Music

Spotlight On Conan Gray — A YouTuber-Turned-Indie Pop Icon

Are you searching for a fresh-faced indie artist to add to all your playlists? Or perhaps you need some new original content in your YouTube subscription box. For either of those, look no further than Conan Gray.

 

Meet Conan Gray, a 19-year-old Californian. He first found fame through his YouTube channel, which was created in 2013. Since then, he’s amassed over 900,000 subscribers for his musical talent, humor, and originality. Gray’s videos vary from original music videos/covers of his favorite songs to random vlogs to life advice. He’s also created a few series: Art-Tea, Ask Cone, and Babble & Bake. While each video is different, one thing remains consistent throughout each of his videos. Gray possesses an ability to make you feel seen- as if you’re just one of his friends, sitting in his room and chatting about life with him. Check out one of his Art-Tea videos down below.

Two years after uploading his first video, Gray published his first original song, “Youtube Is Changing,” which earned him over 100,000 views. Since then, his music has evolved from gentle ukulele tunes into ethereal beats with lyrics that hold wisdom far beyond his years. Down below, look at- and listen to- three of Gray’s songs. One, “Lovesick Boys”, is from 2016. The second, “Idle Town”, is from 2017. And finally, “Crush Culture”, was released in late October of 2018.

There’s not much to say about “Lovesick Boys” that hasn’t already been said in the comments section of the video. “This makes me want to sit in a grassy field eating strawberries and sipping lemon water, at peace, whole and letting my pain drip onto paper as I watercolor in the sun”, one subscriber writes. It’s a relatively simple song, played with only four ukulele chords, but it has a quiet beauty about it. The visuals are full of joy- Gray strumming his uke while birds chirp in the background, Gray climbing trees and running through a field, Gray laughing and smiling. Listening to it is nothing short of an emotional experience.

The “Idle Town” music video has it all- angelic vocals, nostalgic lyrics, and stunning visuals. “Idle Town” earned Gray’s channel over 10 million views- his most popular video to date. Gray dedicates this song to his senior year of high school in a small town. While the video has some lighthearted parts- especially when he sings into a water bottle instead of a microphone- it has a more mature sound than Gray’s previous work. This, for me, was when Gray began to transform into the incredibly skilled artist he is now.

“Crush Culture” is the second single from Gray’s upcoming EP, Sunset Season. The video features Gray lashing out against romance, bitter that he doesn’t have a love of his own. He rips up love letters, crushes candy hearts, and throws picnic food up in the air in an effort to hide his sadness behind anger. In the description box, Gray dedicates his video to “all the loveless”. To all the loveless, indeed. It’s an anti-love song for the ages.

Gray’s Sunset Season EP will be available on November 16th. Leading up to the release of the EP, he’ll embark on a sold-out, eight-date U.S. tour.

Conan Gray is many things: a singer/songwriter, a YouTuber, a painter, an impulsive Tweeter, and a creator. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

 

Buy Conan’s merchandise here

 

 

 

Images via Twitter

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