If you haven’t heard of recording artist Conrad, that’s about to change if the teen girls of the world have anything to do with it. With his smooth voice and blonde good looks, this California native is about to explode onto the music scene – and into heartthrob status – with his debut disc, ‘Takeoff.’
But the singer – whose catchy pop sound has been compared to Justin Timberlake – sounds like he’s not about to let all his early accolades go to his head (what other teen star actually includes a note of thanks at the end of his interview?) Conrad talked exclusively to Celebrity Teen Scoop about staying true to his music, staying close to family and friends and staying grounded while trying to navigate his new fame in L.A.
Celebrity Teen Scoop: We hear you moved to Southern California after high school graduation with $40 in your pocket. Give us more details about that adventure!
Conrad: Well it was a little while after graduation, but I got to a point where I knew what I wanted to do, and I knew I’d have to come to Los Angeles to have a chance at making it a reality. I was house sitting the week before and just decided I’m just going to do it. I’m not one to be scared of jumping into a challenge so I was ready to shake my life up. Plus anything you really work hard at, and you really want, you can accomplish! 😀
CTS: How long have you been playing music? Were you formally trained?
Conrad: Well I first encountered music in 1st grade. I was a strange hyperactive child (haha) so I didn’t have many friends, and I bonded really well with my teacher who happened to love music. I would stay in with her at recess and help her with stuff and she would teach me piano and vocals. I was in the school band and choir all my years in school. That’s pretty much the only training I’ve had but I was always really serious about getting the most out of each class. People used to laugh because I am usually joking around, but in music class I was really serious.
CTS: You’ve been compared to Justin Timberlake. Tell us a little bit more about your sound.
Conrad: Hmm, I don’t know about Justin Timberlake. He’s got something of his own that only he can do. My music is pop with a rock edge. When I wrote the music for Takeoff I wanted all of the songs to be positive. There are pure pop songs, there are R&B influenced songs. There is an acoustic guitar ballad called “Safe Here Now”, I wrote about my good friend and her struggle with losing her father from cancer. I get told a lot I am like the guy version of Katy Perry. Haha I don’t know though, I’m just me.
CTS: Who are your musical influences?
Conrad: I am inspired by everything. Growing up I would literally sit in my room all day long just listening to music nonstop. When I write I don’t really aspire to emulate anyone. I don’t think we can evolve and get better by doing that. I use other artists to get me in the mood for the type of song I am trying to write. When I go into the studio we just play around and see what becomes. Sometimes songs tend to take on a likeness of another artist who’s come before me. I think my new single Romeo, acquired a slight Maroon 5 vibe to it. I love how this song turned out.
CTS: You just released your debut album ‘Takeoff.’ Is there a theme that runs through the songs on the disc?
Conrad: Well like I said previously I really wanted this album to be a positive album. Each song was written and recorded in a span of a year. At each point I was facing something different in my life. Takeoff was the first song I finished, which was about my move to Los Angeles, and my desire to make music. Romeo was the last. You can hear me grow up a lot in this album. It’s cool because you get to see my fun dorky side on some of the songs, and my more serious side on others.
CTS: What’s the first single off of the album, and will there be a video to follow?
Conrad: Well the first single was Namedropper and the music video is up online already. (View it here.) My new single is Romeo. I love this song because it has the best vibe and guitar chords in it. It’s about a relationship with someone that meant a lot to me at the time. I wanted to show off my hometown so I went home to shoot the music video there. It will be out very soon. I really hope everyone will check it out! I came up with the concept of the video after seeing some of the girls I knew date guys that are big famous cool people, and the media just dragged them down for no reason. I think the girls sadly get the short end of the stick in those situations. In the video I am faced with the decision to give up music in order to save her from the media pressure, or give her up.
CTS: Did your family eventually join you here in Los Angeles? Have they always supported you and your music?
Conrad: I live here alone in LA. My family still lives in my hometown Madera Ranchos, California. They have always been very supportive. There were certainly times where I wasn’t sure if they were supportive of my crazy goals, but they were just scared for me. How many kids show up in LA and actually make it? Not many. It’s a do or die situation. They have been great though!
CTS: Besides music, what are some of your other interests?
Conrad: I like to jog, it helps me clear my mind, and I like to sleep. Other than that I’m obsessed with music, everything about it. So I’m either listening to music, making music, or sitting in on someone else’s recording session watching them make music. There is so much to learn and it’s all so cool and technical. People really have no idea what it takes to record a legit song.
CTS: What’s the dating scene like for a super busy, on-the-rise musician like yourself?
Conrad: Hahaha everyone keeps telling me I need to date. I’ve dated, I always seem to find the worst of the worst. I get cheated on a lot. Listen to Broken Record. I’m kind of trying to focus on music right now.
CTS: What advice can you give to other aspiring musicians who want to follow their passion like you did?
Conrad: Believe in yourself! Practice and learn as much as you can about your craft, whether its singing, guitar, piano etc. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it, because you can! Promote yourself and get out and do as many shows as you can. Even if it’s just a show for an empty room or 5 people. It’s practice and you will learn something new each time! Make it happen!
CTS: What’s up next for Conrad?
Conrad: Well I am excited to be releasing the music video for Romeo that I shot in my hometown with my good friend Amelia whom is an amazingly gorgeous model! I have been in the studio recently recording a lot of new music! I’m sure soon I will be releasing a new EP or album or something of that nature. I’m hoping to shoot a new music video for a brand new song very soon! I’m excited because my new music is going to show people a whole other side of me. I’m going to be a new me, physically, emotionally and mentally, but same cool music with a twist 😉 I’d like to thank my supporters, they know I consider them all my friends. I want them to know I am always here for them and pray for all of them every day!
Connect with Conrad on Twitter at @ThatKidConrad and on Facebook at Facebook.com/OfficialConrad
Check out Conrad‘s video for his single ‘Romeo’: