By Natalee Kerr
He’s played on some of the world’s biggest stages including Madison Square Garden and Coachella, and toured with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5.
Now ARIA award-winning, platinum-selling singer and songwriter Conrad Sewell is bringing his music to Geelong for the first time.
The Brisbane-born performer will take his 21-show Big World tour to local audiences at the Gateway Hotel on January 30.
Sewell recalls briefly passing through the region six months ago.
“I had a nice day – I played basketball with one of the Supercat guys, and had a look around the city,” he said.
“But I’ve never played a proper show here before so it’s really exciting.”
Sewell’s first regional tour comes during a tough time for Australia, with bushfires burning near many regions he is set to visit.
Determined to find a way to help, Sewell has decided to donate all merchandise proceeds from the tour to Australia Red Cross and Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
Bringing happiness to areas impacted by fires feels like a “real special thing to do right now,” he said.
“I didn’t personally have the money to donate myself … not as much as some of these other celebrities.
“I thought my merch turns over a bit of money – it will allow me to donate $40,000 to $50,000.”
Music has “always” been a part of Sewell’s life since he can remember.
“My mum was a big Motown fan – I would just sing along to it and imitate people,” he said.
“Slowly that formed into me being able to pitch a note and hold a tune.”
Now 31, Sewell has a string of successful singles to his name, including the 2015 ARIA song of the year Start Again and Firestone – a collaboration with Norwegian DJ Kygo.
But getting back on the road means “everything” to Sewell, he told the Independent.
“As an artist you end up doing to all this shit you don’t want to do so it’s great to be able to spend 21 days in the country just performing,” he said.
“It’s the best feeling when you come out and see a packed house and singing every word. It’s a high you can’t replace.”
For those going to watch Conrad perform in Geelong, he said to expect a close and “intimate” performance.
“They’ll hear the songs and hear me sing without any bullshit behind it – it’s my voice in its rawest form,” he said.
“I hope they really get to understand me as a person and an artist.”