Conan Gray on Learning From Panic! At The Disco and Writing Music on the Toilet

The 21-year-old singer’s debut album arrives this month

March 13, 2020

According to Conan Gray, Brendon Urie is just as imagined. The rising star was tapped to open for Panic! At The Disco in 2019, thanks to his elastic, emotional voice and multidimensional songwriting style, and he walked away with a lasting impression and some inspiration.

“He was so nice, and he has really soft hands, and smells really good,” Conan tells RADIO.COM in the exclusive interview above. “Which is like exactly what you want Brendon Urie to be, and he is that.”

“I think my biggest takeaway from that show is he’s just such a professional. He works so hard all the time and just doesn’t complain – and I’m like, ‘Conan shut up. Shut up and work hard.’”

Hard work has paid off for Conan Gray, who is set for a tour around the world in 2020 and his debut album, Kid Krow, arriving everywhere on March 20. “I literally named it off of something that my friends used to joke about with me, they always said that if I were an animal, I’d be a crow, because I’m kinda chaotic and I tend to be pretty dark, but I also don’t take life too seriously,” he smiles.

“I had a pretty dark past, so in my adulthood I just kind of laugh at everything, because life is hilariously horrible sometimes. And I think you can hear that in the album.”

Conan has become an exciting new artist because of those different levels, with glossy Pop and unshakable melodies often just the doorway into something deeper and sincere. “I have the kind of music where you’re like, ‘wow, what a fun song!’ And then if you actually listen to the lyrics you’re like, ‘this is kind of demented,’” Conan explains. “I like to have layers. Like an onion. Like the ‘Shrek’ quote,” he says as a grin spreads across his face. “Just like that. That’s who I am.”

Inspiration can strike at any time, like his absolute banger “Maniac” that came to him in the shower. “I come up with a lot of my lyrics in very strange places,” he admits. “The most inconvenient one is always on the toilet.”

“I come up with a lot of lyrics on the toilet, and I’ll be like peeing, and I’ll have to grab my phone and I’m like ‘oh maybe I start recording now.’ And I’m like, ‘no, just wait till you’re done peeing Conan, and then you can start the voice memo.' Because one day if someone wants to listen to that voice memo you don’t want to have to explain that you’re peeing in that voice memo.”

For more from Conan Gray on opening for Panic! At The Disco, Kid Krow, and the songs he is excited for fans to hear, check out the full exclusive interview above.

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