Conan Gray called into The Late Late Show with James Corden on Wednesday (Oct. 8) to spill the tea on the inspiration behind his hit single “Heather.”
Chatting with James Corden, the rising pop star admitted the yearning anthem almost didn’t make the cut for his debut album, Kid Krow.
“When I wrote the song, I was really embarrassed because it’s about this girl from my high school who, like, barely knew that I even existed, and I was super jealous of her,” he said with a laugh. “And I just thought that maybe nobody would relate to it, I thought that maybe I was insane for feeling the way I felt…It’s not a very nice song; it’s not nice to tell someone that you want them to disappear.
“So yeah, I almost didn’t put it on the album,” Gray continued. “I thought that I was crazy, and turns out that I’m not the only one that’s felt that way about someone. I think everybody as a Heather in their life.”
After introducing the track, the singer launched into a mesmerizing recreation of the track’s moody music video for the late-night show, complete with the gender-bending costume change at the center of the original visual’s narrative.
“Why would you ever kiss me/ I’m not even half as pretty/ You gave her your sweater/ It’s just polyester/ But you like her better/ I wish I were Heather,” he crooned on the spacey chorus while wearing a white shirt and tie, before the billowing fabric around him dropped away to reveal Gray in a sweater vest, tartan schoolgirl’s skirt and black dress shoes.
So far, “Heather” has peaked at No. 46 on the Hot 100, giving the 21-year-old his first entry on the chart following fellow singles “Maniac,” “The Story” and “Wish You Were Sober.” Kid Krow, meanwhile, bowed at No. 5 in its debut week on the Billboard 200 back in March, earning Gray the distinction as the biggest debut artist of 2020 on the chart.
Check out Gray’s interview and performance of “Heather” below.