Conrad Sewell Takes Out Song Of The Year At The 2015 ARIA Awards -- And Reveals His Long Path To Stardom

26/11/2015 6:37 PM AEDT | Updated 08/08/2016 5:11 PM AEST
Video by Tom Compagnoni

Conrad Sewell is not afraid to admit he was down with the Backstreet Boys for the best part of his teen years. In fact, he still listens to the group today, although his surroundings are starkly different from the bedroom walls of his family home in Brisbane. Now, he counts Los Angeles as his second home, is signed to Lyor Cohen's 300 Entertainment and according to Rolling Stone, is the "hair-flipping, rock-loving rising star" we need to know about.

Since releasing his His EP, "All I Know" which includes ARIA award-winning "Start Again" -- a track that was originally put on hold by Roc Nation for Kylie Minogue -- it's safe to say we are familiar with the soulful singer whose sound has been compared to somewhere between Michael Jackson and Sam Smith.

While the rock-loving label sticks, 27-year-old Sewell's inspiration ranges far and wide, admitting it was his love of Nineties music that influenced his music career early on when he moved to Sweden to work with pop producers on developing his songwriting skills.

"Pop music was all around in the Nineties, from Hanson to the Backstreet Boys, N*Sync and Justin Timberlake -- those big pop songs were all I was listening to," Sewell told The Huffington Post Australia.

But it was his band, Sons of Midnight, he formed with high school friends that ended up taking flight.

Signed to Universal Music Germany, Sewell began a Europe tour with four of his best mates, a time he described as "living the rock and roll dream."

There were parties and drinking and they were soaking up their first taste of fame. But it was short lived and soon Sewell would take full reign of his voice embarking on a more serious career as a solo artist.

In the past 12 months, he's supported Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5 as well as played big-ticket festivals including Coachella while tapping away at his highly-anticipated debut album due out next year which he describes as intimate, with tracks you can dance along to.

"I grew up listening to a lot of Michael [Jackson] but I love the intimacy and the lyrics of people like Sam Smith, James Bay and Ed Sheeran... I want to have moments of both," Sewell said.

His sister, Grace, also a musician but 10 years his junior is following in Sewell's footsteps. She is signed to major label RCA and has worked with the legendary Quincy Jones for her track "You Don't Own Me", a remake of the 1963 Lesley Gore song.

The sibling pair made Australian chart history when both "Start Again" and "You Don't Own Me" placed number two and three -- no other siblings have charted next to each other, or as high, at the same time on different songs.

It was hardly surprising then, when both tracks received an ARIA nomination for Song of the Year -- with Conrad proving he may just have the edge and experience over his younger sister, after taking home the publicly voted award.

With one ARIA award already under his belt we can expect a big 2016 from the singer-songwriter who admits if he could fill a venue like Sydney's The Metro every night he would live a very happy life.

"It definitely feels like I've just stormed onto the scene but I promise you, I've been working hard for this for a long time."