UNCO[V]ERED star Conan Gray is a self-proclaimed overthinker, and honestly, we feel that.
“I’m a professional overthinker,” says nineteen-year-old Conan Gray. “As a songwriter, I’m always thinking all the time.”
Growing up in the small-town retirement community of Georgetown, Texas, Conan Gray had a lot of time on his hands to think. So, at age twelve, he began writing songs to kill some time. “I think every small-town kid is just really bored,” says Conan. “And I was just a lonely, bored kid.”
Influenced by artists like The Dixie Chicks, Adele, and Lorde, Conan began cultivating what would later become his unique style of dreamy alternative pop. Bedroom pop tinged with raw, high school nostalgia – songs about kids grappling with regular life.
“Hearing the Lorde album was a cataclysmic experience for me,” says Conan. “It was the first time I’d heard pop music that was about normal suburban life.”
As Conan navigated middle school and high school with little money and a rocky home life, he poured his energy into his songwriting and cultivated an online community along the way. No matter how hard things were, he always found that the internet was an outlet for his creative expression, and a place where he could find larger community and support.
Conan’s senior year got especially hard when he was kicked out of his parents’ house. but it was also at that time that he caught the attention of LA based managers, Colette Patnaude and Eddie Wintle (Expand Entertainment), who reached out after watching his videos and hearing his original music on YouTube. In spring of his senior year, while living on friends’ couches, he wrote a song called “Idle Town” as an ode to his small town. Recorded in his bedroom on a cheap mic taped to a lamp, and produced on garageband, Conan shot the music video on a tripod while driving through the streets of the local retirement community. Almost immediately, “Idle Town” began to gain traction on Youtube, racking up over 10 million views and over 13 million streams on Spotify. Later that year, Conan was accepted into UCLA, moved to Los Angeles, and signed a record label deal with Republic Records.
‘“Idle Town” is a love song for my hometown and for my friends,” says Conan. “And turned out to be my ticket out.”
In the midst of the whirlwind, Conan linked up with producer Dan Nigro (Carly Rae Jepsen, Sky Ferreira, Kylie Minogue) to add some final touches to the songs he had self-written and recorded demos of back in Texas. He now prepares to release his debut EP in early 2020.
UNCO[V]ERED will premiere on Saturday at 12pm, right after the Official [V] Top 50. Channel 801, only on Foxtel.