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Exclusive interview with Aussie singer/songwriter and actor, Barry Conrad

Photography by Johnny Diaz Nicolaidis

Barry Conrad has had more than a decade of success across the Tasman with musicals, featuring in the movie Sapphires, making the final 12 on X Factor Australia in 2013, and has released numerous singles.

According to Nzherald, Conrad also had a brush with death in 2017. He almost lost his life when he suffered a pulmonary embolism and lost half a lung, and now looks at life through a very different lens. “The doctor told me that if I wasn’t in such good shape, I wouldn’t have survived,” he said.

We had the chance to interview with Aussie singer/songwriter and actor, Barry Conrad, about his background and career. If you aren’t familiar with Barry Conrad.

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  1. Can you tell us what brought you to this specific career path?

 

As a kid, I was always singing, writing, and doing school plays. It just felt right. Deciding to really go for it as a career came later though. It took a second for my self-belief to catch up to my love of it.

 

  1. Can you share something fun or memorable that happened to you since you started this career?

 

I almost got taken out by a helicopter Dwayne Johnson was flying in the film, San Andreas. That’s pretty fun and memorable!

 

  1. Can you share an experience when you were first starting that you learned a lesson from?

 

When I was still living in New Zealand, my friend Elly and I started a production company to put a live music event together. We basically didn’t have any work, so thought we’d create some.

 

We were total rookies, didn’t have much money, and were winging it every step of the way: meeting with sponsors, trying to get artists on board, the whole situation. We’d pack in sandwiches for lunch and drive around Auckland to meetings in Elly’s car, fondly named ‘The Chicken’, which would break down (haha).

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We did it though and the event went great. The experience taught me the value of hard work and really backing yourself, even when it looks like nothing’s happening. That you don’t need to have everything laid out to achieve something, you just need to start.

 

  1. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you’ve been working on?

 

Most recently a TV show out here in Australia called Neighbours, where I play the character, Kane Jones. And writing and recording new music. You can find my single, Ocean Road, on any of your favorite music streaming platforms.

 

  1. What tips would you recommend to your industry colleagues to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

 

I think it can be tricky because a lot of times with opportunities in showbiz, when it rains it pours and you’ve got to take the work. But it’s important to intentionally make time for breaks and for the things that leave you feeling refreshed. For me, that’s working out, the ocean, going on road trips, and spending time with the people I love. Life can’t just be about work, it’s not healthy. I think you’ve got to fill it with other things that make you happy too.

 

  1. You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
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I’m constantly reminded that success and life, in general, isn’t linear. It’s not just a straight, steady lineup. It’s up, down, all around, and unpredictable. You’re right, it’s extremely challenging, filled with rejection, and isn’t for everyone. But if you know it’s what you’re meant to do, you have to go all-in, invest in yourself and just keep going. Don’t give up.

 

  1. Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices, or treatments that you do to help your body, mind, or heart to thrive? 

 

I love to exercise and practice intermittent fasting. Listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks by the ocean. Taking on new recipes in the kitchen. Turning off my phone and getting lost in a great book or film. These are just some of the things I do for self-care that I find really helpful.

 

  1. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started”? 

 

Be yourself.

You don’t need all the answers.

Invest in people who add to your life and want what’s best for you.

Done is better than perfect.

Just relax and have more fun.

 

  1. Can you please give us your favorite  “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that has been relevant in your life?

 

Be the best version of yourself, for you. That’s not necessarily some pioneering new thought, but it’s something I started saying, especially after almost losing my life a few years back. You owe it to yourself to be the best version of yourself. We only get one shot at life, so why settle for anything less?

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  1. None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? 

 

There are a lot of people I could list, but I’d have to say my beautiful mother and my high school music teacher, Miss Rabin.

 

  1. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

 

I think just bring positive change, wherever you are and whatever that looks like for you. It really costs nothing to be kind and helping someone is the best way to get your mind off yourself while making a positive impact.

 

  1. We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

 

Ah, that question’s not fair! We’d be here all day if I listed everyone I’d love to eat with. But one person would be Sir Richard Branson. Have always admired him and what he’s been able to build over the years. A big lunch with him would be pretty awesome!

 

13 How can our readers follow you online?

 

You can find me on Instagram and Twitter at @barry_conrad, on Facebook at facebook.com/barryconradofficial, and on Spotify under my name. Thanks so much for having me.

