Interview: Amy Bell
Conor grew up focusing on his love of music in Kerry, Ireland where he began songwriting at a young age. Byrne has already worked with some incredible producers & artists such as Gamper & Dadoni who he had viral success with his single 'Island in the Sun'. Byrne also teamed up with Edd Holloway (Lewis Capaldi, Dean Lewis) for his debut single 'Bloodstream' which landed in 2019.
He has already amassed an impressive 75 million streams to date across his catalog. In the past year and has received incredible debut support from Notion, Official Charts, 1883 Magazine, and many more. Conor recently signed with Budde Publishing and landed his first major record deal with Sony Music/RCA Germany.
Plans for an album are afoot for 2022, a collection of songs from the impressive 200 tracks that he managed to write during lockdowns.
Now he’s finally ready to turn attention to himself – with an organic, piano-driven sound that just landed him a first major record deal with Sony Music/RCA Germany.
“When I signed the deal, it was in the middle of the pandemic, on a Zoom call, at 10am on a Monday,” he laughs today. “We had a glass of champagne, then – back to my parent’s house!”
We got to speak to Conor about his new single 'Growing Pains', signing to Sony Music and his future plans for 2022.
Hey Conor, thanks for talking to ReVamp, in 3 words how would you describe your new single ‘Growing Pains’.
Emotive, Honest and Raw.
How do you think your sound has changed over time?
I initially started off writing for other artists/projects and the first time I gave my vocals to a song was for dance records so these recent singles are pretty much the first time I have been able to write and release the music I want to make. Primarily organic songwriter pop and lyrically a lot more real .. I get to tell my story in these songs.
You have amassed millions of streams to date. How does that make you feel?
Always super grateful to hear the music I put out is received well, I remember the first time a song I put out that got a million streams it was such a crazy feeling (and still is) but I try to not get caught up in the numbers game too much when putting out music.
You signed your first major record deal with Sony Music Germany, how does it make you feel knowing your music is travelling worldwide?
It's amazing to finally be reaching audiences I could have only dreamed of when I was doing music from my bedroom with a really cheap mic and a laptop. I’ve had friends send me videos from all over the world hearing my music in different shops/ bars and restaurants. It's weird to think my voice has travelled more than I probably ever will.
It felt so surreal signing the deal as it happened during a lockdown, I was still asking myself a few weeks on if it had really happened. The day I signed, it was literally me and my team just hopping on a zoom call with the label, we had a glass of champagne at 10am and then went back to being in my house after the call it didn't feel normal whatsoever...still doesn't [laughs].
Growing Pains is a song about relationships and how they can change over time. Was this song written from a personal experience?
Yeah of course, every song I put out comes from someplace or experience that I relate to or have gone through. Growing Pains was written about a real relationship I had and I remember opening up in the studio the day we wrote it with the producer and team. I think that's what made the writing process so easy, it was real and everyone in the room could relate to it.
You had written and produced the single while you were in London & Berlin during a few sessions in the studio, what's your process of writing and recording music?
I don't think I have one specific way of writing music, really it always seems to change sometimes I go into a writing session with a personal experience or story.
Most times I have some lyrics / a concept loosely put together, other times I have a title and nothing else to spark off the song. I also get inspired by the chords and this can happen before writing any lyrics at all. I wish I had a routine as it would make things a bit easier going into writing haha but I think the lack of one also keeps everything fresh.
How do you know that a song is completely finished?
I struggle with this myself because I find it hard to ever say a song is finished. I can keep working on a song for months if I had the time, even with Growing Pains we did so many versions only to revert back to the more organic / ballad version we put out. I think giving yourself time to live with a song and space from it rather than over listening helps here. Also helps to have people around you whose opinion you trust to say it's done!
What made you choose the name 'Growing Pains' for your new single?
I think the title captures the whole essence and meaning of the song. At its core, Growing Pains is a song about relationships and how they can change over time. Sometimes we have no control over growing apart and the pain that comes with it and I wanted to channel that into a song. Also, I sing it a lot in the chorus so kinda felt it needed to be the title [laughs].
You've been working on new music for 2022. What can we expect from Conor Byrne in the coming months?
Right now as things are slowly starting to open up again the first thing everyone is looking at is live shows coming back, which I'm super excited about feels like I haven't been on a stage in years!! So I’ll be seeing all you guys at shows this year I promise! We have so much new music we’re getting ready to release and that's going to be our next focus, as for an album it's definitely going to happen at some point but I'm not sure when exactly.
Do you think you’ll explore new sounds with this new music?
100%! I wanted to set a base for my sound with the initial few singles so I could ground myself in an organic place before I experimented with sounds. These next few singles are still in the indie-pop world but will be slowly getting more and more exciting sonically.
Check out the music video to 'Growing Pains' below.