The mastermind behind the oft-covered musical masterpiece Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen made his mark on the world of contemporary music showcasing the social and political power it can carry.

Cohen was born and raised in Canada to an Orthodox Jewish family, and his early life was spent following a traditional Jewish path. Combining his love for poetry and debate, Cohen soon started creating lyrical representations of his heart-felt beliefs, particularly on social and cultural developments of the time. His strong ideological standpoint and creative manifestation of his thoughts landed him on the fringes of Andy Warhol’s now infamous ‘factory crowd’. At this point, he realised simply writing was not a sustainable way to live, but adding a melody to his lyrics could serve as a profitable solution.

Throughout his career he continuously developed his sound, always bringing something new to the table. Despite this, he still retained his strong ideological sense of self, reflected in his lyrical mastery. It was war, political and social injustice which underpinned his musical formations: bringing key topics to the fore and making challenging the status quo mainstream.  He was sadly lost to the vicious disease of cancer but still stands as a strong image of defiance and true musical mastery.  These images not only pay tribute to Cohen’s outstanding musical talents but his place in the turbulent culture of his time – as a symbol of hope, change and political power.

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