August 3rd, 2011
01:48 PM ET
Within the past year, 13-year-old Greyson Chance has gone from being an unknown talent to landing a record deal, heading on tour and having his debut album, "Hold on 'Til the Night," land among the top 10 sellers on iTunes upon its release on August 2.
But while his lifestyle has changed, Chance - whose rendition of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" not only made him a viral sensation but also led to a record deal with Ellen DeGeneres' eleveneleven - is focused on staying the same kid he's always been.
"I remember the first time I met Ellen [DeGeneres], she told me never to change myself," Chance told Marquee on Tuesday. "And I really haven’t. I’ve evolved as an artist and a teenager, but I really haven’t changed myself."
Part of that evolution as a musician was striking the right sound. When he set to work on "Hold on 'Til the Night," he says "it took a minute for us to really decide what genre we wanted."
"When I started working on the record and working in the studio, we had no clue what sound Greyson Chance would be," he explains. "We started experimenting with different sounds, different instruments, all different types of genres, and then we came across the song ‘Waiting Outside the Lines,’ and that was my first single. That was a song that kind of picked our genre for us. It was one that we felt comfortable with, it was a pop sound but with a little bit more of a rock edge."
And while he's thrilled to already have embarked on the career of his dreams, there have been a few downsides. "I love singing and I love performing, but I do miss some things," he says. "I miss being able to go to school, and I miss being able to go to the movies on Friday night with that girl I liked," he says.
But in the end, he used that experience as inspiration to fuel his songwriting. "I missed home a lot, so that was a big inspiration to me when I first started," Chance says. "I really liked this girl when I first started writing the record, so she was a pretty big inspiration as well." (He laughs when pressed for more details, but doesn't budge.)
As for the future, Chance, who turns 14 on August 16, is seeing more albums, and hopes he'll continue to grow as an artist.
"I hope I can continue to do this. Honest to God, I just love what I do. I love being able to be on stage, and write music," he says. "I think I’ve realized how music can really inspire people. I knew that when this first started, but now seeing it in the faces of my fans, I just see it so much more."
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