A decade ago, a then twelve year old Greyson Chance uploaded a video of himself covering Lady Gaga‘s “Paparazzi” that wowed the world. After facing a whirlwind of experiences in the music industry, the Oklahoma native showed his true colors in his 2019 LP, Portraits which successfully transitioned him from teen pop star to an established music artist.
Now the twenty-two year old is back with new music. “Honeysuckle” serves as the second single from his upcoming album that will be released later this year. Rain spoke to the musician on his reflections of his past 10 years and what he is looking forward to post-pandemic.
David Baczyk: Hi Greyson. I hope you are safe and well. On Instagram, you wrote that your new single “Honeysuckle‘ is your love letter to the summer. How was the process of writing this particular song?
Greyson Chance: I wrote Honeysuckle in May of 2019 in London. I remember it being particularly cold there at that time, and I was frustrated still having to wear my winter gear. I thought about the honeysuckle tree in the backyard of my childhood house during the summer, and it gave me a sense of nostalgia and euphoria as I would take the train to the studio. After coming off of an album in which I talked so much about relationships and my ex, I wanted to expand my lyrical thinking in the next record. Writing about my disdain for the cold and my eagerness to be back in the sun felt like the perfect fit.
DB: How does it feel to be releasing new music in the middle of a pandemic?
GC: It has honestly been the thing that has kept me getting out of my bed every morning; this release has, in a sense, made me feel slightly normal again. I think the world needs music and creativity more than ever right now. I am going to do my part to supply as much of that as possible.
DB: How are you staying creative in quarantine?
GC: Fortunately, I have been able to have a studio up and running during quarantine here in Oklahoma. I have been working on finishing my new album. Putting the final touches on it while in isolation has created a new intimate connection between me and the music. I feel closer to this body of work than I once did.
DB: Your world tour had to be postponed due to the coronavirus. How do you stay connected with your fans during these times?
GC: I talk to those girls and gays every single day online. They are my rock and they always will be. We’ve been doing this together now for 10 years, so no pandemic is going to stop our connection.
DB: What are you most excited about when you are back on the road?
GC: I am addicted to performing, and I am not sure I realized that until being forced to take this break. I am just ready to be back on stage. The exhilaration of shows, seeing the fans, and wearing my heart on my sleeve through the music, I miss. I cannot wait to get back.
DB: We assume that “Dancing Next to Me” and “Honeysuckle” are part of a new album. How does this new music differ from your 2019 album Portraits?
GC: The new album is more introspective, and it feels older. I have been telling the fans that, in many ways, the new album is me looking at myself in the mirror and splashing cold water on my face.
I talk about my shortcomings, the things I could be better at, the way I seek out unhealthy relationships, and the journey to not be so hard on myself. When you travel the world by yourself for an entire year, as I did in 2019, you are forced to see sides and parts of yourself that are maybe not as comfortable. In this new album, I wrote all about that.
DB: Describe your new music in 3 words.
GC: Harmony. Storytelling. Trophies.
DB: Can you believe it’s been a decade since your cover of Lady Gaga‘s “Paparazzi” went viral? If you had the chance, what would you say to young Greyson back then?
GC: “Don’t pick up that pack of Marlboros when you turn 15, and don’t go to college: you’re a musician kid, don’t waste your money on anything else.”