Written by Kelly Holm
As we progress into year two of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of us are probably feeling like teens who have been grounded for a while. But if life on the ground is too stifling, why not take a rocket to the stars with “Lost,” the newest single from English singer-songwriter CONRAD? With a lyric video full of cosmological motifs, it will appeal to listeners who love Sam Smith and the 2012 hit “Too Close” by Alex Clare.
“Your love was just the gravity that pulled me down/Like the oxygen but I can barely breathe now/Thinking about you,” CONRAD pines in the track’s pre-chorus. “I’m isolated, detonated parts/And we’re miles away from us.”
CONRAD first penned “Lost” in 2019 with his friends and collaborators, producer Paul Whalley and singer-songwriter Amber Van Day. Coming off of a breakup, he felt as if he were floating aimlessly.
“Each day… passed without real purpose, which is why we went for the spacey twist on the concept,” CONRAD said. “It was always intended to be released in April 2020, just after my sold-out Omeara show, which ended up having to be rescheduled due to the first lockdown and is now rescheduled for September 2021. We didn’t [postpone] the release of ‘Lost’ because it felt like the lyrics had almost taken a whole new meaning, with everything that was going on.”
Growing up, CONRAD played in a rock band and paid a producer to record an album in the school recording studio, but was encouraged by his parents to hold off on declaring music his career aspiration until he finished university.
“I think by about week three of a biology degree, it was confirmed I wanted to do music,” he says. “My first ever proper live show was a festival called Loominus in the town centre where I grew up… it was just me and an acoustic guitar that I’d had to borrow as mine was about 15 years old and wasn’t able to be plugged in. It went really well and I actually ended up on the front page of the local paper.”
Nowadays, his performance schedule might be less packed— but even with lockdown measures, CONRAD’s still growing his career. His single “Blue Blooded” was recently praised by Elton John and highlighted on his Radio Hour podcast, and he’s been posting lots of covers to social media, lovingly dubbed #Quarantunes.
“[My favorite #Quarantune] would have to be the John Legend ‘Bigger Love’ cover I did in the first lockdown, mainly because it got noticed by John himself,” CONRAD said. “[He’s] one of my biggest musical influences.”
CONRAD also promises that 2021 will see the release of even more new music from him than 2020 did, and that the latest songs will be his most personal and lyrically honest yet, many of them freshly written.
“It’s been kind of a weird time as you can probably imagine, but I have been able to get into the studio recently, although we did have one person on a video call to limit the number of people in the room,” he says. “I think that’s the way it’s going to be for a while now… I had some really great sessions, which were over Zoom, last week, and it made me feel excited about writing again.”
By the end of the year, CONRAD hopes to hit a million streams on Spotify, and dreams of playing Glastonbury and collaborating with Labrinth. Navigating the music scene during a pandemic has taught him to keep pushing through trials, even if “you missed out on the tour slot you were going for [or] your single didn’t fly like you’d hoped,” but he still eagerly awaits the day when he can play festivals again, and hear the audience jam along to “Blue Blooded.”
“There really isn’t anything better than a crowd of people singing your songs to you, with you,” he mused.