An Interview With The Pop Singer-Songwriter, GREYSON CHANCE On Getting Discovered By ELLEN, His Newest Music And More!
Posted On 02 Dec 2015
Tag: Afterlife, All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Cyndi Lauper, eleveneleven, Ellen, Ellen DeGeneres, Geffen, Greyson Chance, HRC, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Jordan Palmer, Lady Gaga, Maverick, Nas, Oklahoma, Paparazzi, Sam Smith, Sam Sparro, Seinabo Sey, Seth Myers, Somewhere Over My Head, Streamline, Waiting Outside The Lines, YouTube
Greyson Chance was first discovered by Ellen DeGeneres after his cover of Lady Gaga’s single “Paparazzi” went viral on YouTube.
“Without Ellen, none of this would have happened. She’s been so supportive of me and my music from the very beginning, and has also become an amazing friend!” says Chance.
In 2011, Chance released his debut album “Hold On ‘Til The Night” from eleveneleven/Maverick/Streamline/Geffen. The lead single of the collection was “Waiting Outside the Lines.”
More recently, Greyson put out his newest song, “Afterlife”. Written in between Oklahoma City and Los Angeles, Chance teamed up with pop producer Jordan Palmer to finish the track. Within “Afterlife”, Greyson portrays his R&B influences while remaining true to a detailed and dark lyric. Chance describes “Afterlife” as his first real push to the world since his brief departure from the industry. Chance says of the song, “I feel immensely happy with everything I’ve done in the past months on a creative basis. “Afterlife” is just the beginning and I am excited for the world to hear more.”
“Afterlife” will be on his second EP, which he plans to put out next year called “Somewhere Over My Head.”
In the meantime, learn more about Greyson Chance in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Where does this interview find you today?
I am currently in Los Angeles right now! Being from Oklahoma, it is still a little strange that it’s 75 degrees in November, but I am getting used to it.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Is there anything else that you could see yourself doing?
I think when I was younger I always wanted to be a musician but never thought that I would have the chance to do so; it always seemed like an impossible dream. I am extremely blessed to wake up every morning and call myself an “artist”. In fact, I still feel as if I am getting used to it, even after five years.
Early next year, you will be releasing a new EP called “Somewhere Over My Head.” How do you think you have grown on this collection? How do you think you have stayed the same?
Even though I am now eighteen, I still feel like the same twelve-year-old kid playing the keys. However, I think people will find this new music to be much more mature and older, like I now am. I’ve been very inspired by urban and R&B beats, and I wanted to make music that I felt comfortable playing for my friends. ‘Somewhere Over My Head’ is a collection of songs that my 18-year-old self feels confident in; I’m counting down the days until the release.
I saw on your Facebook page that you just got to meet Sam Smith. What was that like for you? What other memorable moments have stood out to you so far since you’ve started performing?
It was awesome to meet Sam the other day! I met him backstage at Ellen the other day and really enjoyed chatting with him. It was great to meet someone of such great stature that was so grounded and humbled; I felt really inspired speaking to him. My favorite “run-in” moment would probably be when I spent some time with Cyndi Lauper at an HRC dinner. Not everyone can say that they’ve hung out with Cyndi Lauper, she is a bad-ass.
Can you talk about the inspiration for your current single “After Life”?
“Afterlife” actually has quite a sad inspiration. The story is a personal one that covers the anger, sadness, and confusion one might feel after they’ve lost someone in their life. The song is basically a plea to that specific lost person. I wanted the lyric for the song to be dark and the production of the track to remain upbeat in contrast.
What musicians have continued to inspire you through the years? Who would you love to work with in the future?
At the moment, I am very inspired by Sam Sparro, Seinabo Sey and Nas. I would love to collaborate with some of my peers like Sam Sparro, or maybe if I’m very lucky one day, Sam Smith!
What’s it been like performing on Ellen and other TV shows? Do you still get nervous performing on live TV?
I’m always a little nervous before a TV performance, no matter what show! However, Ellen is a little different since I got my start there and feel comfortable on that stage. When I performed ‘Afterlife’, I was nervous at first but started to sink into the song once the performance started.
How has Ellen in particular been so instrumental to your career?
Ellen not only gave me my start in music but has also continued to support me in music. Without her, I wouldn’t be here in LA today! She has served as a mentor and someone I really admire and look up towards.
Why do you think your “Paparazzi” video went viral? How did it feel knowing so many people were watching it after you released it?
Hmm, that is an interesting question; I’m not sure I’ve thought about it too much! I think it went viral because of the arrangement’s uniqueness but also because I was simply just a kid from Oklahoma when the video went up. I believe, and hope, that it resonated with the viewers and that the story inspired young musicians.
How creatively involved have you been able to be with your videos and really your overall style and look?
I am involved 100% in anything and everything you see of me! I want my supporters and fans to know that everything they are seeing is transparent and that I am being myself through my craft. I write my own songs and stay extremely involved in terms of creative content; I’ll have it no other way.
You are younger than a lot of artists out today. Do you think that gives you any kind of an edge and if so, what is it?
Sometimes I think it gives me an edge, and other times I believe it serves as a disadvantage. In the industry, as an eighteen-year-old, it is easy for folks to think that I am just a gimmick, that I am not actually a musician. It’s a constant hurdle I have to jump, but I am hoping with the release of more music the problem will disappear.
You certainly have a lot of music-making years ahead of you, so where do you see yourself in 10, 15 or even 20 years from now?
I am hoping that I will be doing exactly what I am doing right now: making music and seeing it impact people. It’s been amazing to see everyone respond to ‘Afterlife’ within these past couple of days; I love seeing music inspire and move its listeners.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from songs?
I write my songs from personal experience and things that occur within my daily life. So, to answer your question, I hope that listeners can relate to my lyrics on a personal level instead of at a fan/artist level. I want my fans and supporters to know that these lyrics come from a real place, not an artificial one.