Origin: New Zealand, though he's now based in Melbourne, Australia
Contact: Jono Scarlet
Song: "Sail Away"
At age 26, Ben Hazlewood is a fiercely independent singer and songwriter who has the experience of someone twice his age and a broad love of music (ranging from contemporary pop to classic rock and many points in between) that makes his own musical output something timeless and wholly distinctive amidst a sea of aspiring voices. The New Zealand native has been singing since he was five years old and never considered a Plan B. He was a finalist on "The Voice" in Australia (coached by Joel Madden of Good Charlotte) and has worked the globe from London to Nashville, where he recorded the single "Wanted" and its predecessor "Paint Me Black" with longtime collaborator and friend Duncan Sparks. Ben released his most recent single, "Sail Away," on February 17 – his birthday. Mixed by the renowned Mark Needham (The Killers, Third Eye Blind), "Sail Away" was launched shortly before Ben played the US West Coast (including San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle) on the Passport Approved Radio Tour. He told pop culture website Icon Vs. Icon that "Sail Away" "is about accepting that even though in any moment life can be desperately difficult, there needs to always be hope for the future."