Meet Conan Gray, a 19-year-old singer who evolved from a preteen YouTube vlogger into an emerging music wunderkind.
The California native has earned a substantial following on YouTube, recently surpassing 1,000,000 subscribers – and with good reason. Beyond his hip, poppy sound and bright, stylish aesthetic, the talented singer-songwriter makes music that resonates with his generation.
For example, on the song “Crush Culture,” Conan sings about how irritating it is to be single when everybody else seems to be in a relationship.
We’ve all been there!
“Crush Culture” is a single off of Conan’s 2018 debut EP Sunset Season. Upon the EP’s release, Conan tweeted that it was recorded in his tiny town, on a mic “taped to a broken lamp.” The makeshift microphone stand worked just fine, we’d say.
“Sunset Season” is here.
I began this EP in the bedroom of my tiny town, recording on a mic i’d taped to a broken lamp. Five songs and a lifetime later, I hope it’ll play in your bedroom.
I hope you laugh, dance, and cry.
— conan gray (@conangray) November 16, 2018
Conan started writing music at the age of 12, not long before he created his YouTube page. While he is best known for his music, Conan’s first YouTube videos (under the username “ConanXCanon”) are mostly vlogs and comedy sketches that cover a variety of topics.
Still, for years Conan would consistently post original songs and covers to his channel. His hard work paid off. Several of his music videos have accumulated millions of views, including the hit from 2017, “Idle Town.”
Conan’s musical talent is even more impressive when considering his hectic upbringing. Due to various family-related circumstances, he moved around a lot as a child. At different times Conan lived in California, Texas, and even (briefly) in Japan. Conan also dealt with bullying throughout school, but was ultimately kept afloat by his family and a cast of supporting friends who encouraged Conan to be himself.
Apart from being a talented musician and vlogger, Conan is also an excellent artist. In 2016, Conan made a “Draw My Life” video to celebrate 100,000 YouTube subscribers. In it, Conan not only flaunts his drawing skills but also provides an in-depth look into his upbringing and creative process. Check out that video here:
Currently, Conan is refining is artistic skills at UCLA, where he majors in a design program. He is also embarking on his first North American tour, with shows scheduled alongside Panic! At the Disco in February, as well as shows in Toronto and Montreal in April. Make sure you’re keeping up to date with Conan Gray on his Insta and on twitter.
What’s your favourite track of his? Let us know by tweeting us at @umusic.