Natalie is a journalism major with a focus on Entertainment and Music who aspires to become a Content Creator For Honk Magazine. Eventually, she wants to be the Publisher or Editor-in-Chief of a major Publishing House. She loves helping people find their voice and passion for writing and journalism, and she can always be found with coffee in hand, editing another article.

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Artist Spotlight

Meet CHEBO: One Of The Most Exciting Artist And Music Producer In The Industry Today

CHEBO

Music has long been something special that has united us, as well as exposed us to the world around us. Long from the days of music just coming from one specific place, you can now hear great music from any part of the world, with rocking jams that get the job done in a real way, as well as get us familiar with other styles out there. Now, this is where an incredible artist named “CHEBO” comes in.

Known for his electrifying stage performances and signature sound, CHEBO is an accomplished French composer, mixing engineer, producer and DJ who has continued on his adventure of exploring numerous sounds from many cultures and incorporating them into his music, which has earned him praise from his fan base. In a fiery pursuit of his passion, CHEBO had to put aside his promising career in finance to live his music dream. His hard work and fearless creativity have seen him release catchy tracks such as ‘Jiggle It’, paving way for hits like ‘Tonight’ – a breathtaking single shared by Spotify in the ‘Groove Theory’ editorial playlist. This artful yet full of rhythm dance song is structured sophistically and offers an addictive classic disco vibe. Also supported by “The Supermen Lovers”, the infectious record has already passed the 1,000,000 streams mark.

Driven by an urge to break the rules, CHEBO has scooped various awards such as the 2011 Emergenza Prize for Best Bass Player in France. The young artist believes in the power of inspiration and possibilities.

Currently, CHEBO is a common figure in clubs, festivals across Europe and in his hometown of Paris. Besides, his music is widely played on FM radio stations in France, UK, USA, Canada, Argentina, Nigeria and Japan.

Check out CHEBO on Spotify:

 

Hi there, welcome to Honk Magazine. Can you tell our readers about what really inspired you to write music?

CHEBO –  I’ve always loved playing music. I started with an electric guitar I received for my 13th birthday and that passion never really left me. Afterwards I wanted to learn more about other instruments like the bass, piano and drums, and did some gigs in several bands when I was in high school. Now I mainly produce electronic music, as the possibilities are endless. But I still like to balance it with some organic sounds. I’m a pretty spiritual and emotional guy, so I guess that’s where most of my inspiration comes from. I love to translate my feelings and the way I see this mysterious universe into pieces of music. Sometimes I feel like dancing so I make tracks with great energy, and other times I’m more into meditative deep thinking or chill mode. That’s why you can find the whole spectrum in my discography and that’s how I share my emotions with the world. I think it’s pretty amazing that where words fail, music can be understood by everyone.

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When did you realize you were going to make music professionally?

CHEBO – Actually, I realized I was going to make music professionally before it happened. I used to work in private banking, but I didn’t feel fulfilled back then. There was still that voice in my head giving me that burning desire to pursue what I love. It was time for me to take a big risk by leaving this comfort and going all-in into living my dreams. So I kinda manifested it. Even though I am not advocating such a risky move, I firmly believe that we can manifest anything we truly want.

 

Tell us what is so unique about you and your music?

CHEBO – I guess everyone is very unique, the same way our fingerprints are. It’s all about becoming your true self, your higher self and going back to who you were and what you loved as a child. So it’s an unlearning process. Regarding my music, I basically translate who I am into it. That’s why it is unique. I don’t follow any rule, genre, nor recipe. I only go with my intuition and strive to surprise my audience. My goal is to deliver “outside the box” music never heard before, and that doesn’t sound like anything else. I want the listener to go on a journey with me, so you can find a lot of progression and evolution in the same track which is quite uncommon. It is also important for me that someone can listen to my music at any given time of the day and in any mood or situation. Or even the whole day without getting tired of it. That’s why my discography is pretty eclectic. I’m a defender of diversity and I refuse to be pinned down in any one particular music category. I’ve collaborated with artists from all continents and cultures, and I prize my freedom to do whatever I want with my own style very much. In real life I’m pretty introverted and not used to sharing my feelings, so I put it all into my music. I also enjoy expressing myself in the mixing part of the production and experimenting new approaches. So while it may be appealing to follow trends, I usually move in the opposite direction. I would be like “How can I be even more myself today and what feeling does my soul want to share?”.

