Greyson is on the cover of Unclear Magazine (Issue 61-A June 2021). High quality scans and the photoshoot have been added to the gallery. Click “Read more” to read the article.
A vapor–inspired shot of a city skyline transitions to illuminate red letters. “Hellboy” in, stretches across the frame. Greyson Chance appears in mysterious, almost bad-boy–like dress as he swaggers to a soup–up Honda sports car. The dark film aesthetic quickly progresses into a playful dance video emphasized by a hellish red hue. Chance and the viral TikTok dancer, Gilly Moya, show off their moves, throwing up devil horns while savoring the song’s vibrant energy. “I feel like everyone has this badass persona in them, and the song for me was talking about that and releasing it”, he shares over a phone call.
“Hellboy” is the second release from Chance in 2021, and is an ode to rediscovering himself. “We wrote the song coming off of 2020”, he says. “That, for me, and so much of the world, it was just hard. I felt this need to sort of reclaim my confidence, find the energy that I had as a performer when I was on stage 5 nights out of the week back before the pandemic”.
He’s found that confidence. Those funky bass-lines and a kicky drums completely stray from the emotional, powerful ballads found in “Holy Feeling” – which was released a few months prior. But for the singer, choosing to do that order was intentional. “Behind the scenes, I was pushing so hard for ‘Hellboy’ to be the second single”, Chance discloses. His team warned him of the repercussions of releasing a song “too different”, and in the age of the internet discourse, that’s always a valid concern. However, Chance was up for the fight, “My response back to that was, ‘Good pop music should shock people, and it should make them wonder what the hell is going on'”.
An outsider might ponder over what the artist is doing. Yet, he is simply preparing us for his upcoming album, Trophies. As a pop–music appreciator himself, he finds a connection to work that illustrates the multi-facets of artist for life. It is what he hopes to do as well. “When I’m listening to my favorite artist, I want to feel and see every every side of them. I want to know them at their fun, badass mode (which is ‘Hellboy’). Then I want to see them at a vulnerable, more tender moment, which you get a lot of that on this album as well”. He laughs, comparing the album to a collection you can play before a night out or after a breakup. Adding, “that’s what I love to do as an artist and a songwriter – is to let everybody into every single facet, every single part of me”.
Since 2011, Chans has released two albums. One being his teenage debut, Hold On ’til the Night, and the 2019 album Portraits. By the sophomore LP, a lot has changed. His record label drop him at fifteen. “For me, Portraits – I call it my ‘redemption record’ because that was a promise to myself”, he says. “I said, ‘you you know what? You deserve at least one more shot at music. If it goes well, it goes well. If it doesn’t, then you know we’ve had a good run.'” Pushing himself forward paid off. The album was met with praise as he sang vulnerable depictions of a heartbreak.
By 2020, he shared his challenges with an eating disorder through the track, “Bad to Myself”. At this point, it was clear that being open about his life was not something to avoid. Chance found himself growing closer to fans as he revealed more of himself. “Music is a way for me to dive into my issues and express myself”, he shares when asked about his candid nature. “It’s the only way I know how to do that”.
Change recalls moments when listeners have reached out, thanking him for Sharing his experience of anorexia, specifically about those in overlooked demographics. He states, “I think why it’s important to keep talking about all sorts of thing is that, through me coming out with my story, there were so many other young queer kids who were in similar positions as me”. The songwriter reached out to his friends to feel less alone about his challenges. So he gets why people would find comfort in his words. “If it takes somebody looking up to the artist, they really enjoyed, to understand that, then it’s not just me in this”, he states. “I feel that’s my duty as someone with a platform to encourage people to know that they’re strong, they can get through struggles, and they’re not the only people going through them”.
Moving onward in his career, Trophies will further display the strengths and sharing the truth. “I think the biggest thing that it shows, at this point in my career being 11 years into it — truly going through every sort of hoop and hurtle you can imagine in the industry”, he says. Chance revealing that when developing the LP during the pandemic, challenges serviced. “When I came in to start writing for this new album I felt lost again”, he describes. “I didn’t necessarily know what I wanted to say. I didn’t feel like the world’s best artist. I felt kind of lazy”. However, patience is a virtue. Chance got into the studio and discovered solace in working through his emotions when creating each track. “I put my heart on my sleeve, and I talk about everything I was feeling through that year. I lead with honesty; I lead with authenticity”.
If you’re wondering who the real Greyson Chance is, it’s an individual who knows that music is what he supposed to be doing. Bravely defining it as a choice he can’t escape from, but only because it’s what makes his life thoroughly enjoyable. He expresses, “Whether or not my music is popular, whether or not people think I’m successful at a given time. What I care about right now is telling my story”. Chance of further noting, “My art will have a legacy of its own”.
The confidence the Singer has adopted over eleven years has been a journey. He remembers a moment when he was fifteen, “I told myself, ‘Keep going, no matter what, keep going. Keep on writing music, keep on trying, and if you fail, that’s okay, it’s worth it'”. Chance says, taking a final second to reflect, “I’m really proud that I’ve stayed around”.