No ordinary fangirl

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HANNAH Cruz up close and personal with Greyson Chance

Fangirls are an obsessive and resourceful lot. When they get crazy over, say, a pop singer, they’ll move heaven and earth—or at least pester their parents—so they can buy their idol’s CDs, DVDs, merchandise and other stuff, including expensive concert tickets.

Fangirls are attuned to what their objects of worship are doing on a daily basis because of social media.

Thirteen-year-old Maxine Cruz is one such fangirl. She’s so gaga over Greyson Chance that she persuaded her mom Faye to gatecrash a press conference that MCA Music held last year for the American pop singer-songwriter, who was then promoting his EP, “Truth Be Told Part 1,” in Manila.

We were covering the press con and that was where we first met Hannah. Our friend Jacqueline Inductivo, who knows Hannah’s family, had pleaded with us so that Hannah and her mom could get in. Just a photo with Greyson will do, said Jacqueline. Even if it meant that Hannah had to wait for hours on end.

Disoriented

Good thing Greyson was accommodating, so Hannah got her wish. She looked disoriented, like she was floating on air, after the photo op.

Two weeks ago, Jacqueline was on the phone, talking again in a pleading tone: “Hannah says Greyson is in town, but didn’t provide other details. Can you find out, pleeease?”

We asked the MCA Music staff about it and they said yes, Greyson is in Manila indeed, but it’s sort of a secret because he’s supposed to be a surprise performer in an event that we were invited to cover.

We were not quite keen on attending the event because, like Greyson’s tweet, no other details were given, except that MCA and Smart Communications were to launch some “music horizon.”

But since Greyson—an authentic talent who writes his own songs at 15 years old—was due to perform, and Hannah might sulk all day if she missed this event, we opted to go.

Best thing

It was a damn good decision, because the occasion turned out to be one big party at the HyvE in Bonifacio Global City that introduced Smart Music—an online music store that makes available some 3 million songs in MCA Music’s global catalog for a price way cheaper than iTunes.

The affair also featured live performances by local acts including Ely Buendia.

But the best thing about it was that we were able to watch Greyson up close as he played on a baby grand piano while singing some of his original songs (“You Might Be the One,” “Sunshine and City Lights”), a Radiohead cover (“High and Dry”), plus a new track (“Football”) from his coming new album.

First discovered on YouTube three years ago while doing his version of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” (which has gained some 50 million views), Greyson was invited by Ellen DeGeneres to guest on her TV show. She signed him two weeks later as the first artist on her newly formed record label, eleveneleven.

Old-school soul

For a few minutes before he went onstage at the Smart Music launch, Greyson told us that he’s been listening to old-school soul artists like Billie Holiday and Ray Charles.

“You mean jazz artists,” we said.

“No, soul,” Greyson insisted. “Well, yeah, you’re right.”

He’s not wrong, actually. But in any case, Greyson is apparently serious in widening his musical knowledge and, judging by his sneak performance at the HyvE, he deserves more attention.

Although Hannah was ecstatic and profuse with gratitude—she was probably the only one among Greyson’s Pinoy fans to get into the club—we should really be thankful to her for helping alert us to this event.

Honor student

And she’s not just an ordinary fangirl as we found out. The only child of Faye and musician/composer/record producer Gino Cruz is an honor student at an exclusive girls’ school in Alabang. She’s also into ballet and theater arts, and sings professionally for radio and TV commercials.

She had to skip classes that night for Greyson, but promised to make up for it by studying harder.

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