Greyson Chance: 'I still feel like a really geeky kid'
US singer-songwriter Greyson Chance talks puberty, getting dropped by his label & performing in S'pore again
He shot to fame in 2010 when, at 12, his performance of Lady Gaga's Paparazzi at a sixth-grade music festival went viral on YouTube.
Six years later, US singer-songwriter Greyson Chance, now 18, has performed all over the world. He has also released one studio album, Hold On 'Til The Night (2011), and one EP, Truth Be Told, Part 1 (2012). Another EP, Somewhere Over My Head, is out on May 13.
Chance has transformed from baby-faced tween to bona fide 1.85m-tall hottie, with fans going gaga over his good looks.
He told M in a phone interview from Los Angeles, where he now resides: "I think a lot of people will be surprised when I come back into town about how different I look now. I still feel like a really geeky kid from Oklahoma so if someone were to tell me I'm hot, I will gladly take it."
Chance, who first came to Singapore in 2011 to promote Hold On 'Til The Night and returned twice in 2012, will be back in town next monthfor an acoustic performance of tracks off Somewhere Over My Head at A Rooftop Affair 2016 at myVillage.
GROWTH: Greyson Chance when he first came to Singapore in 2011. PHOTO: TNP
Like any typical teen, he had to go through an awkward stage.
He said: "Right before puberty, I gained a lot of weight so I had really chubby chipmunk cheeks for a while that I remember being so self-conscious about.
"I think puberty is a really weird time because you're super young and your hormones are going crazy, but you get through it."
But Chance had to go through puberty as a musician.
"My voice completely changed, which was really tough on me and I had to transition through it. It was a huge roller-coaster ride," said Chance, who has shifted from uplifting pop music towards a more solemn R&B sound.
While other youngsters were falling in love and getting their hearts broken during their high school years, Chance - who is currently not in a relationship - was working to get his career on track.
In 2010, Chance signed with Interscope Records but the partnership ended in 2013.
He said: "I'm really excited about coming back (to Singapore) with my music. Because for a long time, I didn't know if I was going to be able to continue playing music.
"I went through a really rough time when I was dropped by my label so I just took some time off and went back to Oklahoma. I really just wanted to figure out who I wanted to be as a musician and as an artist.
"I kind of had to find my way back into the scene but that's why I'm so excited about this (new) EP and why it means so much to me - it's a body of work that I've been working on for a really long time," he said.
There were times when Chance thought his career was over.
He said: "I'm certainly not the only artist who has gone through this but it's tough because as musicians, we focus so much on music and music is really pure.
"But sometimes, the industry can be 'un-pure', for lack of a better word. I felt a lot of discouragement but it's important to focus on the music and the people affected by it and that was what kept me going."
He added: "I learnt to find the silver lining in things... (like) my fans. At least I still have them and I knew they were going to support me no matter what."
What he hopes for in the near future is to see familiar faces and do familiar things when he's in town.
"I've been to Singapore a lot actually, but all for work. Some people would say that's a bummer but I feel I got to see good local parts of the city rather than the tourist attractions.
"Everyone in Singapore is super nice and you guys have this black pepper crab which is one of my favourite dishes in the world.
"I'm on stage, I sing, I smile, then I go backstage and stuff my face with as much food as I can," he said.
WHEN June 18, 6.30pm
WHERE myVillage rooftop, Serangoon Garden
TICKETS Spend a minimum of $90 at myVillage and redeem a ticket or $160 for a pair, from myVillage Level 2 at Concierge Counter