21-year-old YouTube star Conan Gray has become a leader of sorts for Generation Z, wrapping relatable, mundane teenage moments into sparkling aesthetics that perfectly reflect the ‘ugh’ that is teen angst. From his younger days spent creating thrifting and DIY artsy vlogs to now becoming a fully-fledged pop star, Gray has accumulated a huge fan following to help him tackle the new modern world. But if you’re not one of the million that watch his videos daily, let us introduce you to the incredible come-up that is Conan Gray.
Born to a Japanese mother and an Irish father who worked in the military, Gray spent most of his childhood moving constantly. He spent his infant years in Japan before moving to California and several other states across America before finally settling down (after his parents’ divorce) in Georgetown, Texas. It was there that Gray started up his YouTube channel at aged 14, using the platform to openly discuss his love of film, music and art and simultaneously gain fans who shared the same vision.
He first officially jumped into the music scene with his debut single ‘Idle Town’ in 2017, a track that perfectly set the tone of nostalgia that would become the 21-year-old’s entire brand. ‘Idle Town’ gained over 14 million streams on Spotify (it now has over 49 million) and the accompanying video of Gray’s relatable-turned-aesthetic life in Texas now has over 15 million views.
Jump to November 2018 when Gray released his debut EP Sunset Season, which included a sad-boy-pop setlist that perfectly represented the life of his Gen Z fans. He instantly skyrocketed into the pop atmosphere, gaining plenty of critical praise and embarking on his own headline tours. He made his late-night debut by performing on Late Night With Seth Meyers and scored the role of a lifetime by becoming the opening act for Panic! at the Disco during their Pray for the Wicked Tour.
Speaking of celebrity friends, he has a few already under his belt. He’s toured with our very own BENEE, scored a kiss on the cheek from The 1975’s Matty Healy and he’s even gotten Halsey to gush over a collaboration with him. He’s made fans out of Billie Eilish, Lewis Capaldi, Troye Sivan and BTS and he’s just recently posted a pic with Noah Cyrus on his Instagram, which could very well be hinting at a potential collab sometime soon.
The pastel pink world that Gray lives in is looking pretty good so far. He’s set to release his debut album Kid Krow in March, his Spotify catalogue has worked up over 250 million streams, he’s performing at this year’s Coachella and he was awarded the 2019 Shorty Award for Best YouTube Musician. He has some of the biggest artists in the world right now dying to collab with him and he’s barely even gotten himself started. We have a feeling that in 2020, you’re going to be hearing the name Conan Gray everywhere. So get ahead of the blaze and start streaming him now.
Gray’s new single, the ‘The Story’ is out now.