Having topped charts and taken TikTok by storm with hits like “Heather” and “Maniac,” Conan Gray is now also using his talents to inspire a new generation to join the movement of Global Citizens ending extreme poverty — and we can’t wait to see him light up the stage at Global Citizen Festival.
On Sept. 23, 2023, Gray will take to the Global Citizen Festival stage at Central Park in New York City. He’ll wow the tens of thousands of Global Citizens on the iconic Great Lawn alongside co-headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Jung Kook, and Anitta, with D-Nice, and Sofia Carson also performing. Stray Kids had been set to perform but due to an unforeseen accident, we will be joined by 3RACHA, which features three members of Stray Kids: Changbin, Bang Chan, and HAN.
The festival will unite millions of voices, amplified by the world’s biggest artists, including Gray himself, to demand urgent action from world leaders gathering in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Learn more about the Global Citizen Festival and how you can take action from wherever you are in the world.
Gray started out his musical career on YouTube, performing songs that he wrote to his corner of the internet. From a very young age, he’s been able to connect emotionally with his audience, performing music that shines a light on what young people, particularly in the US, are going through and feeling against the backdrop of a world that can seem hopeless.
In this same way, he’s also been able to articulate just how pressing the need to tackle and solve the climate crisis really is. Through his music and the interviews he’s given over the years, Gray has been consistently vocal about the world’s need to take the climate emergency and its impacts seriously. He’ll join Global Citizen this year to amplify this call at a time when those who have the power to make serious change need to hear it most.
Here are six quotes from Conan Gray about the urgency of ending the climate crisis.
1. When he emphasized the seriousness of the crisis’ impacts on our futures…
“I think climate change is extremely urgent right now,” he told V Magazine. “If we want a future to live in at all, we need to make sure we are voting [with the environment in mind]. I totally agree that it’s hard to stay hopeful at times. [The US] is not what I want it to be right now.”
2. …and then reminded us who really has the power.
“The future is very much in our hands,” he said, urging young Americans to use their civic power to vote as an essential step to protect the planet.
3. When he justified harnessing anger to drive action.
“The world right now needs a bit of anger, and to be honest who wouldn’t be angry as a 20-year-old living on a planet about to go up in flames as it faces imminent climate catastrophe,” he told Notion.
“When you’re a kid you very innocently believe that grownups rule the world and know what’s going on," he continued. "We’re all really angry, the world we grew up in and the people who raised us didn’t do anything to prevent our children from having horrendous lives, where they can’t live on the planet they were born on. We’re all really mad at what’s happened with the government and with the planet.”
4. When he sang about his generation's activism in 'Generation Why'.
“Parents think we're fast asleep / But as soon as we're home we're sneaking out the window
'Cause at this rate of earth decay / Our world's ending at noon / Could we all just move to the moon?”
5. When he gave young people a shout out for their actions against the climate emergency.
“Growing up, I had no clue what climate change was. I didn't know that my planet was dying, and I didn't know I had to take action,” he told Dazed. “But seeing these kids be so ready and prepared to take care of our planet from now on gives me so much hope. Seeing them hold massive corporations accountable for their actions and seeing them hold their peers accountable for their unnecessary waste makes me know that they have the strength to teach older generations how to be as responsible as they are. They are our future, and if we want them to have one at all, we must start taking action now.”
6. When he had a powerful message for older generations.
“If I had to say something to the generations before me, it would be this: the world you live in now is not the one you grew up in," Gray said. "Even though the largest effects of climate change will not affect your lifetime, it will affect ours. It will affect the ones who carry on your last name; who carry on the stories you told of a time when the planet was green and the ocean was full of life. If you love your children, love the earth they live on.”
Join Conan Gray and stand up for the planet by taking action as part of this year’s Global Citizen Festival campaign (and beyond!). You can also head to the Global Citizen app to take Conan Gray’s Sprint and take your climate action up a gear.