Willy Zygier and Deborah Conway

Deep Dive: Deborah Conway

Deep Dive: Deborah Conway live at the NFSA

Alive and brilliant at the NFSA
 Travis Green

In 2015 Deborah Conway’s hit song 'Alive and Brilliant' was named as one of the NFSA's Sounds of Australia. The following year, Conway and her partner and collaborator Willy Zygier, performed a special concert at the NFSA:

Deborah Conway performs live at the NFSA, 2016

Go Deeper...

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Prior to her performance at the NFSA, Deborah Conway spoke with curator Nick Henderson about her career, and working with Zygier. You can read the interview here.

Sounds of Australia

Established in 2007, the Sounds of Australia is the NFSA’s selection of sound recordings with cultural, historical and aesthetic significance and relevance, which inform or reflect life in Australia. Each year, the Australian public nominates new sounds to be added with final selections determined by a panel of industry experts.

Explore the full list of Sounds of Australia, featuring recordings from the 1890s through to the early 2000s.

Nominations for the 2020 sounds are open now – have your say on what should be included here.

Deborah Conway

Born in Melbourne, Deborah Conway started playing guitar at the age of 18. While at university she joined The Benders as vocalist, performing in pubs around Melbourne. After relocating to Sydney in 1981 with previous bandmate Dorland Bray, Conway and Bray formed the pop-rock group Do-Ré-Mi with Helen Carter and Stephen Philip.

They released two albums, Domestic Harmony (1985) – featuring their most successful single, 'Man Overboard' – and The Happiest Place in Town (1988). After the second album came out, Conway was offered a solo contract and Do-Ré-Mi disbanded.

She released her first solo album in 1991, String of Pearls, featuring the hit single 'It’s Only the Beginning': 

'It's Only the Beginning' by Deborah Conway, 1991

Following the success of her first solo album, Conway won Best Female Artist at the 1992 ARIA Music Awards. While on tour to support String of Pearls, Conway met her partner and collaborator Willy Zygier. Together they have worked on all of Conway’s subsequent albums, alongside raising their three daughters.

Her 1993 release, Bitch Epic, is her highest charting album and featured the hit 'Alive and Brilliant'. 

In 2002 Deborah Conway was awarded the Order of Australia for services to music.