The “discovered on YouTube” success story has become increasingly common, but that doesn’t make Greyson Chance’s case any less compelling. After Chance posted a video of himself covering Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” on piano for a sixth grade talent show in Edmond, Okla., he attracted the attention of both Ellen DeGeneres and Gaga’s own manager, Troy Carter.
“I woke up one morning with about 30 emails directing me to his YouTube account,” says Carter, founder and CEO of Coalition Media Group. “The same way Ellen found him, we discovered him as well.”
In DeGeneres’ case, the day after she saw Chance’s performance online, she flew the 12-year-old singer-songwriter out to Los Angeles to be on her show. Since then, DeGeneres has signed Chance as the first artist on her new Eleven Eleven record label, named in honor of the talented youth (she first saw his video on May 11, and he is No. 11 on his soccer team).
As Chance prepares his debut album with Eleven Eleven and Interscope, Carter says they expect to roll out his first single by the end of the year. “We’re taking a long-term approach,” Carter says. “We’re making records that are going to resonate with a young audience and an older audience.”