Dropped from all his record labels within the span of two weeks, singer-songwriter Greyson Chance’s music career came to a halt at age 15. But with a new label, an ongoing tour and upcoming album, a 21-year-old Chance is once again taking his chances in the music industry.
Well known for his viral 2010 cover of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” Greyson has returned to the scene with a more authentic, mature approach to pop music. The Daily Texan spoke with Chance about his artistic evolution as well as his upcoming album portraits, set for release on March 15.
Daily Texan: What inspired you to take a break from music?
Greyson Chance: I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing. There was just no attention on anything I was saying within music. I just didn’t really see a path for myself forward where I felt like I could be happy. And so I talked to a lot of people in my own life and … for me it was, you know, maybe it’s time to try something new and to try something different.
DT: Did you ever have any fears returning?
GC: Oh, talk about everyday. There are definitely lots of moments of self-doubt and wondering, “Is this going to work?” I told myself when I left school, “Listen, go and make a body of work that you’re really proud of. And regardless of how it goes and how it performs or any of the things that happened after, at the end of the day, if you go and make an album that you felt like you gave it your all, then you won.”
DT: Do you still want to be associated with your former image as a child star?
GC: I wouldn’t say I necessarily want to distance myself. I just think I want to recreate myself. I want to recreate the way people view my name and then my art. I think the only way that I can do that is to put out more records and tour as much as I can.
DT: You publicly came out two years ago. How has your sexuality impacted your artistry?
GC: I’ve been able to live honestly within my old life. That’s transcribed to the music as well.In terms of the way I write, it hasn’t affected anything in that regard. But I will say, I just think because I’m living happy and honest in my own life, that’s just transcribed and makes it better.
DT: What’s the underlying theme behind your upcoming album portraits?
GC: The first theme of the album would have a lot about transformation. I also fell in love for the first time last year and had to go through my first heartbreak as well, or at least my first true heartbreak. Not to be melodramatic, but that shit sucks, and it rocks your world because I wrote a lot about that. The last theme is a redemption theme of — you know what I mean? You’re going back into the studio and really wanting to prove to people … who have already known my name that, ‘Hey, actually, I can do this in a serious way and let me show you how I can do it.’
DT: Do you see yourself taking another break in the future?
GC: I’ve never felt this more energized and more excited about everything that’s going on. I don’t see any break in the foreseeable future. The only time that I’m going to stop is if no one’s coming to the shows anymore. If I need to start playing in a bar — Oklahoma, maybe. But as long as people still want to hear me play out, I’ll be here