If you haven’t heard of Christina Grimmie, you’re obviously not too in touch with music these days. In an age where the most talented teens are being discovered by uploading homemade videos, Youtube serves as a major platform in launching mainstream music car eers, such as that of Justin Bieber, Grayson Chance, and Rebecca Black.
Now, a new star is rising to prominence. Christina Grimmie not only has insanely cool hair, but she's also the 7th most subscribed artist on Youtube with over 900,000 subscribers and over 139 million uploads. Her career is about to seriously take off, as she’s going on tour with Selena Gomez this summer. Christina’s first single, “Advice”, will be released on June 11th, and her debut album will be independently released on June 14th.
Below is our exclusive interview Christina Grimmie, where she tells us how she deals with negative feedback, how she met Selena Gomez, and why she’s completely obsessed Zelda of Ocarina of Time. Be sure to check out her music on her channel, Zeldaxlove64!
Mallory: I see you've had your YouTube account open since February of 2009 and you now have over 900,000 subscribers. Was your growth in popularity gradual, or do you feel like there was a sudden point where it completely took off?
Christina: Well I just made the account February of 2009, I didn’t post anything until July. And the reason for that is because I didn’t make the account to post videos, I made it to be a simple youtuber. I’d say it was more of a gradual growth altogether. There were certain videos that obviously did better than others, that being “Just A Dream”, “Miley Cyrus Medley” and “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love”. They were either duets or just better production.
Mallory: Do you ever get negative feedback? If so, how do you deal with it?
Christina: I think every single person on Youtube, or ANYWHERE, for that matter, gets negative things said about them. And for me, it used to really get to me. But now, it’s almost like I’ve built a wall and I don’t let it eat away at me, simply because that’s what they want--they want me to react to their comment or post and make a big deal. (laughs) But come on, that’s ridiculous.
Mallory: Do you feel your age plays any part in your reputation and career?
Christina: I’m a 17 year old, so I feel that what I do should stick to my morals and boundaries. I’ve seen too many celebrities fall from their morals, and I wanna come up under that and be THAT girl that doesn’t need a scandal to make herself look better. And I think my career is doing relatively great right now because I am young. But I also think it’s about a person’s personality that draws people in, too, not just their singing.
Mallory: Was YouTube the start of your career, or were you performing before you opened the account? How do you feel you've grown as an artist?
Christina: Youtube was the start of my career officially, although since I was 4 I’ve wanted to be a singer. I’ve performed here and there before youtube, but youtube push me much further. I think I’ve grown as an artist immensely; my voice has gotten MUCH stronger compared to my older videos, with the help of a few lessons. Also I’ve become a better performer and songwriter through it all.
Mallory: You seem to really love video games. How did you get interested? And why does Zelda stick out as opposed to other characters?
Christina: My brother is a year older than me, and we’re literally best friends, so when he started playing videogames when he was 5, I would watch him because i was too young to understand what to do (haha). I’ve loved videogames ever since I was that young. But Zelda...I remember it was my favorite game to watch my brother play. But I would constantly have nightmares about redeads and freaky things in the game, so my mom sold the game and me and my brother were so upset! We got it back a few years later and when I tell you I played it all the time, I PLAYED IT ALL THE TIME! It has such a great story and it will never get old to me.
Mallory: You've mentioned that you don't know how to read music, but instead you play the piano by ear. Did you take lessons? How long did it take to develop a talent in it?
Christina: My dad noticed some kind of talent on piano when he asked me to play a couple random songs on piano when I was 6 and I just did it. I attempted lessons but I was just so bad at reading notes. I would read “Three Blind Mice” by ear, so learning notes was almost impossible.
Mallory: So I hear that your first single will be released on June 11th. What can we expect? Did you write the song?
Christina: I took part in writing that song, yes, but I did not write the entire thing. You can expect a fun song to just RAWK OUT to, but still has meaning to it, so it’s not a pointless song. It’s a song full of good things to remember, so memorizing the lyrics wouldn’t hurt! :D
Mallory: Did you write all the songs on your upcoming album? Which songs have the most meaning to you?
Christina: I got to write on all of the songs except for 1. I wrote with other people for the majority of them. Which is AMAZING, because most artist’s first album they don’t write on at ALL! So what a blessing that was. But 2 songs are written only by me, which were “Find Me” and “Unforgivable”. But I think “Find Me” means the most to me because I was in a certain place in my life that had depth and emotion when I wrote it. It has a few different meanings, as well.
Mallory: Who are some major sources of inspiration to you?
Christina: Christina Aguilera has been my vocal inspiration ever since a year ago. And honestly, ever since I was so inspired by her to have a stronger voice, I practiced and practiced and even took a couple lessons and now I can really belt out notes (not as well as Aguilera, of course!). But Stacie Orrico was my childhood hero. I was about 12 when I found her music. She is a contemporary Christian artist, and I can honestly tell you that I don’t think I’d have a soulful voice if I didn’t listen to Stacie. I wanted to sound just like her growing up, and to this day I STILL think I sound a little bit like her. But she is AMAZING!
Mallory: Your hair is a pretty popular topic. Where did you come up with the style?
Christina: Me and my best friend Sarah have had the same hairstyle since 1st grade, so a couple years ago we were trying to decide what we wanted next. So we asked my awesome hairdresser for hair with lots of volume. And that’s how I got my hair! But I kept up with it and changed it around a bit. My friend doesn’t have the same hair anymore, possibly because it seemed too high maintenance (haha). But it doesn’t take that long to do, honestly!
Mallory: You're going on tour with Selena Gomez this summer. How were you chosen to be part of the tour, and what are you most looking forward to?
Christina: Selena’s mom and step-dad are my managers, so they hooked me up. They would’ve never done it if they thought I couldn’t, so don’t think they did it just because they COULD! They really believe in me. I’m definitely looking forward to performing and going all out on stage, and then afterwards, meeting fans and turning my “goofy” on, as usual.
Mallory: Have you met Selena yet? If so, what are your thoughts?
Christina: Yes, I spent part of the summer with her and her family, learning the ways of Hollywood, I guess you could say, and doing interviews and such. If there’s anything to say about Selena, it’s that if you're hanging out with her for a simple 10 minutes, you’ll forget your hanging out with a “celebrity”. And THAT’S how down-to-earth she is.
Mallory: Any advice to aspiring singers?
Christina: My advice? Don’t let the idiots that like to bring you down, succeed in discouraging you. I let it get to me a while ago, and let me tell you, it feels SO good to come up under it! And hey, it’s okay to laugh at yourself sometimes, I do dumb things all the time (haha). But when it get’s too personal, get your tough skin on and stand firm; come on, they don’t matter anyway!