By Brittany Redden, Contributor
He is everything you might expect a true California boy to be: calm, funny, sincere and oozing “cool.” Los Angeles born and New York raised, 29-year-old Andy Grammer has catapulted to fame through his cheeky melodies and highly relatable lyrics, but he is more that just another rising musician.
Grammer worked his way up from just a handsome guy with an infectious smile and the voice of Jason Mraz and Michael Buble’s lovechild, to being named one of Billboard’s “Artists to Watch.” He was first discovered by his manager while performing on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. Now, nearly two years after his debut album’s release, his ever-expanding musical rÃ©sumÃ© includes having worked with industry heavyweights like Colbie Caillat, Plain White T’s, Natasha Bedingfield and Kate Voegele.
Touring as the headlining act is a dream come true for Grammer, who comes from a musical family with award-winning musician Red Grammer as his father. But, touring takes a toll due to the seemingly endless hours of downtime between shows.
“The hardest part about touring is there are weird little pockets of time where you feel super useless during an eight hour bus ride, but then for a few hours that night you’re on stage and on top of the world,” Grammer said. “I think, ‘I could try to write a song, but there are 11 other people on the bus, so I guess we’ll just play Madden again and feel confused about our lives.'”
This tour will mark his second as the headlining act, where he will be joined by Parachute as they travel the nation playing at many college venues. UNO will be his second stop, on March 15.
Just a few days before the tour kicks off, he is home in L.A. with friends, family, his new wife, fellow musician Aijia Lise and a notepad.
“I’m just writing for my second album,” Grammer said. “This is my sixth day of writing songs eight hours a day.”
For Grammer, this line of work is about more than just making music for his growing contingent of adoring fans.
“I love art, creativity and entertaining people,” Grammer said. “I didn’t know exactly how that was going to work out, but then I found my favorite way to do that was in a three minute song.”
Like any artist who writes his or her own material, personal life experiences are a major source of inspiration. While Grammer cites his struggles to “make it” as his fuel for his hit “Keep Your Head Up” and his marriage an inspiration for many upcoming love songs, he recognizes something larger than the vastness of life aiding his penning of lyrics.
“The more that you write about things that are true to you, the better,” Grammer said. “If something is genuinely true and you like the way it sounds, hopefully it will sound good to somebody else.”
Truth is a driving force for Grammer in his work developing his own lyrics and melodies.
“I love when you get something that is emotionally true that we’re all dealing with in our lives,” Grammer said. “For example, Issac Newton wrote out what gravity was. Then everyone else was like, ‘Yes, totally! That happens to me all the time!’ I think a good song does that in the same way. It says something about life that is genuinely true. It doesn’t have to be the deepest thing ever – just something true.”
Being an artist through songwriting and performing requires Grammer to allow himself to be open to the possibility of hurt, rejection and failure. But, this hardly stops him from moving forward with his dreams.
“Giving up has never been an option,” Grammer said. “Bailing is always in everyone’s mind, but I think a trait in someone that succeeds is that they deal with the fact that they might be screwed for life but they never give up.”
While he is enjoying serious success in many aspects of life such as his flourishing career and his exciting new role as a husband, he knows hardships can make a person stronger. “Sometimes you put your heart out there and it gets stepped on, but then you have to take it back and say, ‘You can’t do that; that’s the most sensitive part of me, and you just stepped on it,'” Grammer said. “At some point, though, you have to leave your heart a little bit open and vulnerable. That’s when you get the good stuff.