Conan Lee Gray (born December 5, 1998) is an American singer-songwriter and social media personality. Gray released his debut EP Sunset Season in November 2018 before supporting Panic! at the Disco on the Pray for the Wicked Tour in February 2019. He is set to release his debut studio album, Kid Krow, through Republic Records in March 2020.
Conan Gray was born on December 5, 1998, in Lemon Grove, California, to an Irish father and a Japanese mother. As an infant, his family moved to Hiroshima, Japan, due to his grandfather needing medical care. After living there for two years, the family moved back to California. Gray used to speak Japanese fluently, but has since lost his proficiency.
Gray's parents divorced when he was three years old. In a "Draw My Life" video, he details his experiences with divorce as a young child. As his father was in the military, Gray moved twelve times throughout his childhood, moving three times during sixth grade alone. Gray was frequently bullied throughout grade school. At one point, he was one of only five Asian children at his school.
Gray eventually settled in Georgetown, Texas, as a preteen, where he remained for the rest of his teenage years. Gray's life in central Texas inspired much of his art and music. He was accepted to UCLA, and moved to an apartment in Los Angeles, California in September 2017. As recalled in his "Draw My Life" video: "I like to think of my life in pieces. It's been picked up and moved and rearranged, so many times, that you can barely even tell it's been lived in the same lifetime."
2015–2017: Career beginnings on YouTube
He created his official channel in 2013, and began creating videos at age nine. Gray's vlog content centers heavily on his life in small-town Texas, and he is often hailed for his appreciation of Americana-related nostalgia. Gray has recorded music, showed his art, and created other videos for his vlog, with more than 25 million views by 2017. Gray began studying communications at UCLA. Soon after he started his classes, he took a hiatus from school to pursue a music career.
2018–2019: Sunset Season
Gray self-released his debut single, "Idle Town", in March 2017. The song gained over 14 million streams on Spotify and 12 million views on YouTube. In October 2018, Gray released the single "Generation Why" on Republic Records, which was described as "a rallying call to millennials." In November 2018, Gray released the five-track EP Sunset Season which includes the songs "Idle Town", "Generation Why", "Crush Culture", "Greek God", "Lookalike". The EP peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and at No. 116 on the Billboard 200. Gray embarked on a North American tour in support of the EP with help from Girl in Red.
Gray made his late-night television debut when he performed on Late Night with Seth Meyers on the eve of February 2019, before performing several shows as an opening act for Panic! at the Disco during their Pray for the Wicked Tour. He played concert festivals such as The Great Escape in addition to touring nationally.
In February 2019, Gray re-released the single "The Other Side", after originally publishing it on YouTube in 2016 on the eve of the first day of his senior year at high school. Between March and October 2019, Gray released a series of singles off of his debut album, Kid Krow, namely "Checkmate", "Comfort Crowd", and "Maniac", and an independent single, “The King”. In October 2019, He embarked on his second headlining tour of North America with support from acclaimed New Zealand musician Benee as well as American recording artist UMI. As of October 2019, Gray's catalog had gained over 250 million streams across all platforms collectively. Gray was awarded the 2019 Shorty Award for Best YouTube Musician, and was nominated for Breakthrough Artist at the 2019 Streamy Awards.
2020–present: Kid Krow
Throughout the second week of 2020, Gray teased fans online by tweeting daily hints about the title of his debut album. On January 9 2020, Conan Gray revealed the title of his debut album, Kid Krow, and wrote, "I say more on this album than I've ever said in my life, and I can't wait to tell you all of my secrets. Love y'all." Gray released "The Story", the final single off of the album later that day. Gray will be performing at Coachella in April 2020 and will embark on the European leg of his Kid Krow World Tour with support from Bülow.
Gray has cited The Dixie Chicks, Adele, and Lorde as his main musical influences, also expressing a mutual admiration for V of BTS. He has named Taylor Swift as his favorite lyricist, stating that he "was raised by [her]" and that he is "the largest Swiftie". He told People, "I love her so much. I love her music. I love what she does. I love her lyricism. I love how she’s handled her career. She’s just such a f—g boss. I grew up listening to her music since I was nine years old. I feel like she shaped me so much as a person."
Gray has been named as a "Gen Z vlogging sensation and venue-packing pop powerhouse" by Paper, "the pop prince of sad internet teens" by Teen Vogue, and "Gen Z’s ascendant king of sad boy pop" by i-D.
|Title||EP details||Peak chart positions|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Idle Town"||2017||—||—||—||—||—||—||Sunset Season|
|"Generation Why"||2018||—||—||—||—||—||—||Sunset Season|
|"The Other Side"||2019||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album singles|
Awards and nominations
|2019||Shorty Awards||Best YouTube Musician||Himself||Won|
|Streamy Awards||Breakthrough Artist||Himself||Nominated|
- The Sunset Shows (2018–19)
- The Comfort Crowd Tour (2019)
- The Kid Krow Tour (2020)
- Pray For The Wicked Tour