"I thought I’d flip my insecurity on it’s head" - An interview W/ Conal Kelly
Bristol Multi-instrumentalist and producer Conal Kelly has been raising eyebrows from a host of the country's biggest tastemakers including Jack Saunders who described his single 'Keep Me Satisfied' as "pure perfection". He has recently released his debut EP which boasts a mix of tangled Bedroom Pop vibes and euphoric Indie Rock choruses. The four track collection has established Conal as one of the country's most exciting rising stars so we caught up with them to find out what went into making this new EP, 'Lifestyle'.
How does it feel to release your debut EP and do you feel these 4 tracks are a good representation of what you stand for as an artist?
"It feels like a relief to be perfectly honest, working towards a debut EP can feel like a mountain of work, with the added pressure of it being your ‘first’ so in many ways I’m quite glad for it to be out in the world and off of my hard drive! It covers the range of genres that I like to play with, so I feel it’s a solid representation of me as an artist yes".
Where does the song and EP title ‘Lifestyle’ come from?
"The song 'Lifestyle' is written about having an obsession with social media and how the majority will just blindly believe the glamourised versions of people’s lives that are portrayed on these platforms. I was a little more unsure about releasing this track, as it’s softer than the rest, but I really love the song so I thought I’d flip my insecurity on it’s head and make it the title track of the EP".
The opening track switches between lighter bedroom pop sounds, anthemic rock chorus’ and some electronic synth melodies - do you enjoy exploring different sonic atmospheres within the same track like this?
"I love jumping between genres and blurring those lines and why not do it all in the same song! My uncle is in a Prog band called Marillion so I grew up listening to songs that were 10 minutes long and move through different moods, stories and sonic landscapes with ease. I guess I can’t help but draw some influence from that and use it in my own songs".
What has inspired most of the lyrical content on the EP?
"The running theme throughout the EP is about relationships. The first track being written about a one-sided romantic relationship, the second being a similar message but in a frustrated friendship, the third covering someone’s relationship with themselves, and ending with a commentary on peoples relationship with other’s opinions".
What is your favourite track lyrically on the EP and why?
"Definitely 'Lifestyle', it’s probably the most cohesive message and I love some of the lyrics in there. That line saying “teeth straight, click bait, numbers on your screen // you’re a slave to your follow count and no amount will set you free”… love that lyric".
What kind of moments is your EP made for?
"I would say it’s made for a road trip in the sun with some mates. Maybe heading to the beach or something; definitely a ‘social’ sounding EP".
You recently held a show in support of British Suicide Prevention - as you progress in your career are you keen to use your platform to raise awareness of mental health and help to support important projects like BSP?
"I loved being able to put on a show to raise money for a great charity like that. We made over £300 and I definitely intend to continue to do things like that as my profile grows and I have the platform to do so".
What are your aspirations for 2023?
"Raise some more money for charity! Oh and release music, I guess that’s important too. I’ve been writing some of my favourite music that I’ve ever made, it feels like a huge step up so I really can’t wait to get cracking on everything surrounding it".
Who are your favourite emerging artists right now?
"Ones to watch, for me, are Darla Jade, Grove, John Alone, Jack Louis Cooper and Grace Grundy. Oh and Sofy, she’s doing all sorts of exciting things".
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