Tuesday morning, the hit maker-in-the-making, 13, debuted his first single, “Waiting Outside the Lines,” on Tuesday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The powerpop piano jam pays homage to the song that made him Youtube-famous in the first place: Lady Gaga‘s “Paparazzi,” which has hit viral jackpot – 32,000,000 and counting. It’s the video that first captured DeGeneres’s attention, inspiring her to kick-start her own record label just to sign him.
But the fresh-faced pop star isn’t just spitting out bubblegum ballads. Another one of his songs, “Purple Sky,” tackles the ever-relevant bullying issue.
“It’s … saying a normal sky is a blue sky, but it’s saying that a ‘purple sky’ is different but it’s still beautiful in it’s own way,” he says. “The whole meaning of the song is when kids are feeling these horrible things and people are calling them names and being so cruel and judgmental. I want kids late at night, when they’re crying and they feel so low, to listen to the song and just go it’s going to get better – it’s okay.”
It’s an issue that’s close to his heart, although he said he was never bullied “that bad.”
“It was just name-calling but it’s still hurts,” he says. “It’s just such an important thing. We need to stand up for this. We’re losing lives, and it’s not fair.”