Greyson Chance/Instagram Ben Watson and Greyson Chance
One true pairing, for sure!
As he releases his EP Trophies on Friday, Greyson Chance catches up with PEOPLE about new music, the challenges of quarantine and his love for boyfriend Ben Watson, with whom he celebrated a year together earlier this month.
"It was, by far, probably the hardest record that I've put together," the 23-year-old tells PEOPLE. about Trophies and the pandemic. "Last year was just really, really challenging. It was tough for me because not only did the pandemic bring its own stresses and its own anxieties, but it was also just such a lifestyle change of living on an airplane in 2019."
"I played 100+ shows around the world. And then all of a sudden it was, 'You're here. You're in this spot.' And I was battling kind of an imposter syndrome. I didn't know who I was as an artist," he adds. "I just felt so out of my element and during that period of last year, I was still writing a lot, but there were a lot of times where the music wasn't feeling so right and I was putting this pressure on myself."
Chance says the new record could be seen as "snapshots of my life" over the last year, including experiencing love again.
"My boyfriend [Ben] was a large inspiration of this body of work, but it was also too just falling in love again and feeling all of these emotions come forth again," he says. "But with that came a lot of fear. I wrote about that a lot on the EP."
"'Hellboy' was interesting to me because it seems a little out of place maybe to a listener. But that song is what really helped me reclaim my confidence as an artist again," he adds. "A lot of people listen to that and say, 'The song's about sex, the song's about this and that,' and totally, it's all of that. But that was me going into the studio thinking that I had nothing left in my tank. Thinking that I was not successful. I wasn't good at what I was doing. I didn't feel like an artist. And I said, 'I can pull one more rabbit out of the hat.' And that was my effort to do that - that song."
"If you listen to the record top to bottom, you just see me swirl in and out of, not only being in a relationship again, but trying to find my confidence and my voice," he adds. "It's very personal; very vulnerable to me. And I think it's a really good continuation from my last album, Portraits."
As for the love side of things, Chance says being in quarantine was "super great" for his relationship, since he was able to stay in a single place.
"I lived my life thinking that love was impossible and that it wouldn't happen because I was gay. And so I guess my lesson in all of this is telling people that you can have your fantasy. It's just about finding the right person," he says with a smile. " I'm so madly in love with him. It's gross."
"I also love that he is remotely doing nothing involved in music or entertainment. It's super nice because it's good to come home and I can get to ask him about his work," he adds. "He asks me about mine and then we put on Friends and go to bed."
During the pandemic, Chance decided to settle in his hometown of Oklahoma City and purchase his first house. One of his hobbies has been keeping up with a vegetable garden.
"I'm a green thumb now," he says. "I've religiously been watching Martha Stewart videos just to figure out things that I can have in the kitchen. You never realize that I walk into Williams-Sonoma now and I'm like, 'I want this entire copper cooking set and all these things.'"
Chance is also in a "really good place right now." Last year, he opened up to PEOPLE about facing an eating disorder and coming forward from it.
"I'm really, really good. I'm really happy," he says. "And again, it's proof to people out there who are struggling with it that there is and can be a light at the end of the tunnel."
Getting back to the music side of things, Chance says he loves the track "Clothes," which he explains is about "falling in love and then losing it."
"It was me looking into my own self and thinking, 'Why am I so certain that I'm going to lose it?'" he says. "And then I started noticing that I've felt that way not only about my relationships, but about my career in a long sense."
"So lyrically," he adds. "I talk about it's tear the house down, burn the clothes. It's just this fear that I have of the end."
Trophies is out now.