Since starting his official YouTube channel back in 2013, pop singer Conan Gray has been on a steady rise toward pop stardom. Today, he took another step in that direction with an announcement fans have been waiting on for years.
On Friday (Jan. 10), Gray announced the release of his debut album Kid Krow. Due out March 20 via Republic Records, the 21-year-old artist’s first-ever full length features some fan favorite songs like “Checkmate” and “Maniac,” along with a slew of new offerings that Gray promised will give fans a deeper insight into his psyche.
To celebrate the release of his debut album, Gray also released the album’s final track “The Story,” a heartbreaking song about learning to move on from the pain of your past. The track’s lyrics reference ideas about repressing your sexuality, feeling trapped in a small town and more, before Gray delivers a message to give fans hope in the chorus: “I think that it could work for you and me/ Just wait and see/ It’s not the end of the story,” he sings.
In a statement about both the song and his upcoming album, Gray said that he wanted to give fans a more insightful look at his life, and worked to make sure that each of the new songs on Kid Krow tell a different story about himself. “The record is a study of how I perceive the world. I talk a lot about my friends and people I’ve met touring over the past year. It’s me,” he said. “I’m not the coolest person, but the album is me accepting the fact I’m weird and I don’t need to be anybody else. It’s also a chance to encourage others to embrace who they are and be unapologetic about it.”
On the following Thursday (Jan. 16), Gray released his new music video for “The Story.” In the clip, the star is seen wandering around what looks like an abandoned Texas town looking for a way out, before interspersed clips show that he’s not alone, and there are plenty of other people feeling exactly the way he does.
In a statement released with the video, Gray said that growing up in a small Texas town meant dreaming of what it would be like to leave. “I wanted the video to feel like those days— just roaming around our ghost town wishing we could escape; surrounded by all these memories and stories that shaped us into who we are; but also caused us a ton of pain,” he said. “I wanted the video to be a reminder of hope as well. Even though the pain of the past still haunts me, I made it out. My future didn’t seem bright, but it wasn’t the end of the story.”
Check out Gray’s official music video for “The Story” below, along with the official album art and track list for Kid Krow:
Kid Krow track list
“Wish You Were Sober”
“The Cut That Always Bleeds”
“Fight or Flight”
“(Can We Be Friends?)”