FAULT Interviews – Conrad Sewell – “I Definitely Want More”



Rising star Conrad Sewell has been in the UK charts for 30 weeks now, ever since his track Firestone with Kygo rocketed in November last year. The Australian singer-songwriter has been playing music for over a decade and he might just be the hardest working boy in pop right now. He’s currently finishing off his debut album, all while collaborating with Clean Bandit. He’s also coming to the UK later in November to join on stage former FAULT Online cover star Jess Glynne. We caught up with the Aussie singer on supporting Ed Sheeran, his latest single and how patience can get you to the top, even if it takes a decade of hard work.


You’ve started writing music when you were really young, didn’t you? How did you get into it from such an early age?

Well, my grandparents were doing it, so music was always around the family. And my mum was always very creative as well. When we woke up, she’d sing us a song and all sorts of things like that. So, my mum always encouraged me to write songs and then come out and sing them. I guess it all happened because of my parents. They didn’t push me into music, but they helped me develop it from an early age.

So what people see as overnight success is actually 12 years of hard work for you. Did you get impatient over the years?

Yeah, definitely. I mean, it’s taken a long time to be able to get here. It just gets frustrating when you keep hitting closed doors, but it also makes you want it more. It creates this hunger inside you, the more knockbacks you get.

But it was all worth it in the end. For example, you’ve seen massive success on Firestone with Kygo. How did that collaboration come about?

It really came just with an idea that we had last year and we started sending it out to DJ’s. So we sent it to Kygo as well, he sent it back to us and it sounded really cool, so we decided to go for it. Luckily enough, it became a single. It kind of just skyrocketed overnight.


You’ve also toured with Ed Sheeran this year. 2015 isn’t treating you too bad. How was that experience for you?

It was amazing actually.  It was, you know, big rooms, big stadiums, so it was a great experience to get to play in front of that many people, especially in my home country, where I wouldn’t have been able to sell that many tickets at that time.  So it was really great and he’s an awesome guy, we get along really well.

Any backstage secrets you can share with us?

Not really, none that are PG. But you know, lots of tequila drinking and lots of good times had, but nothing too crazy. Nothing illegal or anything like that haha.

So let’s talk a bit about your single ‘Hold Me Up’. It’s got a nice up-tempo vibe to it. What can you tell me about the songwriting and producing process?

There have been a lot of different types of songs that I’ve been doing lately. ‘It’s  just one of them that had a cool vibe and we thought we’d put it out.  We have so much stuff waiting to come out that we didn’t want to push too heavily on one thing. It just felt good at the time and I love the song. It’s a song to drive to and to dance to. When I wrote it, I just wanted it to be a happy pop song that felt cool. I like the lyrics cause they’re so broad and they’re easy to relate to.


And you’ve just had a number one single in Australia with ‘Start Again’. You’re finally breaking into your own after so many years of hard work. Do you feel liberated?

Yes and no. It’s nice to finally have some success, but I feel like it’s just the beginning. I definitely want more.

What about your debut album? Do you already have a release date penned down?

I haven’t got a release date yet, I’m still finishing it off and still kind of trying to make it perfect. I figured I waited 27 years for this, I might as well do it right. But we’re gonna have some new music out shortly and it’s gonna be vibey and set the tone for what’s coming next.


What other exciting plans do you have lined up for 2015? This year seems to be getting bigger and better for you by the day.

Well, I’m gonna be playing a few festivals, I’m gonna be traveling back to Australia to play my sold out headline shows which will be great. Then, I’ll be coming to the UK to tour with Jess Glynne in November, which is really cool, I’m a big fan of hers. Other than that, just finishing off the music and getting it right. Just getting music out there to people, cause it’s been a long time coming.

What’s your FAULT?

My biggest fault is that I’m sometimes too nice. I let people get away with too much. You can end up being taken advantage of sometimes.

Words: Adina Ilie

Photographer: Miles Holder


Conrad’s EP ’Start Again’ which is out today!