Belgian Music Phenomenon, Ozark Henry to Release "Paramount" in U.S.
– Belgian Pop/Rock musician Piet Goddaer, better known as Ozark Henry, is poised to release his highly-anticipated album, Paramount, in the U.S. on September 18th (preorders beginning August 21st).
Since the 1990’s, Ozark Henry has been a strong cultural icon and creative force in Belgium across many mediums including music, cinema, design, fashion and goodwill. As a musician, Henry has released seven platinum albums, three film soundtracks and won 6 Music Industry Awards (the Belgian equivalent of the GRAMMYS). MTV Europe nominated him for ‘Belgian Artist of the Year’ and in 2013, he was the second most downloaded artist in Belgium. In 2014, Henry succeeded Lou Reed as brand ambassador for fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester. Just recently, the United Nations appointed Henry as the Goodwill Ambassador against human trafficking. Henry will play at a UN event in October and is fully dedicated to raise awareness for the cause, connecting with local teams in their fight against this modern form of slavery. TEDx asked Henry to speak about his views on the future of music last May. This fall, Henry will be part of Krug Champagne‘s music pairing initiative.
Paramount is the follow up to his debut U.S. release, Stay Gold, which includes the International platinum single, “I’m Your Sacrifice” with over 4 million views on YouTube. Paramount features 14 symphonic re-works of songs from Henry’s catalogue spanning three decades, as well as an ethereal cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes.” Henry partnered with the immersive audio company Auro Technologies in the production of the album because he wanted listeners to experience the album exactly as it sounded when it was recorded. The result, Paramount is the first Auro-3D® album featuring a full orchestra (National Orchestra of Belgium). Mixed by Ronald Prent at Wisseloord studios in the Netherlands, and mastered by three time Grammy award-winner (and 9 times nominated), Darcy Proper, Paramount will be released by Sony Music Masterworks on digital platforms including iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora. Sony will also make available high-resolution, digital download files on services like Acoustic Sounds, HD Tracks, and Pono. Auro Technologies will release a physical Pure Audio Blu-ray on Amazon and other select retailers, via the Auro-3D® Creative Label, which will include a stunning Auro-3D® 9.1 mix alongside traditional Stereo and 5.1 mixes. Listeners who pre-order the digital album on iTunes and Amazon will receive an instant download of the first single, “We Can Be Heroes”, for which there is a music video as well as the track, “Free Haven.”
Henry’s collaboration with the 90-piece, National Orchestra of Belgium (NOB) is the first time that the orchestra has ever paid tribute to the repertoire of a non-classical artist. Henry performed a series of concerts with the orchestra in March of 2015. For Henry, the symphonic interpretation of his work by a full orchestra is both a dream come true and a very natural progression. “My father was a classical composer, so I grew up around classical music. When I first heard my songs performed by the fantastic musicians of the NOB, it felt as if it was the way they were always meant to be.” Henry is in talks with American philharmonic orchestras to bring these symphonic concerts to the U.S. He has musical arrangements made for piano + string quartet for smaller venues. Additionally, acclaimed documentary author Dimitri Van Zeebroeck, who has followed the conception of Paramount from its early stages to its full realization, will deliver a 30-minute documentary. A portion of the documentary will be presented at the AES convention in NYC on Oct 31st, where Henry was invited to present the Paramount project by the Audio Engineering Society of America.
ABOUT OZARK HENRY:
Henry began leaving his mark on the Belgian music scene in the mid-‘90s as a singer, songwriter, composer and producer. His early, mostly avant-garde electronic work quickly earned him the support of artists like David Bowie, Trent Reznor, Jah Wobble and Zazie. He toured as the supporting act for Moby and Garbage and the acclaimed French music magazine Les Inrocks labeled him “the young, Flemish Bowie”. His album, Birthmarks is the 29th best-selling album of all time in Belgium. He also composed the scores for several films, including To Walk Again and Le Monde Nous Appartient, which won Best Original Soundtrack at Magritte Du Cinéma in 2013 (Belgian Academy Award equivalent). In 2010, he became the face of Cinémanie, the Kinepolis selection of award winning movies that move and inspire. His songs have played on American TV shows such as One Tree Hill, Grey’s Anatomy and were featured in promos for Homeland and Dexter. In 2014, he toured Europe with The Journey Is Everything, a groundbreaking live setup placing his band within a series of projected visuals, using moving screens to create the illusion of a three dimensional universe. Henry’s 2014-2015 show tour included three dimensional jaw-dropping visual set designs by Arf & Yes that rivaled those of Radiohead and Massive Attack. Additionally, Henry created music for the colossal art installations, Cities Like Open Air Museums, by Arne Quinze and organized and played a benefit concert to raise money for Doctors Without Borders.
Henry’s career interweaves with fashion just as much as it does with music. In 2014 he succeeded Lou Reed as worldwide brand ambassador with one of the most respected names in fashion: Ann Demeulemeester. He created music and performed at numerous fashion shows for Belgian, high-end designer, Dries Van Noten. As if that isn’t enough, Henry designed clothing for the Belgian fashion label JBC and his shoe line was distributed through a partnership with shoemaker Floris Van Bommel, who supplies footwear for the Dutch Royal Family.
Henry’s designs also venture into the world of interior logistics and furniture. He designed a 360° room concept in boutique hotel D-Hotel in Kortrijk, including a unique light- and sound experience. He also teamed up with designer Steven Beunens to create a new outdoor living concept, including a modular kitchen.