At just 21 years of age, singer Christina Grimmie is living her dream as a successful YouTube star turned mainstream artist. Now, with some of her biggest challenges ahead, she’s looking back to her fans to remember why she does it all in the first place.
Many may know Grimmie from her popular YouTube page. Others may know her from Season 6 of NBC’s massively successful singing competition series “The Voice,” where she can boast the accolade of having reached the top 3 contestants that year. Since that time, her already successful music career has been on a skyrocket trajectory with no end in sight.
“‘The Voice’ gave me the exposure that YouTube was never able to provide for me, just because I didn’t have a label or that kind of opportunity before,” Grimmie told International Business Times in a phone interview. “It also kind of trained me as person and performer with an audience. I mean, live TV is so hard to get used to. I’ve never done anything as nerve wracking as ‘The Voice.’ It was a big, big, big help for me.”
While she thanks the singing competition for making her who she is today, she’s proven herself again by winning the 2015 Macy’s Rising Star iHeartRadio competition. As a result, her next stop is Las Vegas to perform in the iHeartRadio Music Festival, where she’ll open alongside some of the most talented artists in the world, including her personal favorite band Walk The Moon. She referred to the show as the biggest performance of her life, even bigger than her time spent on “The Voice.”
Not only will she be playing to the fans that voted her the winner, she’ll be taking the opportunity to debut her new single, “Shrug,” which drops Thursday. With so much going on in her life right now, some may be surprised to learn that Grimmie is also crafting a brand new album set for release later this year. When asked about the album, she revealed that she takes pride in being able to say that it’s got a little bit of everything.
“When I write music, I know a lot of artists like Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran tend to write from personal experience. I write from personal experience, of course, but I don’t limit myself to that. In this album I’ve done a lot of vicarious writing. I like to channel other people and other people’s experiences,” Grimmie told IBTimes. “I feel like there’s only so much you could get out of personal experience, but when you write vicariously through other people, you can get into a lot more.”
With so many huge wins already under her belt, it's hard for her to imagine what will come next after the Las Vegas show and the new album. In the end, she says it's her desire to be a role model to her fans that moves her career forward.
“Just being a girl coming from YouTube, I know what it’s like to have a very humble, simple beginning. It would be kinda crazy for my fans if I made it huge in that way and became the next big thing. I wanna be able to do it for them and say, ‘look, this is what you’ve done for me,’” she said. “I want to be able to show people that I have flaws and they have flaws too. And you know what that means? No one out there is perfect. I have a lot of teens looking up to me asking how to feel pretty and accepted. I just want to show people that it’s OK to be a little weird and a little lost because it’s not that big of a deal when it comes down to it.”