Take a Chance with Greyson Chance!
Recently, another YouTube whiz kid hit it bigtime! Cute and talented 13-year-old Oklahoma 7th -grader Greyson Chance, an avid Lady Gaga fan, took to his piano and worked out his own version of her tune “Paparazzi”. He sang and played it at a local function and, hey, why not? He posted it on YouTube and it went viral! Ellen DeGeneres saw it, along with a ton of other music lovers, and boom! Greyson was an overnight sensation.
Ellen has signed the teen to her new record label eleveneleven and he’s almost finished recording his first album. We got on the cell with Greyson while he was home in Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. First off, let’s put those Justin Bieber comparisons to rest….
Kidzworld: There are already those Justin Bieber comparisons so what would you say to his fans?
- Greyson: I really admire Justin’s fans. They are very strong in connecting to him and I think it’s cool how he stays connected with them and I try to mould myself to do that. I don’t think there is any hate between Justin’s fans and my fans. There’s absolutely no hate between me and him. We met and he’s a super nice guy, really cool. At the end of the day, our music is different. I met him at the VMAs.I’d love to do an SNL skit with him.
Kidzworld: Would you advise other kids and teens who are talented to put up something on YouTube?
- Greyson:: Yeah and never give up on your dreams. I was doubted and people told me, ‘You’re never gonna get there. You don’t have a good enough voice and can’t play the piano well enough’ but just stick with it!
Kidzworld: Where are you now in the process of recording your first album? Still in the studio?
- Greyson: It’s about 70 percent done right now. I’m working with a lot of great producers [He lists them. Lady Gaga’s producer is among them]. I’m writing a lot of the songs.
Kidzworld: Where do you get ideas for your songs?
- Greyson: I get it from hate and love. When people mess with me, I like to write songs about them. Heartbreak too. This whole record is about being in love with somebody and them breaking your heart. I can’t announce the title yet but that’s the influence. You’re so in love then the girl or boy breaks your heart.
Kidzworld: Everybody can relate to that. What is the best advice you have gotten so far from a famous celebrity?
- Greyson: I went back stage at Lady Gaga’s concert and the first time I ever met her she told me to stay myself and don’t let anybody change me. I thought that was very inspirational.
Greyson Chance Singing Paparazzi
Kidzworld: Are you from a musical family? What do your mom and dad do?
- Greyson: My mom is actually a theater deacon [at his church] and so is my sister; very into Broadway musicals, the theatricality of music. My dad doesn’t have any musical background but my brother also plays the guitar. I grew up listening to “My Fair Lady”, “Wicked”, “Phantom of the Opera” anything you can name.
Kidzworld: If you end up in films, what kind of character would you most want to play?
- Greyson: I would want to play an evil character. I like made-up evil, not real evil. I’m really intrigued by actors like Johnny Depp or the late Heath Ledger in the role of The Joker and Johnny with the Mad Hatter in /Alice in Wonderland/. [Those characters] are mentally-disturbed and I find that very fascinating how in film they can portray that in their body language and the scripts.
Kidzworld: Whose career in music would you most like to mould your career after?
- Greyson: I think Elton John. He let nobody change him. He kept doing piano ballads. He expresses himself in his music and writing and I find that very inspirational but I’m also inspired by the rock bands; Kiss, The Rolling Stones, The Killers, Motley Crue. I love old rock and roll.. and David Bowie as well.
Kidzworld: What about show biz has most surprised you so far?
- Greyson: What really surprised me is, being a kid in Oklahoma, I thought music and artists were celebrities and people who don’t really work hard. They just make music and write it. Really, it’s a full time job. It’s a very, very hard job and very fun and rewarding. I love my fans so much.It’s a hard, full time job but I love it.
Kidzworld: What are you going to do to keep your head on straight and not get caught up as you get older in fame and the party scene that has destroyed so many young performers?
- Greyson: I have a great family and friends that keep me straight and if I stay focused on music, which I definitely will, and keep on writing and stay connected to my fans, I think I’ll be okay.
Kidzworld: Is there a tour planned? Are you letting the fans tell you to come to their town?
- Greyson: Yeah. We are routing my mall tour right now. I’m paying attention to where the fans want me to come and I can’t wait till that happens. It might not be 20 thousand people in a huge arena, but to me, it’s all the same. I’m excited because it will be an intimate setting, very up close and personal. The fans will get my fears and anxieties and happiness and love in the music.
Kidzworld: Are you in 7^th grade now?Are you staying in regular school or is there homeschool or internet studies in your future?
- Greyson: Yes 7^th grade. I do online school now. It’s been a weird transition but I like it. I do miss regular school but you are going to have pros and cons to everything and there are more pros in my life right now.
Kidzworld: What must a girl never do if she wants to attract you?
- Greyson: I don’t like girls that play hard to get and I don’t like liars.
Kidzworld: What three words most describe you?
- Greyson: Hummm, creative, weird and musician.
Kidzworld: What is your most prized possession?
- Greyson: It would be my black and white bracelets that I wear. They mean a lot to me. I wear them when I perform. I keep them in a plastic baggie and wear them when I perform always. Every bracelet has a different meaning. It’s a secret story. There are four of them.
Kidzworld: How bizarre was playing the piano in a torrential downpour for your “Waiting Outside the Lines” video?Did you get a cold or anything after that?
- Greyson: It was the last shot of the day. One of the guys from my management said ‘Dude, you’ve got to stay in character. This rain is gonna pour on you. It’s not just a little sprinkle’. All of a sudden this freezing cold rain comes pouring down. I was so happy to be doing it, I just didn’t care. It was so much fun. The piano got wet and all the keys stopped working by the end. Everything was trashed and my clothes were all wet.
Kidzworld: Do you remember the first song you ever sang as a really little kid?
- Greyson: Well the first song I ever performed at my elementary school was “God Bless the U.S.A.”.
Kidzworld: What is next for you?
- Greyson: I go to Europe and I’m doing promotion there for the record and the singles. Then I’m going back into the studio to record and I’m still writing and working long hours. I want to get this record out for my fans.
Kidzworld: Hard work! What’s your message for your fans?
- Greyson: I love you so much and you’ve been so supportive of me and I thank you so much. You’ll always be in my heart.
By: Lynn Barker