Listen: Barry Conrad chats to Dan & Laura.
The Christian artist formerly known as Barry Southgate has begun a whole new chapter: a new single, a new approach to his music—and a new name. Unlike Prince, he hasn’t adopted a mysterious symbol, he’s simply changed his last name. Meet Barry Conrad.
There’s some very private reasons behind the name change: “Southgate, there’s a lot of stuff attached to it, family wise, you know a lot of kind of deep stuff, we won’t get into that,” he told Hope 103.2’s Dan & Laura.
But what he can share with us is that it’s also symbolic, marking a new season for the singer-songwriter.
“Conrad is my middle name,” he said in an interview with the breakfast hosts. “Barry means spear and sharp; Conrad means wise and brave, and that’s something I want to take into my future.”
His new single, Anywhere We Go, represents a new artistic chapter for the singer who first came into the spotlight on Australian Idol in 2004.
Back then, he says, he was a “perfectionist”. But he’s since matured and gained mountains of experience, working with RnB artists like Craig David and Brian McKnight, touring with Darlene Zschech, recording with Stan Walker, doing musical theatre, and appearing on X-Factor in 2013.
That, he says, was a turning point.
Watch: Barry Conrad’s new music video, Anwhere We Go
“Everything I did before was very filtered in life,” he said. “X Factor was a big deal for me, to kind of shake me out of perfectionism and stuff like that. You have to peel back those layers and look it in the eyes and go, “being perfect is overrated, just be you”.”
The change of outlook is reflected in his new single, which he debuted on Channel 7’s The Morning Show.
“I describe it as bold, direct,” he said. “It’s very accessible, like its pop music but with an RnB edge to it. There’s not much filter to it. It is what it is, this is who I am, I’m not trying to speak in parables.
“It’s moody and it’s a transitional track to introduce listeners to Barry Conrad.”
Barry’s been working with high-calibre names for his upcoming new album; producers who’ve worked with the likes of Christina Aguilera, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Jessica Mauboy and Stan Walker.