, Denmark – Blues Matters Magazine". Blues Matters Magazine. 8 April 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back Home – Bluesdoodles". Bluesdoodles. 10 April 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  10. ^ "International Blues Challenge - Blues Foundation". Blues.org. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Kaz Hawkins Rising to The Challenge, Memphis and More – Bluesdoodles". Bluesdoodles. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  12. ^ "UK Independent Blues Broadcasters Association". Facebook.com. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  13. ^ "2016 UK Blues Challenge The Winner IS….. – Bluesdoodles". Bluesdoodles. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Winners 2016 – British Blues Awards". Britishbluesawards.com. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  15. ^ "2018 Pure M Awards Nominees (Ireland) - PureMzine". Puremzine.com. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Winners and Runners Up the British Blues Awards 2015". British Blues Awards. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  17. ^ "EastSide Arts celebrate triple award winner Kaz Hawkins! | EastSide Arts". Eastsidearts.net. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Kaz Hawkins – Get Ready!". Discogs. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  19. ^ "Kaz Hawkins Band – Feelin' Good". Discogs. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  20. ^ "Kaz Hawkins – Feelin' Good". Discogs. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Kaz Hawkins". Discogs. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  22. ^ Soulbag.fr: Kaz Hawkins annonce l'album “Memories Of” (in French)
  23. ^ "Kaz Hawkins Announces New Live Album". Nova-nn.com. 16 February 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  24. ^ "Better Days – Kaz Hawkins Song – BBC Music". BBC. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  25. ^ Early Bird Records - Mathis
  26. ^ "Various – The Best Of 2014". Discogs. Retrieved 9 October 2018.

External links[edit]