Artist Spotlight: Conrad Sewell

Artist Spotlight: Conrad Sewell

We talked to the Australian singer-songwriter behind the beautiful vocals on Kygo's hit song "Firestone."

After Kygo injected Australian singer-songwriter Conrad Sewell’s ballad “Firestone” with his signature tropical house sounds, the track soared to the top of the charts around the world. The blazing popularity of the track has gone on to pull Sewell and his piercingly beautiful vocals into the spotlight.

“I’m not immediately like the biggest dance music fan, so it was kind of funny that that was the thing that introduced people to my voice,” said Sewell. Kygo’s rising success as an artist and the refreshing lyrics and vocals of "Firestone" led to a perfect storm. “I got ["Firestone"] into his hands and I think it was different to what everyone else was doing, so it was cool. We got to do so many cool things off the back of that song, from playing Coachella to the Roundhouse in London. So many amazing things have happened so it truly was a blessing,” said Sewell.

With new music rolling out and tour dates set, Sewell has no intentions of slowing down. His All I Know EP was released on November 13th and it features six tracks, including his previously released and well received singles “Hold Me Up” and “Start Again.” The EP boasts a variation of pop sounds expertly strung together with Sewell’s soulful vocals. In terms of musical inspiration for his newly released EP, Sewell talked about calling upon a lot of soul records and voices. “It was mostly soul records. They had a really vocally emotional thing to them. You know, people like Michael Jackson have been a big inspiration — people who just had really good soulful voices. I tried to harvest that aspect for this EP,” said Sewell.

He will be going on tour in Australia and New Zealand from the 15th to the 25th of November for his All I Know Tour. Sewell is also set to perform at Madison Square Garden for Z100’s annual Jingle Ball 2015. The Aussie talked about how he’s continuously feeling blessed and grateful for such experiences, never expecting to play at such an iconic venue.

“I had been at Madison Square Garden a couple months before with my band and I was joking around, saying that maybe in a couple of years we may be lucky enough to play that venue. Then it was like a month later when we got the call about Jingle Ball, so it was really cool and I’m very excited,” said Sewell.

Sewell also talked about artists that he would love to have the chance to work with. “I think Stevie Wonder would be incredible and D’Angelo or Maxwell would be sick. I’d like to write a Christmas song with a boy band, too. [laughs] I think Adele has an incredible voice and I’d love to do a duet with her or something. I mean there’s so many incredible artists. I think collaborating is really important to get a variety of perspectives from other artists. It’s really great,” said Sewell.

While Sewell has been pursuing his passion for music since he was eight years old, there was a specific moment that really hooked him into the industry. “I think the first time I played for a big audience, I got that buzz — like a high. It’s a funny feeling I can’t really explain, but I think every performer gets it. I just wanted to have that feeling forever,” said Sewell.

He might have had some mishaps in his earlier days, but Sewell still has no regrets about the long journey that he took to break the surface. “You know, sometimes you have to sign a crappy deal and have a manager rip you off to really teach you. Of course, there are things that I wouldn’t do again, but I can’t really say that because everything leads you to where you are. Even the mistakes I have made were what led me to where I am today,” said Sewell.

Sewell’s EP is worth more than a good listen — it packs an incredible punch. Check out the refreshing sounds and honest lyrics on the tracks here.

Cover Image Credit: google images

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The '50 Shades' Franchise Is 50 Shades Of Lame

What we really thought of that mind-numbing erotica

When the first 50 Shades of Grey book was released in 2011, I wasn't allowed to read it. My oldest sister and even my grandmother read it before I did. When I finally got around to reading it, the film was in the works, and I knew I needed to read it before it hit theaters. Let me just say this: I was not impressed.

The plot was awful. The writing was awful. Everything about it was awful. I hated how quick everything seemed to progress, from Ana first meeting Christian to their first time having sex. I hated Ana's character, her personality, her thought process- really, just her.

The idea that a god-like creature such as Christian Grey himself could fall for the blandest and most average looking woman, Anastasia Steele, was just mind-blowing. It was almost as painful as Bella from Twilight landing the vampire-equivalent of Christian Grey, with all that unnecessary teen-angst thrown in.

