It has been said that the Internet is a lovely place and while it can be littered with not so nice things from time to time, I still firmly believe that the advent of it has brought about so many new opportunities previously not possible.
Today, you can build friendships and relationships from all around the world without even
leaving the comfort of your room (although traveling is always a ridiculously good idea). The experiencing of different cultures through photos and articles is always an added benefit and coming across people from different nationalities and backgrounds is definitely a plus.
Coming across singer/songwriter/actor/fitness enthusiast Barry Conrad was one of those run of the mill encounters that can only happen in today’s millennial generation. I was simply going through my Instagram feed and saw him on Hillsong powerhouse Darlene Zschech. A quick search brought about so many interesting articles about him but what stood out in all those articles is his story of resilience.
A South African Kiwi, Barry’s family moved to New Zealand in his teen years but then he eventually moved to Sydney, Australia to pursue his career in 2003. He was initially part of a band called Jireh and eventually became one of the favorites in Australian Idol. The stint on Idol presented many opportunities for Barry including penning songs for Stan Walker, Paulini, and Sasha Lee Davis.
However, for Barry, he knew there was more he could do and this is what encouraged him to give reality TV another shot through X-Factor, which eventually introduced him to a bigger audience, further widening his reach.
Aged 30 when he joined the search, Barry was unafraid to redefine himself and to learn more in the pursuit of his goals, of using music to influence on a global scale. He shares,
“I’d love to do what I’m doing on a global scale. I want to stay true to myself as much as I can, and keep producing work that’s honest. For the longest time, that wasn’t my reality. I was so caught up in perfectionism that it pretty much crippled me. Too scared to do anything because I was afraid of not being perfect enough and accepted. I’m not putting myself on a pedestal because I’m really just a regular guy doing the best with what I’ve got.
But if people are moved, inspired, or encouraged in any kind of way by what I do, then awesome.”
And today, Barry’s career is well on his way. His new single “Anywhere We Go” was recently released on iTunes and he will soon be making his musical theater debut in the Australian premiere production of the Broadway smash, Violet.
When asked why he thinks music is such a unifying factor, he says, “Because it transcends race, language and every barrier. It’s universal, it’s not just about whether someone can understand a lyric or not. It’s almost as if music has this intrinsic, built-in translator, where it will still accomplish its mission regardless of the things we see as limitations.”
But it’s not only his music that makes him relatable, but his story of courage and resilience is one that speaks to all of us.
When asked what encouraged him to not give up, Barry answers, “My faith and knowing what I’m here for is a big thing. Setbacks can really knock you down, and it’s normal to feel that. For me there’s a bigger picture, realizing a lot of times rejection is just protection from a door I’m not meant to walk through. Whether I get that opportunity or not, it’s for a reason. There are no coincidences.”
His story reminds us that while some days are difficult, we still have strength left in us to try again, and it’s in the essence of trying again that we truly get to where we have always hoped to be.
Visit www.barryconradofficial.com or follow him on Instagram @barry_conrad.