Steve Grand: An Exclusive Interview
One day before his appearance on "Watch What Happens Live" and about 10 days prior to his appearance at Orlando Pride, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Steve Grand for this exclusive Hotspots interview. Steve's first mainstream single, "All-American Boy," has over 2.2 million views on YouTube in just 2 months.
Which came first, writing or singing, and at what age did each begin?
Actually, playing the piano came first. When I was four or five, I saw Charlie Brown and saw the character of Schroeder playing the piano and I became obsessed with the piano. I would make fake pianos from cardboard, etc. and these models of pianos were all over the house. When we moved to the suburbs my parents finally bought me a real piano and I started taking lessons.
Afterwards, the writing came and the singing came as kind of a default. For a 7th grade science project, I had to creatively show the process of mitosis, so my science project partner and I wrote a song about it. My science partner's brother liked the way I sounded and asked me to join his band. I was in 7th grade, and they were cool high school kids, so I was excited!
When and how did you decide to sing professionally?
When I was coming to terms with my sexuality, music became my outlet to express how I felt and be heard. Music affected me so much. I realized that's what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to write songs that move people the way I had been moved by music.
How did it feel the first time you saw your song "All-American Boy" on YouTube?
It was an incredible feeling of triumph and victory. I produced and filmed it with all my own money and some money I didn't have.
How excited were you when you saw the overnight success of "All-American Boy"?
That was so amazing, as I did not expect it to blow up, and certainly not that quickly. The viewers who started responding affected me even more. They thanked me for being a voice for them, and it is so humbling.
When did you come out?
I came out to myself at 13. I was leaving Boy Scout summer camp and realized I had fallen in love with a counselor at camp and I felt incredibly alone. My parents found out shortly after that.
How hard or easy was it for you to make the video knowing that you would be coming out to the whole world?
When I posted "All-American Boy" on YouTube, I knew I was exposed and vulnerable. But I also felt a huge sense of relief. After struggling with my sexuality for many years, it was my way to say, "This is the final word on this. I am a gay man. There's no hiding." It was all out there all at once. I was exposed. But I believe you can never go wrong when you're honest. It was one of my proudest moments.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
That I am an Eagle Scout. Also, I live for the stage, but when I get off the stage I can sometimes return to being that shy, awkward kid from middle school.
Which five words describe you the best?
Intense, passionate, compassionate, crazy and stubborn.
Describe the perfect man for you?
A man that has that very special balance of strength and tenderness.
What's ahead for Steve Grand?
I am going to keep making honest music and honoring the people who put their trust in me. I will release things sporadically and keep playing around the country.
I love meeting my fans, so if you are in a town I am playing in, please come take a pic and chat with me.
For more information on Steve Grand, check out his website at SteveGrand.com.