Interview with Conrad

Pop fans, put the kettle on and then take a seat; it’s about time you were introduced to fabulously gifted, emerging solo artist Conrad…

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Live image credit: Liam Maxwell

RECORD WEEKLY’S INTERVIEW WITH CONRAD

Hi Conrad, how are you?

Hellooo! I’m doing well thank you… Hope you are, too.

I am indeed, thank you. How are things feeling as a musician then, with gigs and releases fully back on the agenda?

I would say I’m feeling cautiously optimistic. I’m planning my next headline shows for spring and I’ve got new music on the way, so I am very excited. But also, after the last few years, I think it’s fair to say you never know what’s around the corner!

Haha completely! You played Live at Leeds Festival back in October and then you had a show in Manchester, among others — how did those sets go down?

Ah they were both amazing, to be honest. Leeds kind of came as a surprise; I had never played a show there and so wasn’t really sure what size crowd to expect… especially at a festival with so many acts playing in different places around the city.

The room was actually empty until about ten minutes before my set, so I was getting a bit nervous that no-one was going to come haha. Then by the time I was on stage, the whole place was packed and the reception was great, so I’m super grateful for that.

It was honestly some gig! I was covering the event as press and your set was the first on my list. What an incredible start to the day.

The Manchester show was my first ever ‘hometown’ headline, so that was also really special and something I won’t forget. Everyone was really up for a good time even on a midweek night off the back of a pandemic, so the vibe in the room was buzzing. I was even pressured into downing a pint mid-set, which I think tells a story in itself… I can’t wait to get back up north for some more shows now.

Let’s take things right back to the beginning — when and how did you get into music?

I’ve been singing and writing for basically my whole life, but I only really took it seriously once I got to 17/18 and I started playing gigs all around the north-west and busking most weekends. I carried on through uni doing the same. Busking on the Main Street in Newcastle for three years definitely stood me in good stead for playing live once I moved to London.

When I got to London, I started to get into proper writing/recording sessions in actual studios which, was a world I had no understanding of until I was thrown into it! I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing people over the last few years now, which definitely helped me grow into the artist I am today.

Fast forward five years and I’ve played some insane shows, released my own music (although I wish I had released more!) and I’m building a fanbase. I feel pretty thankful for everyone who’s stuck with me and is coming along for the ride.

Describe your sound in three words.

Soulful, powerful, pop.

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Image via Conrad

We seem to be making proper inroads into turning things around post-pandemic in the UK, which is a relief. But what were the most limiting things about the lockdowns, personally and musically?

Not being able to get to the studio was really hard for me. I have a rubbish setup at home and my WiFi was awful, so I couldn’t really do sessions over video calls.

I also love collaborating with other writers and producers, so that was definitely tough. It did mean I actually had some time off and could collect my thoughts on what topics I wanted to write about, which, in the end, felt kind of refreshing once I got back into the studio.

Also, I wasn’t able to play live, which is the thing I get the most enjoyment from in music. So getting back to shows has been a serious relief.

Personally, I’d say I struggled not being able to socialise. I spend a lot of time with friends, which meant those sorts of restrictions would always prove to be a challenge. We managed it though and, you’re right: things are starting to feel like we’re heading to a good place.

Absolutely, we’ve got to stay upbeat where possible.

Name three go-to albums you’d recommend.

‘Imagination & The Misfit Kid’ — Labrinth.

‘Another Tape’ — Two Another.

‘Darkness & Light’ — John Legend.

While we’ve got you, talk us through your next and much anticipated single, ‘Hollow’.

I wrote it just before Covid actually, on a trip to LA. It was my last session before I was flying home and I got to write with two great collaborators, Jeremy Silver and Mike Campbell.

Mike actually wrote a song I’ve always LOVED (‘Say Something’ by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera) so I was really excited to work alongside!

The song talks about a place I was in a year or so before, really struggling after a break-up, battling with myself about whether it was the right thing. I was feeling pretty empty, like nothing I did would fill that space…

The main tag of the song, “I feel hollow”, came first and the rest of the song kind of fell out. After the session I listened back, sent it to my managers, and everyone loved it straight away. I’ve been holding it back since, kind of waiting for the right time and this felt like it! The video has been really well received, so I’m glad it’s now out to stream!

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Image via Conrad

And you can do just that over on Spotify. With Conrad’s future looking seriously bright, you’d better get following him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter now.

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