success has taken
him to places
he only dreamed
of growing up.
and a loving and
loyal fan base
musivv caught up with the humble actor/singer with an exclusive interview.
Please introduce yourself.
I’m a South African-born, Kiwi singer/songwriter and actor living in Australia. Thanks for having me!
How and when did your love for music come about?
Ever since I can remember, there was music playing in the house. Everything from Elton John to Chicago, Stevie Wonder to Michael Jackson, The Carpenters to Gloria Estefan, Whitney Houston to gospel music… so much.
Both my parents have music backgrounds too. My father plays guitar and sings, and my mom recorded an album with her church choir.
I’m glad, ‘cause it gave me a healthy appreciation for music in general.
Who inspired you to pursue music and acting?
Even though I look up to so many people, I don’t think any one particular person inspired me to pursue it. I just had to get out of my own way and find the courage to give it a shot! I was so afraid for so long.
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How and when did acting happen?
I remember playing Edmund in a school production of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe way back.
Even as a young kid,
I found it addictive to
learn lines and would get
so immersed in characters
and stories. My imagination
was always pretty wild!
Professionally, it started with TV commercials and music videos. Then I went on to work on Power Rangers: Ninja Storm and the feature film The Sapphires, five music theatre shows and now a role on a network TV show, Neighbours.
Was music and acting both passions you had or something that you learned eventually?
They’re both passions I always had, but I didn’t really cultivate or follow them seriously til much later.
Did you study music/acting?
With music, not formally. But I’ve been a student of music all my life and have a vocal coach (Lara Tenhoorn). I studied professional acting for film & TV in New Zealand and here in Australia I study with Les Chantery.
Who were your influences in music and acting?
Early on I was really influenced by Brian McKnight, Boyz II Men and Richard Marx. With acting, guys like Denzel Washington, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt really inspire me.
Most significant recognition/ award you received?
The recognition I receive everyday from the people who love and support me. That really means the most.
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What’s the biggest dream?
To do what
I’m doing now,
but on a much
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How do you perfect two crafts?
Good question. And what that looks like to me is putting in the work day daily. Going to acting class when I’m in town, working on my voice, being around other peers who can sharpen me… constantly becoming a better version of myself.
I don’t personally think there’s really such a thing as perfect. I like to say ‘focus on progress, not perfection’.
How do you think music impacts movies?
I think it impacts movies immensely. A song can change the entire tone and trajectory of a scene. I think the choice of music in film is kinda pivotal.
Favourite movie soundtrack.
I’m probably missing out a whole lot, ‘cause there are so many epic soundtracks! But off the top of my head, Purple Rain.
Favourite musical film?
I gotta go with Grease!
If you can pick only one between music and acting what would it be?
It’s impossible for me to answer that! Haha.
Who would you love to portray you in a movie?
I’m not old enough to think about that yet! Who do you think should play me?
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if you wanna put
your best foot
exclusivv | barry conrad: life after the x-factor 67
What is your opinion on musicians/singers becoming actors?
I think a lot of singers and musicians already have a lot of natural raw talent to develop into great actors, and when given those opportunities do grow as they go. I also think though, a lot of people are given roles just because of their name, regardless of whether or not they can even act.
If you will be granted one superpower what would it be?
Teleportation, hands down. I miss too many special occasions.
If you were in a lift with your idol, what would you say to him/her?
Teach me your ways!
What would you say to your future you?
Nice to meet you. So… tell me what happened the past 10 years? How did we get here? What advice can you give me for the road there?
If your life would be summarized in a line from a famous song what would it be?
“If you never try you’ll never know just what you’re worth.” - Fix You, by Coldplay.
Lastly what would you advise aspiring singer actors?
Don’t be afraid of the work. There’s really no shortcut for preparation if you wanna put your best foot forward.
Other than the craft side of things… surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you. And fill your life with other things that make you happy too. Don’t let your whole life be about your career, you’ll become miserable.
Get used to embracing the mundane, all the daily unseen things you do that seem boring and like it’s making zero difference. Those things actually make a huge difference, keep at it.
The future is as bright as the lime light that precedes this promising actor-singer. Buckle up world. Barry Conrad might just be the next household name the music and film industry has ever seen - or heard.