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Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

CHEBO – Absolutely! I started doing DJ gigs only a week after buying my first CDJs, which I would definitely not recommend. The first time, I went to a bar with my usual headphones, however I didn’t have the right adapter to plug them into their mixing table. So I had to mix without headphones plus I wasn’t familiar with their equipment so I started sweating a lot haha. I still remember the manager telling me “it’s hot over here huh?”. Back then it was a very stressful moment, and the result wasn’t good at all. The atmosphere was pretty calm while I was playing energetic tracks, some people were looking at me like “dude what are you doing we’re trying to chill”. Obviously that bar didn’t call me back. But I didn’t get discouraged and on my next gig everything went perfectly. So I would say in order to avoid any stress in live situations, take time to practice until you feel ready. That way you can just enjoy the moment and feel that connection with the audience. You need your full attention on reading their minds, feeling the vibe and guessing what they wanna hear next. When you are playing live there should be no stress but only fun.

 

Can you tell us about your latest releases and what inspired you to create them?

CHEBO – My latest releases are mostly remixes of my own tracks by other producers. While I was releasing them, I was preparing for the next season as I needed some time to raise the bar and lift expectations. “Tonight” is currently my most listened to track with over a million streams on Spotify. I really enjoyed making that one and my inspiration came from the fact that I wanted to create something groovy, punchy and sexy, while blending modern and old school vibes. I am super proud of the two available remixes for ‘Tonight’. The first one was made by Ralf, from California while his friend EMRY played live sax on top, so it gives the track a cheerful and uplifting vibe. And the most recent one, released this year, was produced by Elleyet from Australia, which sounds darker and deeper on the sensual end of the house spectrum. A superstar is currently working on the third one, but for now it’s a secret.

 

Can you give us a brief insight about your upcoming projects?

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CHEBO – Following up on my previous answer, I’ve raised the bar much higher for my upcoming projects. I wanted my audience to feel that my next productions are from a whole new level. I’ve been working on some of these tracks for over a year, and it’s now time to share this work with the world. My next dance summer tracks are called ‘Can’t Escape’ and ‘Alive’, both set for release this July. Many hard hitters are on the way. I’m super excited!

 

What do you wish you were told when you first started making music that you think would help artists just starting out?

CHEBO – Everything is gonna be alright. Building an audience takes time. So don’t get discouraged. I had to release over 20 tracks before it took off. If you maintain a laser focus on what you are doing, it will happen. And try to give 110% in everything you do. Don’t be in a rush, don’t overthink. Just have fun and enjoy the process. Build slowly with happiness. Believe in yourself, keep going, if you like your music other people will like it too. Also and most importantly, think early about your branding as it is essential in this industry. But don’t fall into the trap of perfectionism, I tend to be guilty of that. Just do your best and improve over time.

 

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

CHEBO – Go with the flow while having discipline. It can be a long journey so it’s important to take some rest and enjoy other things, but stay in your lane. One step at a time. Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint. Plus, inspiration usually strikes while you are doing something else.

 

What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?

CHEBO – I like to spend time with my family and friends, travel or go to the gym. Producing music is pretty sedentary, so it’s important to move the body as well.

 

Any last piece of advice for those artists who just started making music?

CHEBO – Don’t forget to have fun! If you love what you do you will succeed.

 

How can our readers follow you online?

CHEBO – You can find me on all social and music platforms.

Instagram – @chebomusic

Twitter – @chebomusic 

Facebook – @chebomusic

Don’t hesitate to hit me up and say hi!

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Artist Spotlight

Exclusive Interview With Ace Clarke, A fast Rising Rapper Who Is Making Waves In The Music Industry

Ace Clarke

Born & raised in Wakefield uptown, Bronx, Ace Clarke is a well-polished rapper who is climbing his way up the steepest of steps to becoming the greatest of all time. His competence as a lyricist is clear to anyone hearing the complexities within his rhyme scheme bars. 

The NY rap artist/songwriter has risen from the ashes and built an audience from the ground up, displaying rare talent and true emotion which you may have been missing from your daily playlist. His craft is the highlight of this generation’s class of rappers, and the recognition has been pouring out from veterans and newcomers in the rap game.

Hi there, welcome to Honk Magazine. Can you tell our readers about what really inspired you to write music?

Ace Clarke – I always loved music growing up. My moms used to bump the Isley Brothers, Whitney houston, Toni Braxson, etc, every friday night, my pops used to bump Bob Marley, Zig, Elephant Man, Pac, X, Big, all the time along wit my big brother, so i always had a knack for it. What really had gotten me into writing was environmental stress. Family drama, financial bills, just being a youth in a bad neighborhood, we always tend to gravitate to outlets. Music was always mine, I could recall sitting in my room about 10 years old listening to “It’s Dark & Hell Is Hot”, particularly “I Could Feel It” & “Prayer” in how deep music & emotions could touch a soul. That was like the initial spark to start writing, and it’s just been up from there.

