Andy Grammer’s hit “Honey Im Good” sits between Ellie Goulding & Tove Lo on the Billboard Charts and let’s be honest – there could be much worse places to be!
Andy Grammer is the singer songwriter that your girlfriend has probably searched for one too many times! Acoustic maestro Andy spent years busking the streets of Santa Monica, California before reaching success and we can’t help but think that it must feel pretty sweet to now be on the other side.
Not many artists can go from the upper echelons of the Billboard charts with their first album and return there with the follow up! Andy however has “Kept His Head Up” and his most recent single “Honey I’m Good” has unsurprisingly become another hit, touching millions with his upfront honesty & cheeky personality! He’s not only been taking over our playlists and radio in recent weeks, but you may have also seen him on stage helping Nick Fradiani emerge victorious on the recent American Idol Final.
When we caught up with Andy Grammer in Toronto, he let us in on what it’s like to be in his shoes right now, the pressure of his latest album and how to remain grounded in a notorious industry despite all his success. Times have changed in the once booming music industry, but Andy assures us that there’s actually no better time than now to create music!
See the full interview below:
1. You are currently number 3 on iTunes and 12 on the Billboard charts, between Ellie Goulding and Tove Lo – could be worst places to be I guess? Are you excited to see the success of the song growing so much?
There could be worse places to be yes! You know it’s so crazy man, as a songwriter you hope that something like this will happen at some point, so I’m totally blown away right now at the level of how big it’s getting – it’s so fun!
2. Your video for Honey I’m Good is really fun with loads of different couples dancing and singing along to the song. How did the idea for the video come about and how did it feel to see such unique and great fan interaction/participation for your song?
It was really cool, the song itself was right on the edge it was like “is this guy cool – he’s talking about this other girl a lot” [Laughs] so I just wanted to make sure that the video shows that the song was coming from a noble place. So we thought that it’d be really cool to get all our close family and friends to sing the song and hold up how long they’ve been together, cheering on staying together. It was so awesome that we opened it up to all my fans and told them to get their grandparents to get into it! It turned out it was kind of moving surprisingly, I didn’t expect it to be like “oh man that kind of touched me!” in a good way you know!
3. You’ve recently performed on the American Idol Final. Did it feel good to know that as an artist you don’t have to be battling for a chance to be heard anymore with your single Honey Im Good taking over the charts?
It was incredible to be part of such a big production in a show like that. I think you’re always battling to be heard to be completely honest. Even though you’re hot right now, I better have something good in six months! The battle never goes away, my moment in the sun on that show was really fun.
4. How has busking on 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica prepared you for much bigger shows? What’s more intimidating, large crowds that are there to see you or performing so up close and personal trying to win over a new crowd?
Hmm, I think it’s about the same to be honest. I think when you’re performing for someone on the street it’s about the element of surprise. I have to be surprisingly good to you right now to get to you stop. At a show, the only way for the show to be good is if they’re coming to the show and they’re expecting it to be great and you have to deliver great +1! You better deliver more than they expected when they came, otherwise they leave a little bit bummed out. People are like “oh man I had no idea I was going to run into you, I was just here to get jeans! I’m into this!” or someone comes to a show and is like “I knew you were going to be good but I didn’t know you were going to be that good!” It has to be that reaction!
5. We think Sinner is a definite hit, with the folky desert feel of a One Republic song but the energy of a Train classic hit. What was the inspiration behind this song?
I lost my mom about six years ago to breast cancer. That was a song to her – songs are usually good when you’re that down about something you know.
6. What would you say has changed as an artist with you from your last album to this one?
A lot of things have changed, the style of songwriting has changed in that first album was trying to make good happy music, and the second album was much more about I want to be brutally honest, I think that’s what’s gonna sound good right now. I think to me the honesty sounds better, and we’ll see where I go on the third one! [Laughs] There’s something about being so honest that even if it shows you not looking so cool, there’s something about it that makes the public lean their ear in and want to hear. I think it’s the only way that a song like “Honey I’m Good” actually works, if you try to go after that subject you better be brutally honest about you yourself dealing with it, people will be like “I’ve gone through that too!”.
