What do you think of when someone uses the term “All-American Boy?” You may immediately think of someone who is quite handsome. He may be “clean-cut” and “wholesome” looking, that is to say he is neat and well dressed. Your image may include someone who is athletic. He may have a body that is “buffed-up.” It may be a young man with a glowing smile and pleasant personality. An All-American boy can be a variety of handsome and talented things to the person thinking of this term.
Steve Grand is all of these things. In addition, he is an excellent singer, songwriter, musician. His musical talent alone is enough to impress, but when combined with his good looks, he definitely comes across as the quintessential All-American boy. His image as a performer both supports this and makes it unique at the same time.
Steve Grand, like a number of artists of the current generation, became popular as a YouTube performer. His self-produced All-American Boy video from 2013 caught on and went viral. It now has more than 4 million views. This is a different version of the All-American Boy, because like Steve, the boy in the video is gay.
A lot of people do not think an “All-American Boy” can be gay, but why not? Steve Grand has the talent, drive, and good looks of America’s best. Why should he not be the “boy next door?” He works hard at his craft and is as All-American as any young man anywhere.
The huge success of Steve’s video led to a “Kickstarter” campaign to raise money to produce an album. Kisckstarter is an online funding mechanism where people can pledge money to help support a particular project. It is similar in nature to the Patreon campaign we describe for Tom Law Music. Steve set a goal of 81,000 US Dollars to get his first album self-produced and out to the public. His video success and personal performances drove the total up over 326,000 USD. As a result, Steve has had to sign his name A LOT on CD cases. If you pledged at a certain level, you got an autographed copy. I have one.
While Steve is known as a “country artist” because of “All-American Boy” and some other selections, Steve is certainly not that. He is a well-rounded artist of many genres. The native of a Chicago suburb, Lemont — “one of Chicago’s blandest suburbs” — he does not mind the country label, but wants people to know he is more than that.
His new album certainly announces that he has a variety of styles to offer and a number of messages to sing. The newly released album was the third best funded Kickstarter musical project. Important among the messages are the views of love through the eyes of a young man. The feelings of love desired and won or lost as described by a young man, can resonate with gay or straight people everywhere. Steve may prove to be one whose performances can transcend his sexuality and appeal to all. That is a hard thing to do. Few performers can come out early in their careers and expect to do well. Steve may be one of those.
Of course, I am always drawn in by videos where Chicago is the background. Having an “All-American Boy” up front certainly helps the scenery.