During weekend one of Coachella, Billboard’s Chelsea Briggs caught up with Greyson Chance to discuss why he decided to return to music after taking some time off, what advice Lady Gaga has given him, and why he thinks his new album Portraits is “a giant middle finger” to those who have doubted him.
Speaking of his decision to return to music, Chance tells Billboard that he thought he was done for a long time, but after going to college for two years, he found his purpose again.
“I think for the first time in my career, I’m starting to do things on my own terms, and it feels really good,” he explains. “Fortunately, people are still showing up to listen, so that’s nice.”
He adds that he doesn’t think he could have written Portraits at any time but this moment in his life, and that in some ways, this record is “a giant middle finger to a lot of people” who throughout his career told him that he would only be known for one thing.
“It felt really good to put out a body of work and say, ‘I’m not done yet and I’m still writing my story and still creating it as I go,’” he adds.
In the interview, Chance opens up about his friendship with Lady Gaga, as well, revealing that she has been there for him throughout his career, telling him to keep going, keep his head down and focus on the work. As for whether fans can ever expect a collaboration from the pair? “That would be something very incredible and very amazing,” he replies.
The conversation also covers Chance’s decision to come out as gay an Instagram post in 2017. Asked why he decided to make that decision when he did, Chance replies that for a while, he thought he might never come out because he was afraid people might think he was using it as an “exploitation tactic” to sell records.
“I think I was just waiting for some self-confidence,” he says. “And I got a message online that really just rocked my world from a fan in Arkansas and just felt like in that moment that I really needed to have some confidence and have some courage to do it. I just posted a message on Instagram, and if I’m being completely honest, I didn’t think about it a lot, I just really did it.”
You can watch the full video interview with Greyson Chance above.