IF you saw Nat Conway’s name on the line-up for Saturday’s star-studded drought relief concert Hay Mate and scratched your head you’re not alone.
“I was shocked when I got asked to do it,” Conway admitted. “When I saw the bill — John Farnham, Daryl Braithwaite, Guy Sebastian, The Veronicas — I thought ‘Did they call me by mistake?’ People will be thinking ‘Nat Conway? Who the hell is that?’ Hopefully by the end they might know who I am. It’s definitely an honour to be asked to do it.”
Sydney based Conway first got attention on the X Factor in 2015, following years living in London releasing a string of club-based singles (she’s still signed to UK label Defected).
After two more club hits this year (Alone with Olsen and Can’t Shake It Off with Husky) Conway has just released her first straight-up pop song, So Loud.
It was the fifth-most added song to commercial radio in Australia this week.
“I always have written pop but the music that got me noticed was club/dance music so that’s where I went,” Conway said. “So Loud is the most honest song I’ve written. People don’t listen as closely to the lyrics in dance music. This is more personal and vulnerable. That was a challenge for me. It’s a song about me ending a relationship, but also missing that person. So rather than being an ‘I hate you’ breakup song it’s a celebration of the good times.”
The song was made with US musician Mozella (who co-wrote Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball) and local producer Jon Hume at a Song Hubs songwriting camp.
However Hume accidentally deleted the finished product from his computer.
“We nearly lost the song,” Conway said. “We record our ideas for songs into our phones so you don’t forget them. But I was being sneaky and I recorded the song because I liked it so much I wanted to go home and play it.
“You usually have to wait until the producer works on it before you get a copy but Jon accidentally misplaced it. He’s a busy guy working on a lot of songs. Weeks later I was telling my management about this great song we’d made, they told me the song was lost and I said ‘Well, technically it’s not because I made a sneaky recording of it’. So we could recreate it from this really terrible iPhone recording of me talking over the top of it so they couldn’t tell I was recording it!”
So Loud’s video features Conway, who grew up riding horses, surrounded by horses. However for insurance reasons she wasn’t allowed to ride them.
“Horses are so majestic to me, they convey such a sense of power and beauty. So it was a stab to the heart to be told I couldn’t ride them. That was crushing. They told me on the day. I was ready for full Instagram moments, pink dress flowing in the wind, galloping across the field on a horse. They let me lead the horse. That is not the same. That’s why I get a bit down and dirty on the ground to rough it up.”
As well as performing live on Saturday in Tamworth, Conway is hoping So Loud will end up on the Channel 9 coverage nationally.
“It’s always a bit of a risk of an unknown artist playing a song nobody knows but hopefully people like it, I really back the song.”