Six years ago, 12-year-old Greyson Chance swept the world away with his take of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” – now, all grown-up, the 18-year-old singer is looking for a second “chance” at music!
Last Sunday, the singer who has previously visited Malaysia three times, returned to the country for the fourth time to promote his latest EP “Somewhere Over My Head” as well as his new matured image.
Staging an adult comeback, Greyson delivered a beautiful and passionate live performance to the Enchancers in Malaysia at Sunway Putra Mall.
On the same day, TheHive.Asia got to interview the funny chap who told us about his music journey before and after the vocal change.
Are you worried about the fans’ reaction toward your new music?
I was a bit worried, because what I did in the past was a lot different and my voice was a lot different too, so I was worried that coming back with a new musical direction will make the fans say, “We kind of miss the old stuff”.
Because when you take 2 or 3 years off and come back, there’s going to be a lot of nerves. Yeah, so I was a bit worried at first, but luckily the fans like the new piece.
When you entered the music industry, you were so young. Would you say that now you’re more prepared for this?
Did my voice change? [laughs]
Yeah, so everyone told me and reminded me all the time that it’s going to change sooner or later. Because when you were a kid working, you can’t really focus on that so I kind of just shoved it aside, and I think it changed officially when I was here and while I was doing a tour, or at least I think it started to change here.
So yeah, I knew that it was going to happen, it was extremely hard, it was definitely not an easy process to go through at all.
But I talked to a younger male artiste in Singapore, and his voice is quite high and is probably about to change soon too, and he asked me like what he should do after the change. Then I told him that he should just sing through it because there’s really nothing that you can do because it’s human nature and that’s how it rolls.
Which songs do you like and enjoy writing the most?
I guess the most enjoyable song of the EP would be the last song called “More Than Me”. It is a piano-based song, and as a writer, the song was really fun for me to write.
The song is a lot about Oklahoma and a lot about growing up. It is fun for me to play around with the song in terms of lyrics. So looking back, that was a really enjoyable song.
We heard that you taught song-writing in Bali. Why Bali?
There’s a song-writing camp that takes place in Bali. I went right after I got dropped by one of my labels in the States, which was really nice because that kind of reminded me of music again. Looking back at that camp, that was a significant change, it’s probably one of the reasons that I started writing again.
But why Bali? Because the camp was there and there’s a cool beach. [laughs]
Why did you decide to release an EP and not an album?
I like the freedom of an EP because it gives me the chance to go back into the studio and it gives a little change. I just wanted to start off with a foot first, and then say “Hey, so here’s me again”.
To some people it’s just a reintroduction, but to others it’s an introduction, and these five songs just felt right. I just don’t want to force my way back with 14 songs, I feel like five would be good enough.
So if you’re going to do a full album after this, will it have the same sound?
No, the next album is going to be all country and bluegrass music. [laughs] I’m kidding, it’s going to be very similar.
Do you put a lot of narrative in your songs and do you ever feel exposed about it?
Maybe bit, because I don’t like to dwell like super deep into the songs. But I do feel rightfully exposed, but as an artiste you have to get over that very quickly.
But there’s also the sense that you want to share music with people, and hopefully people can relate and see some similarities in that.
How do you feel about some people who cannot accept the fact that you have changed so much, because there will always be people who compare you to the younger you. So how do you deal with that?
Then you got to leave. [laughs] I’m sorry, but it’s a little hard, I mean you will always have some sort of negative dialogues – that’s just a part of the game. But in that situation, there’s really nothing I can do, I can’t go back to those days and I can’t go back to being that kid.
It’s same as when I listen to other artistes, I mean I don’t want them to stay the same, I want to see them grow, and they do grow.
So if you like “Waiting Outside the Line”, the video is still on YouTube, but that kid, well, he’s not around anymore.
Is there any artiste you would like or consider working with in the future?
There’s nothing directly in the plan right now. I certainly have dreams and aspirations. I met Sam Smith four to five months ago, to collaborate with him would be incredible and amazing.
Now that I’ve been in L.A. for a while, it’s cool because I’ve been hanging around with some bands for a while, and maybe I can do something with them. But I’m very picky about collaborations, you got to make sure that it really fits before going with it.
You sure have a huge fanbase in Asia, and this is like your fourth time in Malaysia! Are you focusing on just Asia then?
Well, no. I think we pretty much balance it out, we put the EP out last month and the first single started to come out in America, and I’ve done a lot of press for the last couple of months, and in between shows too. I think we did a good job balancing out, but I do love coming to Asia, and I love coming to Malaysia because the fans here are so passionate.
How fast can you write a song?
Here’s a good example; “Hit and Run” was written in ten minutes because it was quite easy for me, and “More Than Me” took seven months.
Do you have any limitations when writing songs, like maybe you prefer that your song is not about sex?
I guess that’s kind of true because I’m not the cool kid, I’m not Zayn Malik! [laughs] I don’t feel any limitations but there are certain things that I don’t talk about because I’m not that type of person.
What advice do you have for the youngsters pursuing music as their passion?
I think it’s really important to stay confident, and to really think about why you like music and why you want to do it in the first place. I think nowadays there are a lot of kids who see a lot of internet famous folks like from Vines and Instagram, and think that “I also want followers, and music may be the way to do that.” If that is your thing it’s cool, but I won’t hang out with you.
But if you like music and you’re really passionate about it, then stay confident and keep on writing, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, I think that’s the most important thing.