Hozier recently said he “never, ever, ever imagined having mainstream success.” However, that’s exactly what the Irish singer-songwriter got following the breakout success of his self-titled debut and its chart-topping hit, “Take Me to Church.” In an interview with The Guardian, the singer has compounded on those feelings, saying he thought his single would be “appreciated by a much smaller audience.”

Since then, Hozier received a Grammy nod for the song and took the stage during this year’s ceremony for a performance with Annie Lennox.

“It was a big milestone in a way,” Hozier said of the experience. “It was a Grammys producer called Ken Eric who paired me with Annie Lennox. When I first heard that, I flipped a little. Afterwards I was dazed, scratching my head in a ‘Did that really happen?’ kind of way.”

However, the singer says the true meaning of his hit song has largely gone unnoticed.

“The message went under the radar until it was in the charts,” he explained. “It was released the same year as the Murphy report and the Ryan report [investigative reports into child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church], so there weren’t too many people who were coming out swinging for the Church.”

“In America, I’ve never been approached or received hate mail,” he continued, “but I’ve had a few delightful open letters from pastors who have a few choice words to say. But the song isn’t about Baptist or evangelical Christianity, it references more the Catholic Church.”

As for a follow-up to his debut, Hozier says finding time to write is “tricky,” but he’s still making headway.

“I have a day here and a day there or an hour, so I try to keep a guitar with me everywhere I go and just keep ideas flowing, cooking I suppose,” he said. “I’m always thinking about the next album, what shape it will take and the landscape of it, but we’ll have to wait and see.”