About Conrad & his start in music
Believe it or not, there have only been a handful of notable male pop stars to come out of Australia, or at least in recent years. They have Troye Sivan, the angsty 5 Seconds of Summer and, of course, the fan-crazed Cody Simpson. And now, millennial Aussies have another solo male star to rep for the land down under with his singing chops, and he goes by the name of Conrad Sewell.
"It was really hard for me at the beginning in Australia to get sort of out there," the 27-year-old singer candidly revealed during an exclusive interview at New York City's iHeartRadio HQ. "There's not many pop stars in Australia in general."
Conrad on his solo music career
Because of the suffering pop scene in his home country, Conrad decided early on to go in a different direction and front a rock band called Sons of Midnight. Let's just say they didn't last very long, so he did what many aspiring artists would do. He moved to Los Angeles, maxed out his credit card on a demo and started all over again.
Skip ahead a few years and things have seemingly turned around for Conrad – particularly in Australia. He's made major waves with his solo single "Hold Me Up" and scheduled opening act gigs with Maroon 5 and Jess Glynne. "Who doesn't want to be liked in your home country? For that to be one of the first places that it really pops off is amazing," he gushed.
Conrad on his upcoming album
With support from his homeland and a load of industry experience under his belt, Conrad Sewell is ready to take it to the next level – an international level – with the release of his debut solo album.
He's already locked in studio sessions with the likes of Naughty Boy, Clean Bandit and even Robin Schulz. The latter makes for an interesting choice considering the singer/songwriter never even thought about taking his music to the pulsating dance floors. "It took me a while to get into dance music. I never really sort of got the obsession with it," he said, admitting that his work on Kygo's monster dance anthem "Firestorm" has opened his eyes.
"When something reacts in the world on that big a level, there has to be something there," the iHeartRadio "On The Verge" artist admitted of the EDM genre.
Conrad on Ed Sheeran and being in the music industry
It's not like he doesn't have a good gang of people around him to help launch into the international playing field either. His sister Grace Sewell also discovered new found fame earlier this year, working alongside folks like Puff Daddy, Quincy Jones and G-Eazy. Then there's also a little ol' guy you might have heard of named Ed Sheeran. Conrad opened up for the happy-go-lucky singer on the Aussie leg of his 2015 x trek.
"He's so humble and normal even though there's so much going around him," Conrad said of his former touring buddy. "If you walk into a room full of twenty people, he'll probably shake most of the people's [hands]."
And even though he's learned the importance of humble beginnings, Conrad also knows how vital it is to march to your own drum. "It's such a hard industry to get into, so you learn that early on and you start to think that you have to write or do certain things to make labels happy, or to follow what's going on in charts," he explained of the pressure. "It's just the worst thing you can do because it will just drive you insane, and you'll never sort of find who you are."
Knowing that he's better suited to keeping true to his muse, Conrad is determined to showcase the many styles that will be incorporated in his debut album. "As much as I want it to be cohesive, I still want people to be able to feel like they can listen to my album and have those Elton John moments and singer/songwriter moments, but then also have the, you know, the pop Michael Jackson moments."
Take a listen to all of those moments transpire in Conrad Sewell's latest singles below!
Photos: Rachel Kaplan for iHeartRadio