Greyson Chance hopes to move beyond internet fame
Thursday, August 25, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) — Greyson Chance has the unique distinction of being a YouTube sensation. He grabbed attention worldwide (not to mention Web hits) for his rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi.” (See Paparazzi video below this article.)
At just 12 years old, he also caught the attention of talk- show host Ellen DeGeneres. She invited him on her show, and was so impressed, she created a record label called eleveneleven and signed him as its first artist.
Now, Greyson is 14 years old and has spent the time since writing, recording songs and touring to establish himself in the music industry.
He released his first album called “Hold on ‘til the Night” earlier this month. It debuted No. 29 on the Billboard album charts.
He talked about his music, DeGeneres and how he’s wise beyond his years during a recent interview.
AP: What did you learn from recording your first album?
Greyson: I learned tons from recording this album. I really got into production and started learning how to make sounds, how to make beats and that sort of thing. Also, I think I’ve really advanced as a songwriter because I wrote more than half of the record.
AP: You didn’t rush to put out an album after getting a record deal. Was there a pressure to keep the momentum going?
Greyson: I feel like you need to take time. You need to take time to build the process, gain the fans, put out the record and also build time to realize what the heck you’re doing. You don’t want to rush into something. You need to take your time, realize what you’re doing, what you want to do, how to market yourself. And the music industry is a lot of business and it’s a lot of politics.
AP: You’re very well spoken and wise for your age. Are you sure you’re only 14?
Greyson: Now that you’re asking, I’m actually about to turn 46 this Christmas. I’m very excited. I’m going to spend it with the kids. You know, we’re gonna have a good vacation, nice Christmas and it’s gonna be good.
AP: You just look very young.
Greyson: Yeah, it’s just all those long hours in the bar after work. It’s just the Botox (laughs)!
AP: How involved is Ellen DeGeneres in your career?
Greyson: She is very, very involved. She is always critiquing songs, artwork, everything.
AP: What’s the best piece of advice she’s given you?
Greyson: She told me, “Do not change yourself,” and I really haven’t. I’ve definitely evolved as an artist and as a person but I haven’t changed myself one bit.
AP: How are you with listening to your music or watching yourself perform?
Greyson: I’m very hard on myself. ... We record the show every night and I go look back at it and I write notes about what to do, what looks good, what doesn’t look good.
AP: What do you do when you downtime and you’re not doing something music-related?
Greyson: I’m very into photography. I love taking photos and I’m a huge reader ... I’m desperately into “Harry Potter.”