'A Lot Of Sh*t Has Happened': Conrad Sewell Gets Candid On 'LIFE'
The Aussie musician spoke to 10 daily about battling his demons, taking a journey of self-discovery, and how it's all influenced his latest album.
He burst on to the scene in 2014 when he featured on Kygo's track "Firestone", and followed this with his single "Start Again". Nabbing Song Of The Year at the 2015 ARIA Awards, Conrad Sewell looked to be the latest singer to be on an unstoppable path to success.
But as we all know, life doesn't always go the way we planned. After taking time out of the spotlight to self-reflect and battle his own demons, Sewell has come out of the other side, along with an incredibly raw new album, aptly titled 'LIFE.'
"I started writing this album five years ago and I was under the impression I was putting it out in about two months after," he told 10 daily. "Between then and now a lot of shit has happened."
He continued:"I went on a big journey, a journey of self-discovery and I found out a lot about myself."
Conrad Sewell got candid about his latest album with 10 daily entertainment reporter Jessica Lynch. Image: Supplied
Having previously spoken about his struggles with drugs and alcohol, the 31-year-old revealed that he's now in a far better place mentally.
"It was a couple of things that led me to breaking point, I think," he said, adding, "A few benders obviously led to depression and that constant feeling like I had really screwed up my opportunity of making music for the rest of my life. I'd burned a few relationships and, to be honest, I had started to get a bit of a reputation".
He went on to say that it wasn't until his mother and sister became concerned about his behaviour that he realised he had an issue.
"The guys will always be like, 'Yeah man, you don't have a problem!' or whatever -- but I think the girls see it first," he explained.
"My mum and my sister put it out -- along with my girlfriend at the time -- so it kind of put everything in perspective and made me realise that I don't want to be that guy that had one successful song, fell off, and was suddenly aged 50 drinking in a pub saying I used to be a thing."
And while he's made major changes to his life to ensure he remains focused on his dreams, Sewell admitted that it's both a process and a challenge to avoid slipping back into self-destructive behaviour.
"It's still like a thing that I have to remind myself of all the time. I think a lot of it is the company you keep as well," he said. "As I said, it's really hard. I don't think there's a magic fix for it, I think is just being honest. Letting people around you know that you know that you don't want to be put in those situations".
However, it was in facing those struggles that Sewell found much of the inspiration for his album, with several tracks focusing on his journey, along with his regrets and his subsequent road to redemption.
“This album pretty much sums up my life to date. A lot of the album was inspired by my battles with addiction, regrets I have as a result of those battles, and the people I’ve hurt along the way. These were hard truths that I’ve had to come to terms with," he said.
"Although the underlying message in most of the songs is one of redemption and hope that people can change… I suppose that’s what the journey of life is all about. I wanted to make a classic timeless album with songs that will hopefully be played 50 years from now. No bells and whistles, just my truth and my voice singing with every ounce of pain and love that I have.”
Something the singer didn't expect, however, was the strong reaction to his candid lyrics regarding his experience with addiction.
"I guess because I'm in the pop world, not too many people talk about that stuff. Like, it's normal for a singer in a rock band back in the day to do heaps of drugs and drink a lot -- it was almost expected, in a way," he said.
"But like if, for example, Taylor Swift came out and was like, 'yeah, I've just been blowing lines of cocaine around the corner,' everyone would be so shocked and it would obviously be a massive thing."
"I'm in that same pop sphere -- obviously not to the extent of Taylor Swift, but we're on the same radio stations and all that. So for me, I guess I found it surprising to hear that people were like, 'Oh shit, he just spoke about drugs and alcohol!' so yeah, I guess I wasn't really ready for that".
With the star set to embark on his biggest Australian tour to date, Sewell revealed that fans can expect an intimate and raw performance.
"They'll be seeing me sing these songs in a very vulnerable way. And for some of the songs I've never sung them before live," he said.
"So it's going to be something special."
Conrad Sewell’s highly anticipated debut album 'LIFE' is out now featuring his hit songs "Start Again," "Healing Hands" as well as his new single "Life". He'll also be kicking off his Aussie tour later this month.
Head to frontiertouring.com for tickets and information.