Karrissa Wade Interviews All American Boy Singer Steve Grand

Who is Steve Grand?

Its a question thats been asked since 2013’s release of “All American Boy,” his debut single. The song became a viral music video hit and went from zero to a million views on YouTube in a matter of days, without a label, manager, or agent. The imagery was pure Americana—–But there was a twist, because its about a gay man who had a crush on a straight man. It’s not something that’s ever been depicted in country music.

Steve grew up in Lemont, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, in a Catholic family. When he was four or five, he saw Schroeder, Charlie Brown’s piano playing friend tickling the ivories, and became obsessed. He wanted a piano so badly, that he made them, dozens of models of them, out of campaign posters, crayon, tape and glue, most of them bigger than the tiny, future musician.

As a young man who figured out that he was gay after a stint at summer camp when he was in eighth grade, Steve says he felt like many gay teenagers do: alone and confused. Looking around for public role models in music, he found few.

“I was 18 or 19 and I realized, hey, there’s really a deficiency here. The world is rapidly becoming a more accepting place. If we really are all the same and we really are all equal, there ought to be more artists who are open about who they are and even sing about it,” he says.

He knew that gambit for “All American Boy” would work: no one had ever seen or heard anything quite like it before. “What made the story impactful was the apparent dichotomy of a same-sex love story set against a very Americana backdrop—old cars, whiskey, American flags, and friends by a campfire,” he says.

Pegged as a “gay country artist” —within a week, the video had made all the gay blogs, Buzzfeed ran a post about the video, and he’d appeared on “Good Morning America.” Later, he was interviewed by the revered Larry King for his online show.

On February 26, 2014, he launched a successful Kickstarter campaign raising $326,000.

With his full-length album, recorded with producer Aaron Johnson (who produced The Fray) in Los Angeles in the spring of 2014, co-writing a few songs with Itaal Shur, (who also helped to pen the Grammy winning song, “Smooth” by Rob Thomas and Santana), coming in March, fans will have even more to be inspired by. “It’s going to take them to many more places. The album follows an arc—each song is a plot point on that arc, and I think a lot of things in life follow an arc.”

Since then he has been involved in several high visibility episodes accentuating good works and a good body.

Karrissa Wade talks about these (and teases him a lot, of course) in this new interview.

About Karrissa Wade

Karrissa Wade is one of the most accomplished and well known drag performers in Jville. Active in politics, theatre, art and the performance and pageant circuit, she has been the host of countless charity events and benefits, and has been a correspondent for MetroJacksonville since 2008.

You can catch her regular performances at Hamburger Marys or connect with her on Facebook.

In : History

About the author