Conan Gray, the young singer who is stepping into the spotlight
By: Alicia Chen
Conan Gray is a 23-year-old singer who is becoming extremely popular ever since the pandemic started. His father is white, and his mother is Japanese. His parents split up when he was only three. Gray lived in Japan for a little bit, and then he moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere in Texas. This inspired his first song, “Those Days.”
Gray enjoys the attention of many young people as they share the same emotions as he felt, such as the torture of love and breakups. One of his most popular songs is “Heather,” and it’s about his crush falling in love with his best friend.
Gray got interested in songwriting when he was twelve, writing about when he was seven years old living in Rockdale, Texas, with a population of only 5,505. “The slogan was ‘an hour away from everything,’ and the main activity was going to Walmart,” Gray stated at a video interview.
His time spent living in Texas though, was not very pleasurable. Since he was one of the only Asian students at the town’s middle school, other students could sometimes be ruthless.
Music was the only outlet for 12-year-old Gray. He wrote his first song, inspired by the video of Adele singing in her bedroom. Gray wondered if he could also compose a song and sing it in his bedroom.
YouTube was another way he expressed himself. Sometimes he posted videos with titles such as, “50 Facts About Me!!!” or “School Routine,” alongside guitar covers.
“I’ve always been more of an observer than a participant”, Gray says, “I-especially in the past few years-live vicariously through people living their lives, and being able to witness them”
Gray was a Taylor Swift superfan as he grew up, and Swift has personally asked him to help promote her music. Conan has also established a good friendship with famous singer Olivia Rodrigo.
Since lots of Gray’s songs are about complicated feelings that are hard to sort out, lots of people rely on this kind of music to help sort out their own feelings. Gray says, “all I want is for people to feel a little less crazy in all the emotions they feel right now.”