Conrad Sewell – One to watch

Conrad Sewell is not a household name in the UK yet, but he’s come a long way in just a few months having been featured on our site as the featured music artist August 2015.

He’s actually already had a Top 10 hit here, although you might not be able to put a face to the voice: Conrad was the singer and co-writer of Norwegian DJ Kygo’s huge dance track Firestone.

Conrad Sewell

But the Aussie singer is just about to join Jess Glynne on her UK tour, starting in Cardiff on October 31, and he’s got a simple aim.

“I want to wow people, without sounding too cocky. I want to impress people. I want people to walk away overly impressed, not just, ‘That was a good show,’ but like, ‘How did he do that?’ That’s the plan anyway,” he says.

Conrad strikes you, over the phone from New Zealand where he’s on tour with Maroon 5, as endearingly self-assured rather than arrogant.

Luckily come next March, there’s going to be a large One Direction shaped gap in the UK pop market, and Conrad –shoulder length dirty-blond hair perfect for running fingers through, tanned skin, cheeky smile, warm Aussie charm, love for tattoos and obnoxiously patterned shirts – has all the credentials to make any Harry Styles fan switch sides.

“I’m down to take some of One Direction’s fans. I’m actually a fan, I think they’re great. I would love to have any of their fans, they seem very loyal, they definitely sell out venues so I’d appreciate some of them coming my way,” he laughs.

There’s “die-hard” fans aplenty in Oz, and already a few in the UK , it seems. He’s reluctant to say “stalkers” but admits seeing ones with his signature tattooed on them is “a little weird”.

The 27 year old – Bristol -born, Brisbane-raised , LA -based – has made a name for himself in his birth country in a very short space of time. His first single was only released in March this year, a few weeks later he began opening for Ed Sheeran on 13 of his tour dates, and he’s just finished supporting Maroon 5.

Ed Sheeran, he says, reinvigorated his commitment to the notoriously tough industry. “He told me to appreciate it on the way up and play for every radio station and play the little rooms as well as big rooms. I think it comes to work ethic, if you’re willing to work for it everyday then you’ll get stuff come your way.”

Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, however, just sent him running for the gym. “The guy’s got guns! He runs around the stage so much and his arms are showing and all the girls are going crazy and I’m like, I need to get some of that arm action going on.”

Arms like Arnie aside, his catchy synth-pop tune Hold Me Up is what brought him international attention, while soulful ballad ‘Start Again’ achieved chart success, reaching number one in the Australia after featuring on, where else, a preview for Home and Away.

Expect to hear it frequently on UK radio next month as Conrad makes another crack at the big-time in his former home. He lived in Bristol until the age of 10; his Dad’s side of the family still live there, and in London and Bath, he says, “has always been a second home”.

“It’s a very important place for me and especially to put my music out because finally my English side of my family get to hear stuff and finally think I’m doing something with me life,” he jokes.

Having unsuccessfully auditioned for season two of Australian Idol, he moved back here at 18 to record a demo. “Trust me, I had a lot of fun while I was doing it. I was seeing the world, meeting pretty girls and living life, and I was making music while I was doing it,” he says, before anyone begins to feel too sorry for him.

Now, nine years later, he’s returned to support girl of the moment Jess Glynne on tour. Although it’s a shared record label that’s made this union happen, Conrad would much rather believe it was serendipity.

“I met her once going on a plane going to Paris or Spain . I didn’t realise who she was and I talked to her as she was getting on the plane.

“It was only later when I saw her on TV that I realised it was Jess that I was just talking to. She was pretty big at that time, Rather Be was out, I just didn’t know what she looked like,” he said.

He’ll know the flame-haired singer’s face well enough after the tour.

“I can’t wait to hang out with her again and get to know her, she seems like such a great girl. She’s got such a sick voice,” he enthuses.

His “impressive vocals” (his words) will arrive on a debut album next year; until then, you’ll have to get your hands on the gold dust tickets for Jess’ gigs.

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Mark Meets
MarkMeets Media is British-based online news magazine covering showbiz, music, tv and movies

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