Q&A with “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)” Singer-Songwriter ANDY GRAMMER Talks Going From Street Performer to Chart Climber!
From hustling street performer on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade to Platinum-selling recording artist, it seems like just yesterday that ANDY GRAMMER was discovered by Steve Greenberg and signed to S-Curve Records. With his 2011 self-titled debut album, Grammer became the first male pop star in a decade, since John Mayer in 2002, to reach the Top 10 at Adult Pop Radio on his first two singles, “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me”. Honey, I’m Good” has not only gone double-platinum and been played on radio stations all over the country, it’s gotten over 70 million views on YouTube and 60 million streams on Spotify. The singer will be performing on Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve on December 31st at 8:00pm on ABC’s Television Network.
All of this inspired Grammer to write his latest hit “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)” while in Los Angeles recently. About the song, he says,
“Life has so many ups and downs and this is about that pure bliss you feel when things are finally going your way…. The lyrics ‘good to be alive right about now’ convey something that I think anyone who’s felt like they had a breakthrough can relate to.“
In just a few short years, Grammer has gone on to sell over 100,000 albums, play sold out venues nationwide, perform onstage with Taylor Swift, Train, and Colbie Caillat, appear on an array of national TV shows, receive major song placements in film and TV, receive two BMI Pop Music Awards, grace the cover of national magazines among many other accomplishments.
His highly anticipated sophomore album titled Magazines or Novels, which came out in August this past year (S-Curve Records), has brought with it a bevy of hit singles including his latest, “Honey, I’m Good” and “Back Home,” a joyously anthemic track that illustrates his knack for writing infectious, relatable songs remains strong, as does his soaring voice. It also showcases the musician’s growth since his last full-length release. On the new album, Grammer reinforces his place among elite male pop artists through honest reflections of the impressive ride he’s been on during the past couple of years.
Songs from the upbeat “Keep Your Head Up” and the breezy “Fine by Me,” to the jubilant horns of “The Pocket” and the emotional “Miss Me,” found Grammer creating pop songs with both heartfelt, relatable lyrics and instantly hummable hooks.
Learn more about ANDY GRAMMER in this exclusive interview with All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa below!
For those not as familiar with you and your music, how did you get your start in music? Who or what was the catalyst for you?
I began my whole music career at the Third Street Promenade in Los Angeles as a street performer. For about 4 years I payed my rent selling CDs on the street as people walked by. It definitely helped define me as an artist. I think it’s one of the best ways to develop. There is a recklessness to it that I think you need as a performer, and it really trained me to not be afraid of the audience.
You released your self titled debut album in 2011 and you just released your second studio album Magazines or Novels in August of last year. What did you learn between albums that you felt you wanted to infuse into the new record?
The first record was very much taking the songs I had played on solo guitar and piano and producing them up, kind of a beefed up singer songwriter. Album two was much more experimental in the whole process. Even in the writing some times I’d make a beat in Logic and write over that, it wasn’t so clearly put in a box. What’s so great is that it’s forced my live show to be more then just a guy at a guitar and that has really opened things up for us on this tour.
Can you share with me what your inspiration was for your current single, “Honey, I’m Good”?
“Honey I’m Good” is a brutally honest take on a part of love. Part of being in love is being faithful, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy and that there aren’t plenty of attractive people in this world. I think the heart of the song is “yes it’s hard sometimes to stay together but it is totally and completely worth it.”
Who are your musical influences?
I have a pretty wide range right now. Recently I’ve just been digging into the new Imagine Dragons and the new Drake. Old school favorites are like Lauryn Hill, Paul Simon, John Mayer, Billy Joel. Great songwriters, the song is always king to me and that’s what I’m most interested in.
The first album that I bought for myself was the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. I had never heard anyone sing or rap that good EVER. Also the lyrical content was so grounded and she was spitting fire. That album killed me.
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
I remember falling in love with “Yesterday” by the Beatles. Such a simple statement, simple lyrics, simple melody, and it packs such an intense heart punch. “Yesterday love was such an easy game to play.” So good.
Who would your dream collaboration be with, living or dead?
I really want to do something with a rapper that I love like Lupe Fiasco, or Common, or K’Naan. I’m a huge fan of hip hop.
Who is in your current playlist? Any artists, musicians or genres we might be surprised to find in there?
I mean, I feel like people can hear some hip hop influences, but yeah, I love me some Drake, Big Sean, Lil Wayne, as well as the pop rock stuff OneRepublic, The Script, all that good stuff.
What’s on tap next for you, Andy? What are you most excited about in 2015?
I’m pretty pumped to see “Honey I’m Good” do its thing. When you get a song that reacts the way this one has been its really exciting. It leads to other opportunities as well. Even the energy at shows is more intense and it’s kind of like everything is heightened while the song is buzzing. So mostly looking forward to ride this wave all the way through.
You recently played at our All Access Music Group + A&R World Wide Radio Summit this past April at the legendary Hotel Roosevelt in Los Angeles. It was SUCH a pleasure having you! 😉
I’m always pumped to be apart of stuff like that. I was a street performer, so honestly all this is so much damn fun. To go from slinging CDs on the street corner to playing Radio Summits is insane.
To learn more about ANDY GRAMMER , including his upcoming tour dates, visit his website HERE .