Kendal Conrad’s Latest “Stranger Things” And Those ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime’ Relationships
Playing new music, “Because You’re In It”, on Peak TV’s “Virtual in the Valley”. Going on ‘lives’ to connect with fans. What has been your favorite virtual show the past few months?
I think my favorites are the shows where I’m on location somewhere. Especially when restrictions in Pennsylvania were really tight, I set-up in empty restaurants and played to promote takeout for those establishments. I love connecting with my fans while at the same time supporting the community.
“My guitar is my best friend.” Playing your Martin Guitar live at J.J. Ratigan Brewing Company, the Vanderbilt Legends Club, and other shows. What are the challenges of playing live within the necessary restrictions?
Right now the challenge is having a good-sized space six feet away from another person. Space is crucial right now for venues. I’m taking up a whole spot where a table of 4 could have been seated. But people do come out to hear live music, and people do stay to listen. It’s tough, but music is good for the soul.
You shared the quote, “Never run back to what broke you.” Have any of your songs been inspired by a quote?
None of the five songs I’ve released were inspired by quotes — although I do love quotes! Many of my songs are actually inspired by phrases. “Come to Your Senses” and “Stranger Things” are pretty common phrases, but my songs actually twist those original phrases and make them new, different. For instance, “Come to Your Senses” is what you say to someone who has gone crazy. Instead, my lyrics take the phrase literally — I even list the five senses in the chorus. “Better On” started by looking at the phrase “you’re better off without him” and flips it on its head. “Leader of the Pack” takes the phrase “thrown to the wolves” and turns it into an empowering anthem. I love taking phrases, idioms, whatever, and looking at them from a different perspective.
Your “Leader of the Pack” song TikTok post had been viewed 25 million times. How do platforms like TikTok help artists connect with new fans?
Tiktok is super unique. It’s short video content created by ordinary people — not multi-million dollar music videos for artists or expensive advertisements for brands. Most of the videos are shot with iPhone. Everyone can do it. It’s really accessible, which also makes new fans really accessible.
“Don’t be afraid to walk alone. Don’t be afraid to like it.” How does this quote inspire you?
I am naturally shy and anti-social, and many times I feel like I’m in my own little world. It can be lonely and isolating, but on the other hand, I feel strong and creative and observant. If you can walk alone, if you can stumble and fall and pick yourself back up, you find out what you’re really made of. And that’s real power.
“I’ve been focusing on aspects of my career that I can control.” In a year when most everything is not in our control, what are some positives you’ve experienced, career wise, during the pandemic?
I’ve really utilized platforms like Facebook and Tiktok to get my music heard. I don’t know if I would have focused as heavily on these outlets before March. I’ve reached so many new fans, and for that, I’m grateful.
We were deciding which songs we were going to record for the EP, and I’ve had the idea for “Stranger Things” for awhile. So I sang him a little piece of melody and lyric that I had for the hook and asked if he thought there was something we could work with. He was immediately in!
You compared the relationship in “Stranger Things” to once-in-a-lifetime events and that it’s the first song of yours that makes you want to dance. If a professional dancer were to choreograph a routine with the song, which type of dance would it best fit?
Something energetic and flirty! Hip-hop would be great.
Just a girl and her Vegan Treats triple chocolate pie. Can you share any new recipes you’ve tried during the quarantine?
I don’t cook — I only eat haha!
Playing Kingdom Hearts. Which other video games do you like to play?
BioShock is one of my favorites. The visuals, the storyline. It’s phenomenal. I was really excited that it was going to be turned into a movie, but production was halted. Still hoping it happens!
“I think the best present you can give someone is your favorite book.” What’s your favorite book?
Tess of the D’Urbervilles. It’s one of those “hurts so good” novels that will rip your heart out.