With a host of real-life songs and lilting vocals that reflect a passion for his influences (particularly Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan), Glen Hansard is best known for his work with the Frames and the Swell Season. Born to a working-class Dublin family during the spring of 1970, he left school at age 13 in search of making music his career. He began busking in the streets of Dublin, laying the groundwork for his engaging stage persona and, ironically, mimicking the plot line of Once, the movie that would later make him a star in multiple countries. By his late teens, Hansard had recorded his first demo with the help of his Mum, who'd lent him some money for the project. One of the 50 tapes he pressed landed in the hands of Island Records' Denny Cordell, a former producer who'd previously helped bring Tom Petty and Joe Cocker to the Island roster. Upon a meeting at Cordell's flat, the 17-year-old Hansard also met Ron Wood, Marianne Faithfull, and Stewart Copeland. The meeting, to say the least, left a lasting impression on Hansard, and in the end, Cordell signed him with the approval of Island founder Chris Blackwell.