New challenge to Bieber
Barry C Chung
Record labels are feverishly searching for the next Justin Bieber - and it's not hard to see why. Bieber is a multiple triple-platinum-selling artist whose studio debut alone sold nearly 6.5 million copies, and the MV for his massive hit Baby is the most popular video of all time on YouTube. He's unquestionably the crown prince of the teeny bop generation (minus the opinions of many One Direction and/or Cody Simpson fans).
Just as YouTube served as a launchpad for the Biebs, another teen artist has taken a similar path to expanding his fanbase - and his journey has been a lot quicker. Although he's yet to gain the fame and number-one hits of Bieber, Greyson Chance is rapidly becoming a favourite among the bubblegum pop crowd.
'It all started when I posted a video on YouTube [on April 28, 2011] singing Lady Gaga's Paparazzi,' says the 14-year-old American. Roughly 46 million pairs of eyeballs have seen it. (Actually the number is substantially higher considering the way YouTube counts views).
Less than a month later, Greyson had multiple appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and was eventually signed as the first artist on her newly founded record label eleveneleven. (The name was partly inspired by the day of the month Ellen discovered Greyson and is also the number on his soccer jersey).
The video was recorded at his church in the city of Edmond, Oklahoma and was featured on Vevo's Area Codes. 'It was really hard [to choose which places to show the cameras],' says Greyson about the show where celebrities give a guided all-access tour of their old stomping grounds. 'It's my hometown and I could've [taken] them anywhere. But I showed them the best spots.'
Greyson's debut album Hold On 'til the Night was released late last year. This week saw the release of the repackaged version, complete with five bonus tracks and a DVD. 'Holding On 'til the Night is a very real album,' he explains. 'When I was writing it I was very inspired by [a bunch of things] - my friends, my fans, places I was travelling to. So it's a real album and not artificial.'
Chance did not write every track on the album. He's credited as co-writer on more than half, including the first single Waiting Outside the Lines, where he shows off his skills on the piano. The music video for Unfriend You features Ariana Grande, a regular on the Nickelodeon show Victorious. The shoot was an experience that he rates very highly.
'Ariana is amazing to work with,' he says. 'She's actually a dear friend of mine as well and we still keep in touch. We had a blast on that video shoot. She's a trip and I love her to death.'
Greyson will be in Hong Kong for the first time in April to promote his album. Fans: watch this space.