chance encounter

Greyson Chance on his new single ‘Palladium’, Brandi Carlile, and the lumberjack of his dreams

Photography by Broderick Baumann

If you haven’t been keeping up with Greyson Chance, now’s the perfect time for a reintroduction.

The singer has come far from that viral “Paparazzi” performance back in 2010, and farther still since publicly coming out in 2017.

His works in recent years — his latest album Portraits and the Trophies EP especially — have an authenticity and emotional maturity to them that are usually out of reach for people who lived the full child-star experience.

Greyson’s romantic new single “Palladium” is out today, and with a new album and tour by the same name coming soon, there’s a ton to look forward to.

We caught up with him to chat about the Palladium era, his current queer music faves, and the thirst-trapping lumberjack of his dreams.

Photography by Broderick Baumann

QUEERTY: I am so excited to talk to you today. I was actually at a Portraits [World Tour] show in Dallas where all the lights went out and we all sang “Good As Gold” together with just phone flashlights.

GREYSON: Oh my goodness, yes! I remember that show. We were doing that tour before the album was out. That tour was so cool because we were playing really, really small rooms across the states and people were coming out already knowing the words to some of the singles. I remember that show very, very well. It kind of sucked that that happened, but was also cool because it created a memory for everyone. And I was born in Wichita Falls, so very, very close.

You actually have a lot of Texan references like in “West Texas” and “Boots”. How do you think growing up in Texas influenced your music?

Well, I was born in Texas, and then I technically grew up in Oklahoma. Sort of the same flip of the coin. I still live in Oklahoma. I bought a house there during the pandemic, which is always kind of funny because people in LA, in New York, when I tell them that they’re like, “Oh, are you okay? Are you alright?” No, no, I am.

I think growing up in Oklahoma has inspired every part of who I am now. I think every queer person has a tough skin, but definitely coming from Oklahoma I think I probably have an even more tough skin. It taught me to be pretty resilient. In my music, too; a lot of that landscape and that scenery, wanting to be in wide open spaces, has always inspired me and definitely inspired a lot of this new album.

Photography by Broderick Baumann

Can you tell us a little bit more about Palladium in general?

You know, I’ve been doing this stuff for 12 years – I was signed when I was 12 years old – and throughout my career, I’ve seen every kind of peak and valley an artist can see. There have been times where things have been really good; there have been times where things have been pretty devastating and pretty all over the place.

This album to me represents a point where I’m finally acknowledging how proud I am of myself to still be here doing music. With that acknowledgement came me having the confidence to go into the studio and really make something that I wanted to make, and to surround myself with music that I felt was inspiring.

I’ve been kind of always placed into a box as an artist of, “You can only do pop music. It needs to be commercial, it needs to be sellable, it needs to make sense with your socials,” and all of these different things. I really shut out all that noise for this record.

It’s by far the most proud I’ve ever been of a release and of this music, and it really does feel like a turning stone for me as an artist of what’s going to come in the future.

Photography by Broderick Baumann

I did want to touch quickly on one of my favorite “will they/won’t they”s over on TikTok; Have you and @Bradley.Thor gotten in touch at all? Because you seem down bad.

You know what’s funny is a few weeks ago – and I’m sure this will probably read a little offensive in this article, and I’m fine with that – somebody said, “Have you been texting with Bradley.Thor?” I said, “Who’s that?” And they go, “…the guy that you duet all the time?” And I said, “Oh, my hunk, of course!” Anyways, no, I have not. But I will tell you; he is wild, he is rugged, he knows what he is doing, and I am 100% here for it. If I were to host a pride parade, he would be my grand marshal for the march.

We have to make this collab happen!

A collab, a marriage proposal, whatever we want to do.

@greyson_chance #duet with @bradley.thor ♬ original sound – Thoren Bradley

Actually, do you have any collabs coming up on the album that you can talk about?

I don’t have any features on this record, which was something that was intentional. I really wanted this album to fully be me. That’s what Portraits was; we didn’t have any features on it either. I wanted to reintroduce myself individually again for this record.

Who are some queer artists that you’re excited for or that you’re listening to right now?

At the moment there’s two in particular I would say: Jake Wesley Rogers and Isaac Dunbar. I really really love both of their music a lot. We’ve gotten to play some shows together – we were all at the OutLoud Festival together – and I’ve been very inspired by them.

I’m continuously inspired by Brandi Carlile too. She’s someone that as a songwriter has always inspired me so deeply. [“The Joke”] is so crazy, and nobody can sing like her. It’s really cool to watch as an artist. That’s a song that as a songwriter you listen to and you’re so pissed that you weren’t a part of it. That’s always a fun feeling.

Photography by Broderick Baumann

So you have your European tour coming up.

Yes! That’s been exciting, and we’re announcing my North American tour next week. It feels really good to be back out on the road again, or thinking about the road. With this album in particular, when I was writing it all I could envision in my head was how I would play it out live.

One of the things that I strive to do as an artist, something I learned from knowing Gaga at such a young age and studying underneath her: it’s my job to put on a show. A show means I need people to enter feeling one way and leave feeling different as if they’ve experienced something.

Not being able to perform during COVID was really, really tough for my confidence level. For who I am and how I operate as a person, it was really, really hard. I’m just excited to be back out on the road again.

You know what, actually – are you ever playing the [Hollywood] Palladium?

I wish we were playing the Palladium! Don’t worry, just give me a little time.

It’s on the list?

It’s on the list for sure.

Listen to Greyson’s new single “Palladium” here: