The Next Big Thing in Music? Make Sure You Know Christina Grimmie0 Comments

By admin
Posted on 26 Jun 2015 at 8:08am

The first half of 2015 has been very good to 21-year-old Christina Grimmie. She recently won Macy’s Rising Star iHeartRadio competition after returning from her first European headline tour, she’ll open the iHeartRadio festival in Vegas this September, she’s releasing new music in the fall, and her single, “Cliche,” peaked at number 7 on the iTunes chart. Not bad for someone who was so shy she initially had trouble talking to her fans on YouTube. And in the years in between, she’s independently released two albums, won an American Music Award, finished in the top 3 of The Voice season six, opened for Selena Gomez, and performed on Dancing With the Stars. If you don’t know Christina Grimmie already, it’s about time you start.

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Glamour: Congrats on the Macy’s iHeart Radio Rising Star! How’d you celebrate when you heard you won?
Christina Grimmie: Thank you! I was such a fan of everyone in the top five. My family and I did one of those at-home celebrations. I freaked out when my manager called to tell me. I don’t know what on earth I was thinking because I can’t remember it, but I was jumping around and did a lap around my house. [Laughs] I had no idea how that happened, but I thank my fans for being so persistent.

Glamour: You’ll open the iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas in September. Have you started planning it?
Christina: I haven’t stopped thinking about it! One of my favorite bands in the world right now is Walk the Moon and they are playing [at iHeart]. I went to see them in Santa Barbara a couple of weeks ago and they were amazing. I’m so excited. I’m their biggest fan.
Glamour: They need to have you join them on stage then in Vegas.
Christina: Oh gosh, I would love to come out on stage. I kinda of want them to be like, “So this girl is a big fan from way back in the day and she won iHeart! So come out on stage!” [Laughs]

Glamour: Your YouTube account is zeldaxlove64. Why the name?
Christina: I made that account before I even knew I wanted to start posting music. I just made it so I could comment on videos and be on YouTube basically. As for the name, one of my favorite video games is The Legend of Zelda, so I just made it out of my fan-girlyness for Zelda. It was such a teenager middle-school account name! But I didn’t want to lose it either, and when I started posting videos on it, of course I had no idea it was going to blow up like it did.

Glamour: What do you remember about that first song you uploaded? What were you hoping for?
Christina: I had no idea. I uploaded [my cover] of the Hannah Montana song, and I thought maybe people would look up the song [online] because at the time it was brand new. They had recently played it on the show when Miley was trying to pick between the two guys. [Laughs] So I thought maybe people would be searching for the song. Honestly, I was super self-conscious then about everything. If you watch my old videos, you’ll notice I’m just very short in how I say things. I wasn’t very outgoing because I didn’t want people to be annoyed by me and wanted them to focus on my music. I’ve grown a lot since then, but I was just hoping that people would like the arrangement.

Glamour: As of 2013, you were in the top 5 of most subscribed musicians on YouTube. Did anything freak you out about that statistic?
Christina: Well, for me, it was like, “OK, I’ve got Rihanna, Justin Beiber, Selena Gomez, all lined up next to me.” At first I thought, “Maybe they’re playing a prank on me?” Music was more of a confirmation that that’s what I should be doing at that point because fans were genuinely looking forward to my music every week. That was one of those mind-blowing moments.

Glamour: The trailer for Jem and the Holograms paints a not-so-pleasant picture of how the music industry wants to change natural talent into marketing material. Did you ever feel that pressure?
Christina: Absolutely. There’s been a lot of times where there was that pressure and it killed my creativity for a time. Honestly, so much that I had learned about the industry was mainly negative. Out of all the good things that there were, there were so many negative things coming out of it like, “You need to change this about yourself,” or “No, no, you can’t say this,” or “You can’t dress like that,” and it was really hard on me. But I told myself, “I’m way too driven and love what I do way too much.” I’ve grown up a lot too and now my mind is so much more open and I’ve learned how [things work] in this business. So I’m definitely learning the ropes a lot more now and prepared for it. However, I’m not going to compromise my morals, and that is one thing that I’ve always said. I’m just not going to push myself over the edge like that, and I’m just having a fun ride [now].

Glamour: Selena Gomez’s stepdad is your manager, and I know you’ve called her your mentor. What has Selena taught you?
Christina: Yes, and I’ve never had any other manager. They’ve believed in me from the get go when I was an awkward 15-year-old girl. Selena definitely gave me a lot of encouragement.

Glamour: Whose career inspires you?
Christina: I love Christina Aguilera, and who doesn’t? I recently got to meet her and they surprised me on The Voice with a meet and greet. I lost my mind. I was like, “You have no idea the drive you gave me as child.”

Glamour: You’ve sang on DWTS numerous times. Are you a fan of the show?
Christina: I’m not a great dancer, which is why I enjoy watching the show. They have been amazing. I’ve never, ever been that nervous for anything in my life. It was so elegant, beautiful, and live TV, and I have to make these dances look amazing and I don’t want to mess up. But I was like, ‘Come on, you can do this!’ My relationship with them has been incredible. It’s been awesome, and I would go back whenever they need me.

Stay tuned for new music from Christina, and follow her career via her official website here.

Photos: Marc Cartwright; Christina Grimmie Instagram

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