Andy Grammer -- About to Pop
By Marina Galperina Posted Jan 25th 2011 04:16PM
Video: 'Keep Your Head Up'
Hails From: Upstate New York
For Fans Of: Maroon 5, John Legend
Why He's About to Pop: At 20, Andy Grammer left New York for Los Angeles and became one of the top-selling artists to break out of the Third Street Promenade busking scene. His polished, genuine pop with a splash of R&B and rock 'n' roll attitude got him noticed, leading to a 100-college cross-country tour from Duke to UCLA and opening slots for the Script, Plain White T's, Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen and Josh Kelley. Whatever he serves up, it's honest music with great potential for getting stuck in your head all day.
PopEater caught up with Grammer while he prepares for the release of his upcoming album to talk about growing through busking, Keenan Cahill and the interactive version of his video for 'Keep Your Head Up,' the very first of its kind.
Eight Questions With Andy Grammer:
How would you describe your sound?
I would say it's like John Legend meets Maroon 5 with a dash of Coldplay.
What made you move to California? How does it compare to New York?
I came to California to try something new. It was going to be either New York or Los Angeles, and I've already lived in New York. The comparison is simple. Los Angeles has the weather, and New York has the pizza.
Who are your biggest modern influences and music heroes?
My modern influences are sound and beat masters. I think the Script are great, and I love K'naan; both have a blend of great songs and a kind of aggressive lyrical delivery. My older heroes are Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel and The Beatles. Great songwriters, ultimately. I am a huge fan of songwriting and admire anyone who does it well.
Did you expect to get discovered busking at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica?
It wasn't really like "How do I think I can get a record deal? Let's head out to the street!" It was more like "How can I stay alive and still be growing as a musician?" I've been a valet and did other silly jobs, but it just takes so much of your time. You start to really grow when you're making money with your craft. Even if it's just $40 -- all in ones -- to start.
What was it like filming the interactive video for 'Keep Your Head Up?' Are you happy with the result?
Unbelievable. What an amazing turn of events to be able to release the first interactive video! I got to help write the treatment. We shot the thing in two grueling days, and it turned out to be this stunning behemoth of a project. I'm very proud of the result. I think any time you are the first to do something it's a risk. But we did a pretty cool job of utilizing this brand new technology.
How has your family influenced your career path?
Both my mom and dad were songwriters for a living at one point or another. It's what paid the bills. It's the difference between growing up around people playing poker for fun or for money. It's more intense. Just being around it was beneficial.
What's next for you and what are you most excited about?
Next is an album! It's almost done. I can't even contain how excited I am for everyone to hear it.
Have you connected with any new fans in a particularly memorable way?
I have gotten a bunch of new fans from doing a video with Keenan Cahill, the YouTube celeb. We had an amazing time recording a lip-sync video for 'Keep Tour Head Up.' He's a beast.
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