Sorry, girls: Greyson Chance is already ‘married’

The pop star ably shows smarts as an artist and as a sensible young man

NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Greyson Chance is constantly surrounded by girls but says he's already 'married.'

MANILA, Philippines – In-between his second PHL concert (the last leg of his latest Asian tour) and his flight back to his homeland of North America two days later, Greyson Chance was in the Pinoy public eye anew for an afternoon meet held at a Quezon City restaurant. 

RAPPLER came into the sunset-time affair expecting a typical press conference teeming with local media folk. But the event — organized by local record label MCA Music Inc. — turned out to be a twofer: It was also “fans’ day,” with over 50 gals eagerly perched right across where Chance would himself be seated. 

This two-in-one scenario coincidentally offered an interesting glimpse into the ongoing personal realm of the 14-year-old singer-songwriter-pianist. After all, being a musician delivering songs that the pubescent set can relate to and being a recording star on a global scale, Chance has had to encounter both autograph-seeking youngsters — mostly adoring girls — and camera- or mic-wielding adults eager to document his curious rise to fame.

Impressive balancing act

Yet despite the pressure that must come with all the attention and expectations towards his musical celebrity, Chance appears to be handling things well. Instead of seeming shy or reluctant — or on the opposite end, rude or yeah-yeah-yeah indifferent — the Oklahoma boy is constantly upbeat and receptive, able to derive normalcy amid the commotion, able to exude confidence despite the precariousness of his pop life. 

“The Man upstairs gives me confidence,” he tells RAPPLER, which fired the first question during the press-con half of the evening. This was an echo of what he had said in the published thank-yous on his debut album Hold on ’til the Night: “…I have to thank the reason this is all possible: God.” (The press-con later gave way to an awarding ceremony, where Chance received framed gold and platinum record awards for Hold on ’Til the Night from MCA Music honchos led by label president Ricky Ilacad.)

Chance likewise touched on the subject of self-assurance in the professional sense. “Confidence comes with experience,” he says. “Camryn [his touring costar] and I were talking about this, about bad shows where the piano breaks, stuff like that, and how that can help build up confidence.” In fact, he is assured enough to state that “Even if there were just ten fans at a concert, I’d be there and have a great time.”

“I don’t have stage fright, to be honest with you,” Chance continues. “Backstage before a show, I go like this [fidgets in a restless, bored manner]. I’m not nervous. I love what I do. I’m lucky to be doing this.” 

Chance is appreciative not just at the opportunity to perform in front of hundreds or thousands; he also enjoys the creative work involved. He expresses relish at collaborating with the array of largely adult songwriters, producers and musicians within his artistic sphere. “They treat me with respect, they treat me as an adult, which is just right since we’re making records not just for young people but for the world.” He adds that “I’m very opinionated about what we do. I’m very involved in the creative process, from the clothes that I wear at the shows to the details of photo shoots.”

Just in case, his boyish looks aside, Chance came off sounding too mature for his age, he managed to give a peek into his untamed-youth side. When asked what special thing he might do before he turned 20 — still a good 6 years from now — he gave a self-declared “wild child” response. “I know this is not a good thing to say, but I’d really like to steal a car, drive it to New York, then return it to the owner.”

Songs that matter

Just as he did at the Smart Araneta Coliseum the night before, Chance at the press meet cited his song ”Running Away” as a personal favorite, especially since “It’s not been released in the US, only in Asia.” 

He also indulged an inquiry into the track “Purple Sky” which, amid his sea of songs about youthful romances, stands out for its anti-bullying theme. “At the time, teenage suicides seemed rampant in the US and I felt like I had to write about that,” he says. “Bullying is not gonna stop, but we can at least be confident enough to stand up to it.” 

One other standout tune among Chance’s repertoire is “Waiting Outside the Lines,” which in his debut album’s local edition includes a remix featuring young Pinay belter Charice Pempengco (who, like Chance, had first hit the big time thanks to talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres). The remix is a virtual duet, with separate recordings of each singer’s vocal fused together for the chorus. “We were traveling separately at the time,” Chance explains, going on to praise Charice for having “the most amazing voice, one of my favorite voices.”

So where does Chance get the inspiration for his ditties, many of which he serves as co-composer? “This may sound cheesy but I get it from the world, from the people I meet, from the fans,” he says. He also got to give a teaser of sorts of his newer set of tunes, saying he would resume work on them upon returning to Los Angeles. “I think from the bottom of my heart that you’ll like the new songs,” he muses.

Missed the presscon? Here’s an exclusive video RAPPLER captured for all the Greyson Chance fans:

Admiring the admirers

For all of the seriousness and commitment he invests in his work, Chance seems well aware that there is no denying the power of his fandom, of how his admiring following can actually sustain the momentum and spark the motivation needed to keep writing songs and keep playing them worldwide. 

“My fans are crazy and beautiful,” he says, eliciting shrieks of delight from the dozens of girls in attendance that afternoon. He also notes, sans pretense, that his memorable experience through all this has constantly been “seeing old, familiar fans and new ones,” a.k.a. the Greysonators.

A highlight of that media-plus-fans meet-up was a “game” whereby five handpicked fans would sing a, shall we say, Greysong, with the eventual winner giving a “smart twist” to Chance’s “Cheyenne.” During this segment, the fast-growing young man could be seen glancing at a member of his all-adult entourage in a smiling, wowed-by-this-adulation fashion. Inevitably, Chance could not help but give a localized, aw-shucks parting shot to the lucky gals in attendance: “Mahal ko kayo.”

But before that came an interesting, on-camera exchange between him and girly, likewise-14 teleserye star Barbie Forteza. When the latter began playing coy while suggestively declaring, “I’m single… you’re single…,” Chance spoke words of wisdom that belie his adolescence. “If I even dare flirt with you, the 50 other fans here would kill you,” concluding that “I’m married to my fans.” –

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