We had a little natter with the man behind ‘Firestone’, Conrad Sewell, to chat about his new single ‘Start Again’, THAT Zayn Malik and Naughty Boy drama and Kylie Minogue’s “banging” ‘Spinning Around’.
Obviously, we need to talk about ‘Firestone’ which has been a massive global hit. How did that collaboration come about?
I wrote the song last year. It was just an idea that I had and I was sending it around to some DJs and someone told me about Kygo, so I sent it off to him and he sent it back and it was amazing. The production he added was so cool. Sony decided to make it a single, so it was a great launching pad for me.
Were you surprised by the success of the track or did you always know it would be a hit?
I was surprised to be honest because it wasn’t the typical song I would call a hit. I thought it was cool and vibey, but I didn’t realise how big it was and to be honest I think a lot of it had to do with Kygo and it was a Kygo track. I think the song is great but I think there are a lot bigger songs I’ve written in the past and to come on a hit level, and it was Kygo’s first single, Kygo’s huge at the moment.
Since the success of ‘Firestone’, your tracks ‘Hold Me Up’ and ‘Start Again’ have also done amazingly well with ‘Start Again’ even making it to number one on the official charts in your native Australia. Did you expect the success that followed the collaboration or was it all a massive shock?
It was all a massive shock. Obviously you do everything with the hope of success, but it was definitely a shock when ‘Start Again’ went to #1. It was the best feeling ever.
You’ve also opened for Ed Sheeran on his Australian tour. How did you get speaking to Ed?
I bumped into Ed in LA at a party. Lyor, the head of my record label is close with Ed and he talked to him about me going on the tour and that’s how it all came about and we’ve become good friends since.
Have you always been a fan of his?
I’ve always been a fan of his from day one, the first time I heard his voice.
How was the experience of that tour for you?
It was incredible, I learnt a lot. It was a great experience.
Seeing as Ed is covered in tattoos, we were wondering if you had any?
Yes, I’ve got two tattoo and plan to get more, but not too many. Not as many as Ed, that’s for sure.
You’re also opening for Maroon 5 in September. How are preparations for that going?
It’s going very well, I just put together a band. They sound amazing! All the songs are coming across well live. It’s going to be a fun tour.
If you could tour with any other artist, who would you choose and why?
I’d tour with Jay-Z, because we’d do it in style.
You and your younger sister Grace are both doing amazingly well right now. Do you see yourself as a bit of a mentor to her or is she doing her own thing?
I’d like to think I was a mentor to her, in regards of my songwriting and knowledge of the industry, and to be persistent to make this happen, but I think she has a sound of her own musically for sure. She has her own idols she looks up to with her music.
Would you ever consider a duet with her?
I have done a duet with her and I would definitely do more because we love singing together and I think she’s got an incredible voice.
Did you used to perform together around the house?
We used to perform and put on little plays together and we would always be singing.
You’re working with Naughty Boy on your upcoming album. How’s that been?
It was good. I worked with him, he’s a really interesting and talented guy.
Have you been caught up in any of the Zayn drama or have you steered clear of it?
I steer clear of anything like that.
What can we expect from the new album?
Some great pop songs that are gonna make you feel something and if you love melody and you love a big soulful voice then I think you’re going to love this record.
Your new single ‘Start Again’ was almost given to Kylie Minogue. How did it come about that she was to record one of your tracks?
I was in meeting at Roc Nation and Jay Brown heard it, Jay Brown had just signed Kylie to Roc Nation. He came into the room and he brought Kylie in to the room and that’s when we had the discussion. She thought it was beautiful, Jay thought it was great as well.
If Kylie did take ‘Start Again’ and in return you had to record a Kylie track of your choice, which would you choose and why?
Probably ‘Spinning Around’, because it’s a banger.
You’re also going to embark on your own headline tour of Australia later in the year, will there be a chance for your UK fans to see you live anytime soon?
Yes, I’m going to be going on tour with Jess Glynne in November, so they’re going to be the first real shows I’ve played here in the UK, so get tickets to the Jess Glynne concert.
Finally, what do you hope to achieved this time next year?
I’d like to be playing in some nice sized venues and get some records out there and have the music really connecting with the world.