In the latest episode of Spotify’s Under Cover podcast, Hozier professed his love for Destiny’s Child. “If you have been living under a rock, under a fossil, under a cavern, under just some long-forgotten lava pool under the earth, if you’ve never heard it before, ‘Say My Name’ by Destiny’s Child is a rhythmically pleasing, melodically pleasing, magnificently vocally performed R&B track. It’s a fantastic pop song, and will live forever.”
But he didn’t always feel that way. The Irish singer-songwriter spent his early youth listening to jazz and soul, so when “Say My Name” was released in 1999, he didn’t fully absorb it. “In a way, a lot of that stuff went over my head … It took me years to realize just how outrageously talented Beyoncé really is and was as well back then as such a young artist.”
During the episode, Hozier gushed over the arrangement and production of “Say My Name,” including the song’s intricate strings. “It was nice to do this, because it was trying to redeem the 12-year-old kid who didn’t appreciate that for just what it was,” he said.
In order to cover “Say My Name,” Hozier wanted to give the song “A Levon Helm and the Band sort of tight but kind of country solo groove,” completely changing the key and tempo. Because the song is lyrically heavy, Hozier felt he had to slow the song down. “There was no chance of me being able to hammer out those lines,” he said. “It is a machine gun of a pre-chorus.”
“The hardest part about any cover I think is that hard question you have to ask yourself,” Hozier said, “Is, was it worth while? This was really, really fun to do and I enjoyed it, and hopefully, it was worth while.”