Conan Gray (コナン・リー・グレイ, グレイ 胡男 Gurei Konan), born December 5, 1998) is an Irish-Japanese recording artist and social media personality. He is best known for his eponymous channel and debut EP Sunset Season which was released under Republic Records in 2018 and has gained over 160 million streams online. Since 2018, Gray has sold out two North American tours and one European tour supported Panic! at the Disco for on their Pray for the Wicked Tour, and gained over 250 million streams collectively.
Conan Gray was born on December 5, 1998, in San Diego, 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 2 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 specifies his experiences with divorce as a young child. As his father was in the military, Gray moved 12 times throughout his childhood, moving 3 times during 6th 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. Conan Gray was accepted to UCLA, and he 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."
Beginnings on YouTube
Conan Gray's YouTube channel has about 1.9 million subscribers. 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 twenty-five million views by 2017. Gray began studying filmmaking at UCLA. Soon after he started his classes, he took a hiatus from school to pursue a music career. He was awarded the 2019 Shorty Award for Best YouTube Musician and has been nominated for Breakthrough Artist at the 2019 Streamy Awards.
In October 2018, Gray released the single "Generation Why" on Republic Records, which has been described as "a rallying call to millennials." In November 2018, Gray released the EP Sunset Season, including the first single "Idle Town", which received thirty million Spotify streams, and twelve million YouTube views. It also includes the track "Crush Culture", a semi-autobiographical anti-love song that critiques the Founder generation. Gray set up a North American tour in support of the EP with help from Girl in Red, which peaked at number two on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart.
As a performer, Conan Gray was an opening act for Panic! at the Disco, and 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 upcoming album "Kid Krow", namely "The King", "Checkmate", "Comfort Crowd", and "Maniac". He made his debut single chart appearance when "Maniac" debuted at 30 on the New Zealand Hot Singles chart. The music video for "Maniac" features an appearance from British actress, Jessica Barden from The End of the F***ing World. He announced his album “Kid Krow” on January 9th, which was released on March 20th. The day after, January 10th, he released the anticipated single ”The Story.” The music video released on January 16th. His new album, Kid Krow, includes popular songs like "Wish you were Sober" and "Affluenza". Taylor Swift said in an Instagram story that his song "Wish You Were Sober" is one of her new favorites.