- JUN 24, 2022
- 12 Songs
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About Conan Gray
Had he been born a decade or two earlier, Conan Gray’s technique for coping with the miseries and triumphs of his last year of high school—singing into a cheap microphone in his bedroom—might never have introduced him to the world. But for the Asian-American singer/songwriter who was born in Georgetown, Texas, in 1998 and grew up worshipping Taylor Swift and getting bullied for being different, vlogging and uploading his music helped him find an audience fast. First, he sang Adele and Frank Ocean covers. Then he tried his hand at issuing his own dreamlike, emotionally fraught songs—his voice breathy and androgynous—and reached a community beyond and far bigger than his small town. In a few quick years, Apple Music named him an Up Next artist, while in 2020 Swift tweeted that she was “obsessed” with his songs.
Gray’s 2017 single “Idle Town” was an ethereal, conflicted evocation of the end of high school that resonated with the hundreds of thousands who streamed it. That led Republic Records to sign him and release his 2018 debut EP, Sunset Season. Gray is a gusher of Gen Z sad songs, dark moods, and big feels, like his friend Billie Eilish. His 2020 debut album, Kid Krow, made him sound ready to headline venues on his own, thanks to the candy-colored disco creepfest “Maniac” and “Heather,” an eerie ballad about longing for and hating the person one’s crush is crushing on. Gray sounds compellingly lonely, but his circle of friends and fans keeps getting wider. “Life,” he told Apple Music in 2020, “is just hilariously ironic all the time.”
- Lemon Grove, CA, United States of America