She may have scored a string of Top 10 hits, platinum albums and sell-out tours, but there’s a part of Hazel O’Connor which knows that part of her audience will always be a little obsessed with one particular song.

it was the song that proved to be the punk princess’ breakthrough, of course – an unlikely achievement, given that it was about as far away from punk as you could get. Still, the world and her brother embraced Will You with a passion.

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful feeling when a song has a major impact like that,” says O’Connor today. “Just to know that all these strangers, all over the world, are listening to something you created – and playing it again, and again – is exactly what every musician dreams of…”

With a monster hit though, comes the monster worry that you might be written off as a one-hit wonder.

“Thankfully, the hits kept on coming, and I was given the chance to grow,” nods O’Connor. “The following years laid down the groundwork for everything I’ve done ever since. I kept on moving forward, kept exploring, and, thankfully, audiences came with me.

“Having said that, my relationship with Will You would sometimes be a little strained, as you would get this strong feeling that this was the one kid in your family that everyone was waiting for you to bring out on stage. So, I’ve experimented with different ways to perform Will You, and that has kept it fresh for me over the decades.”

Today, firmly established as one of the icons of the post-punk era, O’Connor no longer feels the need to prove to anyone that she’s more than just a one-trick pony.

“It’s been so rewarding, to take these songs with me all over the world, and just find new kicks, new sensations, with each new audience,” she finishes. “It’s so important as an artist to keep on moving forward, but there’s also a joy in embracing what has gone before. It worked for Bowie, and it works for me…”


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