You Tube sensation hits it big on the country scene

Monse Cepeda, Staff writer

Conan Gray, a 20-year-old singer, started to write songs when he was 12 to kill some time while living is the small-town community of Georgetown, Texas.


“I think every small-town kid is just really bored, and I was just a lonely, bored kid,” says Conan.


He was influenced by artists like the The Dixie Chicks, Adele, and Lorde, saying “hearing the Lorde album was a cataclysmic experience for me, it was the first time I’d hear pop music that was about normal suburban life.”


Conan poured his energy into his songwriting and gained a online community along the way, he found it as a further way of support. Conan has a unique style of ‘dreamy alternative pop’ -songs about kids grappling with regular life.


Conan went through middle school and high school with little money and a rocky home life, things got really hard for Conan during his senior year when he got kicked out of his parents’ house. But that was also a time when he caught the attention of some LA-based managers.


During spring of his senior year while living with friends, he wrote a song called “Idle Town” which was an ode to his small town which was recorded in his bedroom on a mic that was taped to a lamp. Conan filmed the music video on a tripod while driving through the streets of the local retirement community.


“Idle Town” quickly gained attention on YouTube with over 10 million views and over 13 million streams on Spotify.


“Idle Town” is a love song for my hometown and for my friends, and turned out to be my ticket out,” said Conan.


Colette Patnaude and Eddie Wintle from Expand Entertainment reached out to Conan after hearing his original music on YouTube and later that year Conan was accepted into UCLA, moved to Los Angeles, and signed a record label with Republic Records. Conan linked up with producer Dan Nigro (worked with Carly Rae Jepsen, Sky Ferreira, Kylie Minogue) and added final touches to the songs that Conan self-wrote and recorded demos of back in Texas.


He then released his debut EP ‘Sunset Season’ on 11/16/2018 starting with lead single “Generation Why.”


“I want it to feel like a big bedroom dance party, like a high school prom- familiar, nostalgic,” said Conan.


Since then Conan has released 6 singles with the most recent one being ‘Maniac.’