7. You’ve discussed with Billboard that you wrote over 100 songs for this album before finding exactly what you wanted to put out this time. Can you tell us more about the events of when you said enough is enough this isn’t what I want while recording in the studio or writing?
There’s so many songs oh my god. The first fifty songs, there was a lot of “Me Too” songs in there. A “Me Too” song is where you hear something hot on the radio and you try to chase it and write that. In general that usually sounds pretty shitty [Laughs]. There was so much pressure to get something good that I fell into that “Me Too” trap, and then somehow through being brutally honest lyrically I managed to find my way out, I came across the album that I have now and I’m really really proud because I worked so hard it wouldn’t have been reasonable to put out a “Me Too” album. I would have been very embarrassed if I had have done that so I’m really glad that I stuck it out. There’s a lot of things you can say about “Honey I’m Good” but I don’t think you can say it’s a “Me Too” song!
8. Let us in on a time where things weren’t going so well – how did you overcome adversity as an artist and keep going?
I think you have to really believe you know [Pauses], I think you have to find a space in a career like this where you make a deal with yourself where you say “Whenever everybody tells me I’m a God I know I’m not, I know I’m just a normal dude”, and “Whenever everybody implies that I’m super shitty, I know that I’m not.” You have to find a safe space in your head to ride these waves, I think that’s really important.
9. You also produce – for any aspiring record producers out there – what are your top 3 must have items of equipment in the studio?
I think it’s always important to have one of those midi controllers that you can bring on the road everywhere with you. That’s pretty crucial, as well as a USB mic to get ideas down. Those are the two that I’d say are the most important, so if I have two hours in a hotel room I can set up shop and have something sound pretty good right away. There’s a lot of pluses and minuses about being a musician in this time period and I’ve always said that one of the biggest pluses is almost worth all of the craziness around the business. The music business is a little confused and the money’s all over the place and nobody knows what’s going on! [Laughs] I’m just being honest! The coolest thing about being a musician in 2015 is that you can literally make something sound AMAZING with a laptop. It’s never been possible before, for a very little amount you can buy some equipment and make something sound freaking incredible!
Anybody can, it’s just about whether you have the heart to push through and spend the time to make it sound amazing. It wasn’t always that way, it used to be like “Oh man! I need to get a loan from the bank to get some studio time!” It used to be a whole fucking thing just to flesh out an idea! Now it’s like, dude, if you’ve got five minutes before you go on stage you can go and work some stuff out, and that’s incredible!
Do you mix your own demos? Do you enjoy that side of things?
I don’t really mix, I’m not a mixer [Laughs] – definitely not! I wish I had time, you know I’m like 31 and when you get to 31 you go “man, I wish I had have nerded out” at like 19 and learnt all these things.
10. That was actually my next question – if you could tell your 21 year old self anything what would it be?
It would be, spend more time on the piano. I feel like a little bit of catchup with the piano, because the piano is literally the keyboard to this universe. If you can play piano you can play the cello, the trumpet, the drums you know.
It’s literally the key!
11. What can we expect over the next year from you?
We’re going out in August with American Authors for a little bit, it’s going to be great. We have a ton of shows all over the place, pretty sure I’m coming back to Toronto! More singles to come, It’s crazy because the song is doing really well but there’s still a lot of room for growth! There’s a lot more places to take this song to and have fun with. I’m writing all the time!
12. What is Paradise to you?
Paradise to me, is very easy. Paradise is a TV in my bedroom, and a night where it’s me, my wife and my French Bulldog watching Netflix – it’s Paradise! It’s the best thing ever!
Is there any particular show that you love?
We are watching Orphan Black, have you seen that show?
I haven’t actually, I will check it out!
Yeah that one’s pretty solid! That’s our addiction right now!
Brilliant, well thank you Andy for the great interview!
Thank you man, great talking to you I really appreciate it! Will talk to you soon!
Album: Magazines or Novels
Label: S-Curve Records/UMG
Buy the album on iTunes
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