‘Burning’ up the charts

Although Villanova may not offer a major or minor in musical performance or composition, it certainly does earn boasting rights for an array of talented artists milling around. Some choose to express their gifts through on-campus music activities such as the band, vocal groups, or student musical theatre; others, through open mic nights at Belle Air Terrace.

Then there’s Conrad Heinz. A senior set to graduate this coming May with a bachelor’s of science, business administration in international business and finance, and a minor in Spanish, Conrad Heinz aimed his sights beyond Villanova’s campus. While studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the fall semester of 2004, he was able to enhance his repertoire by working in excess of 80 hours with OK Records, developing skills in all areas of digital music recording, as well as performing his original pieces in front of audiences. In the United States, the aspiring music mogul entered his original song “Burn” in the Song of the Year contest sponsored by VH1’s Save the Music Foundation in fall of 2005. Not only did the songwriting competition include judges from a selection of music’s biggest names, from singer/songwriter Norah Jones to A&R Manager for Universal Records Stephanie Wright, it also consisted of contestants from all over the world. To his obvious delight, Heinz was recognized as November 2005’s winner.

With lyrics that conveyed the confusion and troubled times that everyone encounters, Heinz’s words provided listeners with a glimpse into their own lives. To explain his inspiration for the song, he said, “Every song tells a story.”

This story was inspired greatly by the many obstacles that every young adult encounters during the transition from adolescence to adulthood, like relationships, emotional dependencies and uncertainty of one’s own self.  

“Being a college student, I tried to express my personal experiences and obstacles in one word with several underlying meanings- ‘Burn’-which I’m sure most kids today would relate to and comprehend on a profound level.”

And who couldn’t identify with lines like, “No matter the distance, I just can’t resist/ when your eyes run wild, untamed/Oh, I won’t be changed, so I just burn to stay the same”?

After his success in the Song of the Year contest, Heinz is strengthening his connections to the music industry by continuing to write and perform music, and by getting exposure in hopes of a record deal. In the future, he also would like to work on the other side of the microphone in music business and production. Without a doubt, he will be persistent in his pursuit because, as he says, “My passion is music, and I want to live my passion … music is what I will do with my life.”

To learn more about Conrad Heinz, visit his websites www.homepage.villanova.edu/conrad.heinz or his Myspace.com profile (myspace.com/conradheinz).