In this week’s episode of “You Should Know,” Billboard sits down with YouTube star-turned-pop singer Conan Gray to find out more about his anti-romance anthem “Crush Culture,” which artist he would love to work with one day, and much more.
Gray tells Billboard that he grew up in a small town in Texas called Georgetown where, as he explains, there are “a lot of old people and a lot of cows and gas stations.” Because he was a “small town kid” and was often bored, Gray decided to create a YouTube channel, which eventually became a platform for him to share his songs with the world.
Speaking of songwriting, Gray reveals that he started making music at the age of 12 and that he was initially inspired by Adele. However, if he had the opportunity to collaborate with any artist today, he would choose Lorde.
“I love her so much,” he says. “When that first album came out, it just absolutely obliterated my mind. It was just the craziest thing to me, and her music totally shaped so much of what I think about pop music and I just think she’s the coolest person alive.”
Asked what his best fan encounter has been so far, Gray says that it was at a show of his at The Echo in Los Angeles. “I was singing a song that I’d written on guitar, and halfway through the song, everyone in the crowd started putting up these signs with the lyrics of the song on it,” he recalls. “It was super sweet, and I almost started crying on stage…it was a moment where I realized how real everything that was happening was and it was just astonishing.”
In the interview, Conan Gray also opens up about his song “Crush Culture,” explaining that he wrote it about his “miserable love life,” adding, “I’m 19 years old, and I still haven’t had my first kiss yet, which isn’t something I’m super proud of confessing.”
“My friends have all gone through a lot of relationships, and I think when you’re single, seeing other people in relationships just kinda makes you wanna throw up everywhere,” he continues. “’Crush Culture’ came from this piece of bitterness in my heart, and I just wanted to destroy everyone who was in love, only because I don’t have love myself.”
You can learn much more about Conan Gray by watching the video above, and check out “Crush Culture” below, as well as his headlining tour dates after the jump.
2019 HEADLINE TOUR DATES:
3/10 Seattle, WA The Crocodile (SOLD OUT)
3/11 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
3/13 San Francisco, CA August Hall (SOLD OUT)
3/14 Los Angeles, CA El Rey (SOLD OUT)
3/15 Los Angeles, CA El Rey (SOLD OUT)
3/16 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory (SOLD OUT)
3/18 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom
3/20 Austin, TX Emo’s
3/21 Dallas, TX House of Blues- Dallas
3/22 Houston, TX House of Blues- Houston
3/24 Atlanta, GA Terminal West (SOLD OUT)
3/27 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
3/28 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg (SOLD OUT)
3/29 Washington, DC U Street Music Hall (SOLD OUT)
3/30 Philadelphia, PA The Foundry at The Fillmore (SOLD OUT)
4/2 Cambridge, MA The Sinclair (SOLD OUT)
4/4 Montreal, QC L’Astral
4/5 Toronto, ON Mod Club (SOLD OUT)
4/6 Ferndale, MI The Loving Touch (SOLD OUT)
4/8 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge (SOLD OUT)
4/9 Minneapolis, MN Fine Line Music Café
4/10 Kansas City, MO Record Bar
4/12 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater (SOLD OUT)
4/13 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court (SOLD OUT)