My 2020 by Kendal Conrad
One of our favourite discoveries this year has been Kendal Conrad. The super driven country singer-songwriter played a session for us during April's pandemic stricken lockdown, and has been enjoying a rise in popularity throughout 2020. We asked her a few questions about her year.
Hey Kendal, what’s been the most exciting thing you’ve done in 2020?
Right before COVID, I had the opportunity to sing the National Anthem for the Philadelphia Phillies spring training game against the Yankees in Clearwater, FL. My parents came with me, and we even got to hear my song 'Leader of the Pack' played in the stadium during the game.
What’s been your biggest challenge of 2020?
I’m not really sure how to move forward in this economic climate. I had so many plans and ideas about where to take my music next, and I haven’t really been able to implement much of my original plan. I have been able to release new music, if not exactly the way I had wanted to!
In the year of COVID, what’s the thing you’ve done more of, or done for the first time due to the pandemic?
I had only done maybe two Facebook Live shows before COVID. Now, I’ve been doing at least one a month - at one point I was doing a few of them a week! It’s a great way to connect with people who normally would not be able to travel to hear me play live. It’s not the same as an in-person live show, but it’s definitely a unique platform to perform.
Where’s the coolest place you’ve played music in 2020? (Or, what’s been your experience of playing live streams?)
I played under the marquee at the Paramount in NY-- it’s a cool town, and the people there love art and music. Playing live streams is a lot different than live shows. I really feed off of the energy in the room, and it’s hard to feel that energy from just video comments. It’s definitely been a lifesaver during the quarantine, though!
What’s the one album you’ve loved most in 2020?
I revisited Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits album the most during 2020, the one with the first half ballads, the second half remixes of her more upbeat songs. I also listened to A LOT of Ariana Grande. It’s pretty cool to start with her earlier music and hear the progression to where she is now.
What’s been the song that’s most soundtracked your 2020?
That’s a tough one! Probably 'If the World Was Ending'. It’s such a beautifully sad song and a poignant one, too.
What have you hated about 2020?
Not being able to travel! Before COVID, I was in a different state at least once a month, whether it was for music or to see a show myself. I don’t like routine or sameness - now I feel like I’m in that Groundhog Day movie. I hate not being able to see new places, the hustle and bustle of the airport, learning new things about the world.
What are you most excited about for in 2021?
The stay-at-home orders to go away forever! I would just like to perform for big crowds again and to not have to worry whether my gigs will have to be cancelled.
Finally, what’s the one thing about your 2020 that you’d like to share?
I will never take for granted the fact that I perform for a living. For me, there is nothing more fulfilling or satisfying than entertaining.