Darren Criss: ‘Glee’ Complicated and Empowered My Momentum

He can sing, dance, act and play piano and violin, but can Darren Criss transform his star-making turn as openly-gay teen dream Blaine on Glee into a viable music career? Celebuzz got a chance to sit down with the phenom to discuss it all following his performance on MTV’s The Seven this week.

A year ago, the 23-year-old University of Michigan alum found viral stardom as a YouTube sensation in “A Very Potter Musical” with Team StarKid Productions. He has since become a fan-favorite on the show the world just can’t seem to tune out and even racked up a #1 hit with his cover of Katy Perry‘s “Teenage Dream.”

Although his stardom is soaring to new heights, he is still settling into his newfound fame. “It’s so fundamentally crazy,” says Criss. “Nothing has really sunk in. Partially because of me. The cool thing about being busy with the show is that it’s a part that I’m really proud of and has a lot to say. It’s busy for a good reason.”

Criss may have less free time than before filming Glee, taking meetings and making appearances, but he always finds his way back to music. Criss aspires to be a recording artist outside of the “Glee machine.”

I was in the works of doing [a full-length album] before Glee, and that was always going to happen. Glee kind of both complicated and empowered that momentum. But I have every intention of doing a studio album at some point. I am a musical mercenary in the sense that I am from musical theater, so that’s its own thing, and then there’s folk and I like writing pop music. I’m just as curious as anybody who listens to my music what it would sound like. I think it’ll be very simple. No Gaga, as much as I would love to make a record like her.

Criss showcased his simplistic theatrical folk-pop vocal stylings during his rendition of Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” on last night’s episode of Glee.

Although Criss admits that he has had the same Passion Pitt album stuck in his car’s CD player for the past few years, the musical inspirations he’d like to see on Glee are quite diverse. Criss cites the music of Cole Porter, Nat King Cole, Chet Baker and Motown as the sounds he’d like to see make their way to the show.

More specifically, Criss wouldn’t mind wrapping his voice around one 80s pop-rock classic. “I keep hearing ‘Love is a Battlefield’ on the radio. I keep thinking how cool of a song that would be to sing just because I love the song and Pat Benatar.”

Along with his hit cover of “Teenage Dream,” Criss performed the original song “Not Alone” on MTV’s The Seven Tuesday.

Whether he is watching Glee reruns on Hulu or prepping for performances like his upcoming Dec. 18 show at the Roxy in L.A., Criss’s already bright star is on the rise. He is garnering gaggles of fans daily and is poised to take the music industry by storm. His talent has taken center stage and that’s exactly where he’d like to keep it.

Photo Credit: MTV

Tags: Darren Criss