Conway is a name you should know by now. Whether it be from her current tour dates with Ellie Goulding, her brand new video for killer track “Hustler” (see below), or from hearing her track on HBO’s GIRLS, she’s definitely an artist to keep an eye – and two ears – out for. We recently got to fire some questions at Conway, and this is what she had to say.
VM: You recently released your first EP, but your sound is definitely more developed than a novice artist. When did you start writing music? And how has your sound and writing process developed over time?
Conway: This is my first EP as a solo artist but I have been in bands for years. I’ve been writing songs for about 10 years, but this solo release is really the result of a lot of work and exploration. I used to write only to the bass, which I played in all my bands. Now I write in all kinds of ways. I’m more focused on melody and structure. Before I wrote without thinking. Now I write with the intention of communicating with people.
VM: Were there other hands involved in the writing and/or recording of Big Talk?
C: Like most great things, Big Talk was a collaboration. I always write all lyrics and melody by myself….and collaborate with others on the music, sound and production. I programmed the original trashy beat for the verse of “Big Talk” on Reason and wrote the lyrics/melody… then Billy Mohler and Rene Arsenault (Riot City) made the music for the chorus.
I then went back and wrote over their chorus. When we had a solid song, we just went nuts adding cool sounds and really carving out little moments all over the song.
VM: Not many musicians also design their own wardrobe for shows. What inspires your design choices? Do you have fashion in mind when you’re writing your music? Or vice versa?
C: I love making things. So the wardrobe is just one more piece of my world I get to create. I want to wear things that I can jump around in but don’t have to worry about falling out of. I love designs that are strong but feminine. I love loud and imaginative patterns…things that take you into another world. For example, I have a zip-up onesie that looks like the surface of the moon. Tight!!
I don’t think about fashion when I’m making music. But I do think about it when I’m imagining singing to people. I want them to have as much to dive into as possible. What they see is very important…so it should be interesting.
VM: After self-recording and editing your first music video, which saw such a huge response on YouTube, and now being signed to Columbia Records partially due to it’s success, do you plan to continue the DIY approach, or will you welcome the resources that a major label will afford you in the future?
C: I will always be involved in a hands on way with everything that surrounds my music. I don’t know any other way of doing it..and I certainly don’t want anyone else speaking for me. I will of course welcome the help that can come from the resources of a label…because in my case, my label really supports my vision and lets me create it without getting in the way. Crazy, right?
VM: You’ve had songs featured on Girls and Teen Wolf and seen placements in Rolling Stone, Nylon, Idolator, and a slew of other noteworthy outlets. Did you have any idea that your music would strike a chord with such a large audience so quickly?
C: I have been working on this for the past couple years..so for me it doesn’t feel that fast. I will say that I’m super excited and relieved that people are beginning to hear it…and that they don’t hate it. Yikes!
VM: You’ve also already had the chance to play some pretty massive shows. Between Madison Square Garden earlier this week, Diddy’s Revolt TV party, The Natural History Museum, etc., what would you say is your most memorable moment?
C: Wow..I mean Madison Square Garden with Ellie Goulding was epic. The second night we played there was one of my favorite things I’ve done in life! I ran off stage after the set with my band, and we were all just screaming. It was too much to put into words. Bucket list. Check.
VM: And who’s been your favorite act to share the stage with?
C: St. Lucia might be the best dance party of a show ever. It was awesome touring with them, because I basically got to dance to them for almost two hours every night for FREEEEE!
VM: Your next show is Atlanta’s Fox Theatre Thursday night. It’s quite a beautiful and legendary venue. Have you ever had the chance to visit Atlanta?
C: This is my first time to Atlanta, and I have to say I have met the nicest people wherever I go. Southern hospitality is REAL! I had some southern food at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, saw jazz at Churchill Grounds and am about to play a historic venue tonight. I couldn’t be happier.
VM: After your tour with Ellie Goulding wraps up, what’s next for you?
C: Well, we’re on tour with Ellie until May..and then we hope to be going over to the UK to do some of our first shows there. This year is all about touring and meeting people. When I’m not touring, I will be working on finishing the full length album, which is almost there! Yippeee!
*Be sure to keep up with Conway. This girl is the bomb. And check out her video for “Hustler” below!
Michelle King is the executive manager and director of publicity at Noisy Ghost PR, based out of the Graveface Records headquarters in Savannah, GA. You can also find her blogging at She Turns the Tables, contributing music content at Posture Magazine, and obsessively streaming music on Spotify.