With roots in street performance, Andy Grammer is a sure-fire crowd pleaser. He began performing with his acoustic guitar in his native city of Los Angeles to one or two people, yet back then he would brace himself for just a five-dollar bill. “In the beginning I was trying to make a couple of people feel something,” Grammer says of his early days. “Now it’s like, I get to make thousands of people feel that way. It’s the same essence though, of wanting to inspire people in a specific moment.”
Grammer’s gone a long way since busking for less than minimum wage. His most successful single “Honey, I’m Good” peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Though what he’s most proud of is the upbeat attitude he maintains, the same one that resonates with his audience across the globe.
“I think there’s a real sweetness when you feel everyone is in it together,” Grammer says of the feel-good vibe at his concerts. “I think a good song does that. Connecting with someone else about feeling loved or how shitty it feels to be broken up with, it’s amazing.” These relatable messages (coupled with infectious melodies) can be seen in his hits such as “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me,” and the massive sing-alongs that follow can be truly euphoric, delivering an especially uplifting message to his fans.
“People are either vibing out like they’re happy on a summer day or they need it because they’re really in some shit,” Grammy says. He tells the story of a pair of sisters who approached him after a performance one night and informed him that when the pair were diagnosed with cancer, his song was what they played on the ride to chemotherapy every day. “They told me that they were both cancer-free but that they didn’t think they’d have made it without my song,” he shares.
Emotional moments like this help Grammer remain mindful of the level of music he is expected to make at this point in his career. Back when he performed for passing individuals on the street a listening audience was never guaranteed, but now he performs with an eight-piece band to sold-out arenas, still making people feel something–the same way he did when he started.
“There is a sweetness and a pressure to knowing how many people will hear my music [now] and how it will affect them,” he says of making music on a larger scale. “I’m into that, of course.”
Grammer, who is expecting his first child in the next couple of weeks, is busy working on a new album that will definitely be inspired by his expected fatherhood. “I’m pretty autobiographical when I write, so there are a couple of songs [on my new album] that are undeniably about it,” he says of his inspiration. His newest single “Give Love” is a moving tribute to his mother, available now. A new album is expected to be released this fall.