by Lexi Kupor
Public Relations Manager
Upcoming indie pop singer Conan Gray surprised fans with the Aug. 20 premiere of his music video for Heather, a track from his debut album Kid Krow, released five months prior.
The song’s lyrics focus on the artist’s feelings of jealousy towards an individual named Heather, whom Gray’s love interest continues to choose over himself. Gray not only expresses his frustrations with Heather’s beauty, but also her general kind-hearted reputation and demeanor, characterized as “brighter than a blue sky.” Throughout the piece, Gray struggles to reconcile his jealousy and antagonism with the reality of Heather’s morality and character. “How could I hate her?” he reflects, describing this individual as “such an angel.”
In an interview with Apple Music, Gray explained his motives behind the song’s narrative. “I think everyone has a Heather in their life,” he described. “The person that I really, really liked was in love with Heather. They were not in love with me, and because of that… I hated Heather with all of my heart and soul. I had no reason to hate Heather. Heather is a perfectly nice girl. She’s sweet and she’s pure and she smells like daisies—she’s perfect, but I hate her.” In a press release, he added that “She was soft and so easily lovable — everything I am not.”
The music video itself depicts Gray undergoing a gradual transition from a masculine appearance to eventually favor a feminine physical style and behavior. Gray examines his facial features in the mirror as he carefully chooses decorative hair accessories and picks up various jewelry pieces, repeating “wish I were Heather” while twirling about in a skirt and vest. These actions presumably represent Gray’s inner pull to replicate Heather’s beauty and delicacy within his own appearance, behavior, and representation.
The video ends with Gray snapping a photo of himself in his chosen outfit, which is then shown as an Instagram post viewed from an outsider’s perspective. Some viewers interpret this culmination to infer that Gray has been successful in gaining his love interest’s attention via social media, while others suggest that the final shot occurs from Heather’s point of view, pointing to the nearby necklace and bottle of nail polish visible in the background.
In addition to racking up nearly seven million views in its first week, the video and the song’s deeper meaning also inspired a burgeoning TikTok trend where users show the various individuals they idolize as their own Heather. The word “Heather” itself has come to serve as a more general term for a popular, likeable, or simply physically ideal person.
In his press statement, Gray confirmed that the video serves as “my way of becoming all of the things that I envy about Heather…Wear the right pretty clothes and act the right effortless way… The slow transformation throughout the video was made to represent the feminine and masculine traits I constantly switched between in order to become who I knew my crush would like. Somebody soft and sweet. Somebody like Heather.”
(Sources: Apple Music, Billboard)
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