A certain sixth grader just got himself a pretty sweet after school gig. The one and only Greyson Chance. The 12-year-old Edmond, Oklahoma singer has reportedly signed with Interscope Records.
This superstar in training apparently came out of nowhere. His rendition of Lady Gaga’s song Paparazzi became a YouTube sensation with over 16 million views and even had a much watched appearance on Ellen DeGeneres Show. With his Justin Bieber hair, angelic voice and clean cut style, he seems perfect for pop culture consumption.
“My No. 1 inspiration is Lady Gaga,” Greyson said at his appearance on the Ellen. But he doesn’t just do Lady GaGa. On YouTube there are a couple of other songs – that he wrote lyrics and music to – that he uploaded, which are also racking up the views.
And he is becoming a seasoned marketer. He has his YouTube channel, he’s popular on Facebook, he just launched his own Twitter account (which got over 15 thousand followers in about 24 hours), and now has that whole record deal thing. But is this an organic or orchestrated sensation?
The trusted Christian Science Monitor brought up the question of whether his meteoric rise is a ruse. They talked to the music industry analyst Jeff Snyder:
“He has high-quality camera work, high profile, catchy material, and an integrated marketing plan right out of the gate. The approach is so sophisticated, in fact, Snyder says, that it suggests the possibility of a stealth professional campaign. Where are the other families attending the choir festival event?” he asks, and “who filmed the performance in such a way as to focus on the adoring 13-year-old girls, all in perfect focus?…It is hard to believe an unknown elementary school student could do so much on his own. Someone in that corner knows what they are doing,” Snyder says.”
So what’s behind his success? His parents? A pro? Or is he just a precocious kid with a golden vocal chords and magic fingers? And what does his parents think of all this? “It’s slowing down now,” dad Scott Chance said. “Lisa (Scott) and I were insistent that we pull the rope back as far as more public appearances because he’s got a couple of weeks of school left.”
So what do you think of the whole Greyson Chance phenomenon? Real or ruse?