Although his debut album, “Underage Thinking,” doesn’t hit stores until March 21, Teddy Geiger is already on his way to becoming the next teen idol.Teddy Geiger found success in an unlikely place -- as a cast-off from the VH1 reality show “In Search of the New Partridge Family.” During auditions, producer Billy Mann (Pink, Jessica Simpson) discovered the 17-year-old singer/songwriter, who soon scored a recording contract with Columbia Records.
Although his debut album, “Underage Thinking,” doesn’t hit stores until March 21, Geiger is already on his way to becoming the next teen idol. These days, though, he’s more often compared to John Mayer than Keith Partridge. “I definitely don’t mind the comparisons,” Geiger laughs.
Much of Geiger’s newfound success can be attributed to a huge Internet presence -- he has been a featured artist on MySpace, AOL and Clear Channel Online -- and performing on several high-profile tours, including stints with Hilary Duff, Jesse McCartney and Fall Out Boy. He was even chosen by Billboard as one of 2006’s Faces to Watch in the magazine's Jan. 7 issue.
That prediction is already ringing true. Two weeks ago, the album's first single, "For You I Will (Confidence)," entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it now stands at No. 39.
With the single taking off, Geiger has gained a loyal following -- his fans even call themselves “Tedheads”- -- but the teen is far from a budding musician.
At age 8, he was already playing the guitar and piano, and by the time he was in high school he was writing and performing songs around his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. So it’s no surprise that Geiger wrote or co-wrote 11 of the 12 songs on “Underage Thinking,” and plays guitar, piano, bass and drums on the album.
“I actually had a Pro Tools [digital studio] set up in my basement before I made [‘Underage Thinking’] and just kind of demoed a bunch of stuff myself, just like the basics," Geiger says. "Going into [making] the album, I was kinda like, 'These people know what they’re doing, they’ve done it a million times, so I should probably just let ’em work their magic.' I learned a lot just watching.
"Now when I listen to the demos, there’s definitely a difference in what [the songs] sound like,” he adds with a laugh.
The self-proclaimed “gear head” admits that working with Mann made him want to play “a bigger part” in producing his own music in the future. But right now the kid in him is still savoring the experience: “We all had a good time making it. There were a lot of cheesesteaks eaten, and we played a lot of ‘Grand Theft Auto.’ ”
Between cheesesteaks, videogames and gigs, Geiger only occasionally stops home to do laundry and grab a cocoa latte. But he says he’s happy to spend his teen years on the go.
“I’m home less and less but I don’t mind. I don’t get very homesick usually. A little bit of home here and there is good,” he says.
Almost on cue, Geiger is cut short by a honking car horn. “My mom actually just got home from the grocery store and she needs me to do something.”
That’s one way to keep a rising star grounded.