When did you realize you were going to make music professionally?

Ace Clarke – I was about 15. Me & my cousin JV had started hitting studios uptown & around making songs in high school just for the fun of it though, but the traction we would get out of it only fueled my desire for it more. I knew what we were capable of making happen at the time, & from the shows & just naturally feeling at such peace with myself while performing, making music, I knew it was something i wanted to make happen. Somehow, somehow, I was going to make it happen.

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Tell us what is so unique about you and your music?

Ace Clarke – What I feel like I bring to the table is simply put from the soul. I lay my heart out in my songs, my art & that’s not to be replicated by anyone. I respect everyone, & i feel like everyone, from fans, supporters to peers know what I bring to the table through my journeys & experiences i paint my heart to connect to.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Ace Clarke – Oh I got you! I remember my first show I performed at LIU college back in like 2013, & my anxiousness then was really getting to me. I was trying to control it as best as i could but boy i had the jitters to say the least. So anyway, I hop on stage, & try to turn that nervousness into passion, but I end up tiring myself early on into my set. I didn’t think it was that noticeable at the time, but thinking back on it, my pacing was off in my rhythm so that had to look crazy. I’m like a perfectionist so if I make a mistake or think I made a mistake I’m the type to obsess & work my ass off until I reprimand the flaw, but thinking back then moving like a rhythmless chicken is definitely up there.

Can you tell us about your latest releases and what inspired you to create them?

Ace Clarke – Home & Trauma are personal pieces, either from internal or external povs & experiences that I’ve gone through in life. They both tell their own stories of reflectiveness, I would say love is the inspiration for them, hence the cover art of my 4th birthday. It meant alot to write, work with Farai Milion & Kayy Hunter on it because they’re famous. Always makes the process more enjoyable.

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Can you give us a brief insight into your upcoming projects?

Ace Clarke – I’ve been working on my upcoming debut tape “Shenanigans & Antics” which is about 95% ready as of this point. As the title presumes, i’ma be giving my audience a lot of shards of my soul on my experiences, the fun, the anxious, the downs, very personal project from me to y’all with this one. Besides that, rehearsing & sharpening my craft daily for these shows I’ve been blessed with, looking forward to sharing that stage with Only one Theory for her Somewhere Over East tour this July 24th, collaborating with other artists, there’s plenty in the vault I got for my supporters this year!!

What do you wish you were told when you first started making music that you think would help artists just starting out?

Ace Clarke – Would say honestly just how important it is to wear multiple hats in this industry. You should be your own graphic designer, editor, marketing/promo team, engineer, and wear as many hats as possible in this game, because it’s ALL about saving for the next move. The difference between the ones who make it & the ones who don’t besides opportunity is who’s paying attention to their spendings. With everything being so costly, to save yourself a lot of money in the process, I would recommend learning not just how to record, but dabbing in a bit of everything. You’ll be surprised at just how creative it could get y’all.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

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Ace Clarke – Don’t force anything. Anything forced isn’t natural, let things come to you but be aggressive for the things you want. Writers block & creative blocks are APART of the process, they don’t mean you’re lacking, they mean you just need to do something different you probably don’t do in your daily life. Also remember that you only live once, so try to make the best of your days by having hobbies & other outlets you could take a break to whenever you need from music.

What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?

Ace Clarke – Whenever I feel like I need a slight break from music, I tend to watch something I probably usually wouldn’t watch, read something I probably wouldn’t usually read, go play basketball with the fellas, a comfortable date night with my girl, anything to get my mind on other things. I personally love cooking too, I picked up both music & cooking at the same time but trying new food has always been therapeutic for me!

Any last piece of advice for those artists who just started making music?

Ace Clarke – Just keep going if you love it & stay true to yourself. You know what makes you special, what makes you bring your flair so you don’t have to force it, the people will catch on. Always work on your craft, remain a student, ALWAYS do your research, the motivation will come & go but the discipline to be the best you can be should stay sharp.

How can our readers follow you online?

Ace Clarke – I’m never too hard to find guys, tune into me on:

Instagram: @Ace.Clarke

Twitter: @Ace_Knightz

TikTok: @Acekangshun

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