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Sunday 11 October 2015

Music spotlight: John Grant

Posted in: Music
By Daily News staff - 8th August 2015

An acclaimed musician whose work draws on his experiences of being gay and HIV positive will perform in New Zealand for the first time in March.


John Grant is the former frontman of The Czars, who went solo in 2010. This came after years of addiction, depression and toxic relationships - and dovetailed with sobriety and being diagnosed with HIV.

The bearded singer-songwriter is known for confessional ballads. His debut solo album Queen of Denmark was named Mojo magazine’s Album of the Year, while follow up Pale Green Ghosts was voted Rough Trade’s Best Album of 2013.

His music taps into his experiences growing up gay in a religious family in the American Midwest.

In 2012 he came out as HIV positive, while on stage with Hercules And Love Affair at a music festival in London.

Grant says he’d written a song about the experience, so thought he should speak up.

“I thought I shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it, as there are lots of people in my situation, who feel like outcasts in society, people who had addiction problems, who feel ashamed and unlovable because of it. I want these people to know they have someone on a stage who is dealing with this too.”

Grant will play at the Auckland Town Hall as part of Auckland Arts Festival on Friday 18 March at 8.30pm. Tickets via Ticketmaster.

His New Zealand debut will come on the back of a new album release in October. Daily News staff - 8th August 2015

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