Kendal Conrad is a singer, actor, published writer, and award-winning songwriter. Kendal appeared on MTV and recently sang a duet onstage with Keith Urban. Kendal was featured on Keith Urban’s website as one of his favorite “Raise ‘Em Up” Tour moments and appeared in Keith’s 2014 Video Yearbook. She is International Miss Talent and won the title with her original song “Girlstrong.” She has performed at the White House, Wells Fargo Center, Sands Casino, Six Flags, Hersheypark, the Bitter End, and Musikfest, as well as the Susquehanna Bank Center for 92.5 XTU’s anniversary party.
Kendal has sung the National Anthem for MLB, NBA, MMA, NASCAR (televised on ESPN), and NBC’s National Dog Show. She was a finalist in the NBC 10 Talent Search and a finalist in the Colgate Country Showdown. She has opened for country artists Phil Vassar and Craig Morgan and performed personally for author Nicholas Sparks.
As an extra in in the film Silver Linings Playbook, she can be seen bumping into Bradley Cooper, and she is currently playing Holly Golightly in the exclusive post-Broadway production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the Civic Theatre of Allentown. Furthermore, she models clothes for Hughwear Apparel and is endorsed by Fancy Guitar Capos. Kendal recorded her first EP in country star Reba McEntire’s studio in Nashville this past summer.
Table of Contents
6:13 – If you had to describe yourself as a band, song, or genre, what would it be?
10:05 – How did you get started in the music business?
13:45 – Looking back at your career, what stands out to you as your proudest moment?
19:43 – What’s been one of your biggest failures, and what lessons did you learn from that moving forward?
25:17 – Three things artists should be doing today to grow their fan-base and move their careers forward
If you had to describe yourself as a band, song, or genre, what would it be?
I actually thought about this for a long time, because I wanted to come up with something really cool. So this is what I came up with: “Don’t Rain on My Parade” by Barbra Streisand. Yeah, I love that song so much. I feel like it embodies my spirit. Don’t rain on my parade! I’m upbeat and I don’t like negativity. I don’t like criticism. I’m going to do what I’m going to do, and don’t try to stop me.
How did you get started in the music business?
I started singing in the 4th grade. We had the 4th and 5th grade choir in elementary school. Fast forward and I was 16 and started playing guitar. I had some stupid hostessing job at this Italian restaurant that I despised and I hated going to it. I made a measly paycheck and I needed money.
I noticed that in my area, they had musicians playing happy hours and dinner gigs. And they were getting paid for it. And I was like: Well I sing and play guitar. Maybe I could make money doing that instead of this stupid, hideous job that I hate.
Looking back at your career, what stands out to you as your proudest moment?
Well you probably now it. It’s a cross between singing with Keith Urban, live on stage, a duet and recording in Reba’s studio. On the same mic that she sings on. Using her mics, her equipment, in her studio. It’s definitely a tie between those two.
What’s been one of your biggest failures, and what lessons did you learn from that moving forward?
I wracked my brain to come up with something for this question, but I can’t think of any. I think when you are in this business, I don’t think you can consider things failures, because then you can’t move forward.
But that being said, when I sang with Keith, we did a soundcheck with his band. And the volume in my headset was kind of low, and I didn’t know if I should have said something to his sound people. And they were like, “Oh, let us know, and blah blah blah.” And I was like, I don’t know if I should say something? I don’t want to look like a diva or anything.
So I just didn’t say anything. And then when I actually sang with him, I couldn’t hear myself in the bridge of “We Were Us.” And I went flat on this one note in the bridge. And when I re-watched the video that he gave me, and that I could put on YouTube, I listened to that flat note and I was like, “I should have asked them to turn up my headset.” With everyone cheering in the crowd, I couldn’t hear him singing and I couldn’t hear myself.
So I don’t know if that’s really a failure, but I really learned that I should have spoken up. Next time, I will. If you want a really great performance, it shouldn’t matter who you are singing with.
Three things artists should be doing today to grow their fan-base and move their careers forward:
So this is what’s worked for me:
- Play live. You have to play out and play live gigs whenever you can. I’ve seen so many artists online who are saying “buy this on iTunes,” or “buy that on iTunes.” And then you go on their set list and you can’t even see them play live or play out anywhere, and I never understand that because that is where I get a lot of my fans. And it’s not just the humongous gigs like playing with Keith. I get fans from playing at my local restaurant. I get people liking my Facebook page, and saying “Oh, I’ll come out and see you next month.”
- I always try to answer everyone who tweets me, or messages me. I follow back on Twitter. I try to follow everyone back. And I’ve seen other artists, like when people tween them and say that their music is great, they don’t answer. These are artists on my level, or a little bit below me. They are not like these humongous recording artists, you could take the time to answer someone that tweets you that day. That is kind of rude.
- You should learn to play an instrument, like Piano, or I play acoustic guitar. You can accompany yourself when you play out. You don’t need to rely on someone who plays guitar or piano to bail you out. You can book whatever gig you want because you are your own music.
The best ways to reach Kendal: