Call Answered: Steve Grand: In Concert at The Laurie Beechman Theatre
I always love interviewing singer/songwriters because like Madonna says, “Music, makes the people, come together!” Steve Grand is definitely living by that motto. His 2013 video for “All-American Boy” went viral on YouTube, racking up over 1 million views in eight days. The video garnered him national attention and in 2015 his debut album All American Boy was released. In 2018, Steve released his sophomore album, not the end of me, which according to Grand is “autobiographical; very personal, somber and reflective.”
Steve’s music is very relatable & well written. I’m thrilled we got the chance to discuss it all: from instant success to songwriting to dating.
Steve will be coming to New York City for two concerts at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in support of his sophomore album not the end of me. Steve will perform on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30 at 7pm. Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a singer/songwriter? As is the case for many of us, my adolescent years were tough on me. I felt alone and out-of-place from my peers a lot of the time. Music became my escape. I found it empowering how an artist could take his painful experiences and turn them into something beautiful through song. Since then, it’s been my goal to turn my pain into beauty through my own music.
2. The video for your song "All-American Boy" rocketed you to instant success in 2013 after racking up 1 million views in 8 days on YouTube. When did you realize you were in this next phase of your career? The day after I released it, it was already gaining so much traction all over the internet, so I would say I knew right away this was going to be something that launched my career in a way I only ever dreamed about before.
3. What was the biggest change for you when success was at your door? That’s the thing, I never had that moment where I felt I had arrived. I still haven’t had that moment. I’ve always remained focused on what I could do next to further my professional success even more. It’s taught me that no outward affirmations can truly make you feel solid in yourself or what you’ve accomplished. It’s an internal process. I’m glad I learned that lesson early on because I think a lot of people go their whole lives looking for peace and validation in the wrong places.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have goals and work really hard to try and be better. But I now know that no amount of “success” can bring you any real sense of peace on it’s own. It’s a cliche, but real peace can only come from within.
4. What do miss about your life before your success? I tend to get pretty anxious when I’m out in social situations. I’ve always been that way. The difference now is that, if I’m in a setting with a lot of gay men, especially if it’s a town where I have a performance, I’m aware that someone could recognize me, and a part of me will feel like I need to be ‘on.’ I know most of it is in my head, but it’s just one more added pressure that makes it difficult for me to really let go in those kinds of situations.
5. How do you handle your success/fame now as compared to 2013? To whatever degree you can consider me “successful” or “famous,” I would say the biggest difference now, compared to early on in 2013, is that I’ve really learned the importance of having a well-rounded sense of self.
Sometimes, the trouble with being so passionate about what you do for a living is that every professional success or failure feels really personal. So the highs are really high, and the lows are really low. Early on, my sense of self was almost entirely tied up in my career, so when something wasn’t going well in my career, it felt like my world was ending.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate the importance in having interests, and different kinds of relationships outside of my professional life, so when things aren’t going so good with my career, I have other aspects of my life to feel good about and get joy from.
6. In 2018 you released your sophomore album, Not The End of Me. Since this album is so autobiographical, what did you learn most about yourself from writing/recording this album that you didn't know going through the events of these songs? I’ve learned that suffering is a necessary and an inescapable part of being human. No matter who you are or how much success and good fortune you’ve had, some suffering in life is unavoidable. But, even more importantly, that suffering doesn’t have to be the end of you. You can take that pain, work through it, and come out a stronger person on the other wide.
7. You are an out gay singer/songwriter. What freedoms come with being out and what challenges do you face in this business being out? I’ve only ever been an out gay singer/songwriter so I have nothing else to compare it to. Perhaps I take for granted how easy it is to be myself when there are still many folks who are closeted who wish they could be.
8. Now that you are single, what do you look for in a guy you want to date? What qualities of yours do you hope catches his eye? Well I never said I was single. It’s the one area of my life I don’t talk about publicly outside of the songs I write ;). But I will say I look for confidence, maturity, humilty, compassion, and a certain combination of tenderness and strength. Someone who wants to know as much as he can, but is wise enough he’ll never have all the answers.
9. Rapid Fire Questions:
Boxers or Briefs? Why isn’t ‘jockstraps” an option? ;)
City or Country? Country! Despite our shortcomings, I’m a very proud American.
Halos or Horns? Depends on the setting ;)
Favorite go to Emoji when texting? 😬
More on Steve:
Steve Grand rocketed to instant success when the video of his song “All-American Boy” went viral on YouTube, racking up over 1 million views in eight days. This attention landed Steve on Good Morning America, CNN and other national media. On Good Morning America Steve shared how difficult it was for him to come out to his parents as a high school student—saying with obvious emotion "I felt like I was a shame to my parents and that there was no way I could ever make them proud."
Buzzfeed ranked the video on its list of the "24 Most Brilliant Music Videos from 2013", and Out Magazine named Steve to its annual "Out100" list of the year's most compelling LGBT people. In addition to being a musician, Steve has become an active figure in the LGBT equality movement. He released his debut album All American Boy in 2015. His newest album, Not the End of Me, was released in 2018.