Then there's the sex. As erotic and sensual as it may seem, most of it sounded painful, impractical, and almost unnecessary. Jump forward to the second and third installments, 50 Shades Darker and 50 Shades Freed, and it's the same thing over and over again.

Christian and Ana need to seek marriage counseling and therapy immediately. From the very beginning of their relationship and sex contract to their marriage, Christian is nothing but a controlling and possessive sex freak. At first, readers and viewers alike are somewhat overwhelmed by Christian's ways. With the contract that he encourages Ana to sign which makes her his sex slave (or his submissive), to freezing Ana's employer's bank accounts to prevent her from going on a business trip, to his argument about Ana going out for a drink with her best friend, Christian has taken the concept of being a control freak to a new level.

The only way to fix all of their problems and resolve their arguments is with sex, of course, because no good ever came from sitting down and talking it out. As fun as it may seem to screw until you're no longer upset at one another, it does not fix the underlying issues. Anytime Ana and Christian have an argument or a disagreement or are even involved in a car chase, they have sex. Never soft, sweet, passionate sex. It's always insanely hardcore and never seems practical.

Multiple articles have discussed the verbiage that E.L. James used, such as using the word "there" to describe the location where Ana felt her sensations and the language that Christian used to speak to Ana. Some articles have gone so far as to compare Mr. Grey to a serial killer ( here and here ). I didn't come across anything remotely romantic or passionate that wasn't so heavily burdened by his dark, twisted, and often ominous tone.

Those that skipped reading the books and went straight to the films only saw the so-called steamy sex scenes filled with Anastasia's breathy calling of Christian's name. They were able to look past E.L. James' poor writing style and lack of character development, while those of us that suffered through all three books cannot forget the abomination of a "modern-day romance" full of BDSM that is the 50 Shades of Grey franchise. What a tragedy.

"Laters, baby."

Cover Image Credit: Flickr user: m01229

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5 TV Shows You Should Be Binging On Hulu

Weekends were made for binging TV.

If you’re a student and have not taken advantage Hulu’s student discount, you are definitely missing out. Hulu has a great selection of TV shows, perfect for those late-night binges. Here is a list of some of the best TV shows on Hulu you should be watching.

1. "Younger"

"Younger" is such a refreshing dramedy. Watching Liza pretend to be 26-years-old is extremely cringe-worthy but entertaining at the same time. After her daughter leaves for college, Liza Miller is having a hard time finding a job in publishing and when her best friend suggests lying about her age to get a job, Liza finds herself in a world of millennial fashion trends and slang. Between heartbreaks, crazy adventures and hilariously awkward situations, "Younger" will always keep you guessing.

2. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

If you’re a fan of "The Office" or "Parks and Recreation," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is a perfect fit. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" follows the life of immature detective Jake Peralta as he solves cases with other members of the Nine-Nine. This show is all different forms of hilarious, ranging from classic Michael Scott humor to clever one-liners and laugh out loud cold opens.

3. "The Mindy Project"

"The Mindy Project" is basically a rom-com in the form of a TV show, which makes it super amazing. Following Dr. Mindy Lahiri, "The Mindy Project" is a great mix of drama, comedy and romance. The “will they/won’t they” trope is perfect and Mindy’s crazy love life is enough to make you laugh until you cry and die of secondhand embarrassment.

4. "Sabrina the Teenage Witch"

"Sabrina the Teenage Witch" is a great throwback, especially when you have no idea what you want to watch. Sabrina’s teenage awkwardness is super relatable, minus the magical powers. The best part of the series is that it’s one of those shows that manages to say good for a long period of time, making it prime for an extended binge.

5. "The Good Place"

"The Good Place" is a wild ride from start to finish. There are so many twists and turns that you never really know what’s going on. When Eleanor realizes she’s been mistakenly been put in The Good Place, she does everything she can to fit in, even taking ethics lessons to avoid being sent to The Bad Place. This show is such a gem, it’s worth every second.

Cover Image Credit: Julian O'hayon

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