Conan Gray has had a big year. In March 2020, the indie pop musician released his first album Kid Krow, which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard charts. “Heather,” a moody, unrequited love song, went viral on TikTok, too. With a new single out, “People Watching,” Gray wanted to shake up his life a little bit and move from Los Angeles to New York. Vogue tagged along for 24 hours in the rising pop star’s life as packed up his old place and made his new one feel like home.
Before departing, Gray visited some of his favorite haunts in Los Angeles. First stop on his list was a bookstore to pick out something to read on the plane, then he was off to La Monarca bakery. “When I was working on Kid Krow, I came here, like, every single day and just wrote for hours,” Gray said. “I liked to sit by the window because I could stare at people as they walked by.” As he packed up, he made sure to pull out some classically New York pieces, including a leather jacket and a Barbour-type oversized coat. He’ll fit right in!
“It’s nice to be somewhere new,” he said, upon arriving in New York. “Everything is terrifying. I’m scared of everything, but it’s nice.” As a musician, Gray has learned how to make living out of a suitcase feel somewhat normal. In his new rental apartment, he got to work acclimating to the new space. “Just need to get used to going outside,” he said. “That’s really intense. Outside in New York is really intense.”
But go outside, he did. Gray headed to a park for some people watching (a favorite activity). “I watch people all the time but I really love watching couples,” he said. “When people know each other that well, even with really close friends, they have all these little quirks.”
To pick up a new plant for his apartment, Gray took a ferry ride to Brooklyn. Obsessed with biology, Gray knows his way around a plant store. He picked out a money tree, which he said kind of looked like him. On his way home, gently carrying the plant, Gray reminisced on why he left Los Angeles. “I don’t think I have any expectations for New York at all, I just needed to move to make myself uncomfortable,” he said. “I was getting really comfortable in L.A.” Back in the apartment, he lovingly placed his green new roommate on the windowsill. “Just you and me, plant—you and me against the world.”
Above, watch Gray’s full 24 hours video.
Director: Rom Bokobza
Producer: Naomi Nishi
Producer, N.Y.: Jordin Rocchi
DP, L.A.: David Keninger
Cam Op, L.A.: Brendan Boyle
DP, N.Y.: Rachel Batashvili
Cam Op, N.Y.: Jason Chau
Editor: Victoria Mortati
Sound, L.A.: Vic Carrillo
Sound, N.Y.: Gabe Quiroga
Production Assistants, L.A.: Nicholle Navarro and Alexa Goldstein
Production Assistants, N.Y.: Jon Powell
Filmed on Location, L.A.: Lost Books and La Monarca Bakery
Filmed on Location, N.Y.: NYC Ferry and Jungle NYC
Production Manager: Emily Yates
Senior Talent Manager: Meredith Judkins
Post Production Manager: Marco Glinbizzi