…Ask the children to listen to your music and what they feel. They don’t lie.
…It’s not important how good you are (for example on playing guitar), it’s important who you meet.
I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Conny Conrad.
Conny born in 1958 in Schoental/near the Black Forest/Germany and is recognized as one of the most influential and successful German composers. He can look back to over 700 released compositions, about 2,5 million sold CDs and over 500 radio and television appearances.
In 2001, he became an honorary member of the International association of VIPs followed by their greatest award — THE GOLDEN GLOBE in 2008! He is established on the music market since 45 years, graduated by GEMA as extraordinaire composer and writer. He is also a multi-instrumentalist, before all a highly recognized virtuous guitarist and producer.
For example, he wrote the anthem for the athletics world championship 1993, “Hello Stuttgart Go”, the title tracks for the “Starclub-musical” in Hamburg performed by the Rattles 1997, the Anthem for the German Olympic Team Sydney 2000 nominated by the German Sport Aid, “Welcome to Australia”, the worldwide released instrumental series “Dreamworld”, “Dream Spirits” and many more — all in all 130 released CDs on more than 2.5 million units plus millions of streamings/downloads.
His passion is orchestral heavy-art-prog-rock. First example: his long play “TROYA Project” 1988 and second: “C.C.´s ARENA/The battle of overmoun (1994)”. Last but not the least, his English-German band DARK OCEAN (from 1999 to 2009).
Most of his commercial success comes from the instrumental releases, also used for movies, TV, Video, special marketing and broadcasting.
In 2018 he celebrated his 60th birthday with 4 remarkable releases: the first single of his schoolband “Black Lady” 1978, digitally remastered (still released), his first soloalbum “Troya Project” 1988, digitally remastered (29.06.2018), new song “LIVE YOUR LIFE TODAY” (release 13.07.2018) from his jubilee Album “THE WORLD ANTHEM (release 07.09.2018).https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/8c3c346f4fb330a5f20c35d604935d55
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit of the ‘backstory’ of how you grew up?
When I was 4 in 1962 I heard the Beatles (“Love me do”) and I knew: “That´s my way”. As an autodidact I learned playing the guitar (and later other instruments like all keyboards, string instruments, percussion and drums). In the Sixties I also saw the Monkees on TV and knew they play similar chords than I do, haha… 🙂
In the Seventies I had my first school bands but end of the Eighties I exactly knew that working alone as a composer, musician and producer will be the best for my inner balance.
Except my English band “Dark Ocean”, which was an exception and a story of its own, that’s me until today.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I am born and I will die as a musician. The guitar is a part of my body.
I play guitar since I was 4. I‘m 62 and very thankful for living this life. In 1978 I released my first single with my school band. Until today I had some major deals but all in all I was independent. Since 2001 I have my own label: CoCo records international. Being authentic was always rule no. 1 for me.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your musicmaking career?
Of course 🙂 The most interesting story — which most of the people can´t understand — is my life between 1978 and 2018 because these 40 years I was a quite high-ranking fulltime detective at the German police (similar to FBI or CID). Now I´m retired but what I do now has nothing to do with being retired. At the moment I have about 12 music productions simultaneously in work.
Obviously I´m unique worldwide regarding the fact that there never was a real policeman with such a successful musical output. Some weeks ago was the release of my book “Kriminaltango — zwischen Gitarre und Kripo” (engl.: “Criminal Tango — between Guitar and Police”).
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
When I was about 14 a kind of idol was DAVE COUSINS/The Strawbs). So for me it was one of the greatest life stories to release a common album with him in 2005 (Cousins & Conrad — “High Seas”). RICK WAKEMAN/Yes played piano on a track and we reached Top30 in the US- and Canadian Airplay Charts.
MICK ROGERS/Manfred Mann´s Earthband sang my song “Where the eagle flies” which also became charts entries in Europe 15 years ago.
Do you know the band BACLAY JAMES HARVEST? They had massive success in Europe end of the Seventies and I had the honour to be Special Guest” on their Europetour 2002 with my English band “Dark Ocean”. By the way — a great honour for me is/was the use of my DARK OCEAN-song “Back to the stars” in the TV-series “Criminal Minds”.
Last but not the least, I always remember working together with JOE LYNN TURNER (ex-DEEP PURPLE, ex-RAINBOW) who sang on my song “Rock for your children”, my song project for children rights.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/7c25fabe1ccd76a391d0f6d5791015b1
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Well, there are a couple of people who supported my success. I’ll mention my father who died much too early in 1987. He was a policeman and he has shown me the right way in time 1978. Without him, I would have tried my luck with my former drummer in school coming over to the USA to start a musical career. No one knows what would have happened if we really did it.
The second person I’d like to mention is Reinhard Kühner. He was one of the most influential German marketing managers in the Nineties. He opened the door for me to compose and produce the anthem for the World Athletic Championship 1993 followed by my song for the German team Football World Championship 1994 in the USA. After his help I was established.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I live several quotes as a kind of life lesson. Just two examples:
1. “Think big, because small happens by itself”.
2. “Don´t just talk. Do it!”
I am very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
- We´re all ONE but DIFFERENT. Respect and recognition of our difference are one of the most important acts to enable a worthful life of our upcoming generations.
- Diversity should make us inquisitive. It´s so fantastic to see and hear different cultures. It extends our mind.
- I believe in multiple extraterrestrial life. Everything else doesn´t make sense to me. Getting in contact needs a certain level in our mind. Without accepting and living diversity we will never reach this level.
All these thoughts must be mirrored in film and TV, because both are very useful platforms to reach our brain and help to develop our fantasy.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I just released my new single “When I see you” featuring Michaela Kuti on vocals. Fingers crossed to reach the same success of my former songs.
Plus — I prepare my musical “Atlantis” to be produced as a movie. That’s why I’d really appreciate to get in contact with important filmmakers/producers in the USA. At the moment I produce the music for the album.
As you know beside that I produce about 10 newcomers. They all get my music tailored to their voice and taste. So great to help new artists to their next level.
Which aspect of your work makes you most proud? Can you explain or give a story?
You’ll get an honest answer! I’m proud of being a kind of idol for newcomers, proud of having a helping hand and proud of being a member of the guitar players top league which will be mentioned worldwide before all by high level guitar players. But — the greatest point being proud is: “People listen to my music and/or sing my songs”. That’s amazing.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. It’s not important how good you are (for example on playing guitar), it’s important who you meet.
2. First sleep a night before you say yes or no.
3. Ask the children to listen to your music and what they feel. They don’t lie.
4. No matter what step you’ll do, — calculate to fail before you do it.
5. Commercial success doesn’t need talent. It needs money. If you don’t have that money, prepare yourself for an alternative life full of highlights without commercial success.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I still started these kind of movements. After starting my song project for children rights (www.rockforyourchildren.de) in 2010 I always include new benefit songs and new artists for the good cause (children in need). And — I talk about it. It keeps a communication between all kind of people. It is very interesting to see how they react. Most of them just “like” projects like these but they don´t give a bug. That´s why I like to dig deeper just to get analysed results.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Yes, it would be a great pleasure for me to meet TONY IOMMI (Black Sabbath). He was my greatest influence as a guitar player.
Plus — ROLAND EMMERICH. Like me he comes from around Stuttgart. I’d like to talk with him about the chance to insert some of my music into one of his next projects, because I really like his kind of producing the genre SCIENCE FICTION. What he does for the eyes I think I do for the ears.
How can our readers further follow you online?
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
I have to thank a lot for your important work and your interest in my music! All the best! ❤