After years of performing as a busker on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California, singer-songwriter Andrew Charles “Andy” Grammer emerged in the pop world with the debut of his single Keep Your Head Up. That video was voted iTunes Video of the Week that same year.
Grammer, 31, who will perform live at the Magic City Casino on Saturday, is touring for his new album Magazines or Novels and spoke to the Miami Herald.
You released “Magazines or Novels” not too long ago. How’s that been?
The album came out over the summer. It’s been picking up speed, and now the new single Honey, I’m Good is super fun and its been catching on the radio. It’s giving the album a second life. The shows are really selling out.
What’s the story behind “Honey I’m Good?”
Well, you know I’m married now. So when I go out on tour, well, there are always hot girls around. The song’s about staying honest and being like, “Yes, you are smoking hot, but I’m good. I got a lady at home who is incredible. It’s worth staying truthful.”
How has it been touring for the new record?
The first album is more of a singer/songwriter album, so it’s more of a guy behind a microphone with a guitar just hanging out. Touring for the second album lends itself to more action. We’re jumping around on stage. There’s a point where my bass player does a back-flip, and I have a looper pedal on stage and loop songs live. It’s a lot more diverse. I still play songs from the first album, so the show goes up and down, which is cooler than just an “up” or just a “down.”
It sounds like you came a long way from your humble beginnings. Tell us about that. How was life back then?
I was able to pay my rent pretty well just by street performing I had a little apartment in Los Angeles, but I did street perform for four years to pay my rent. I did that every single day. You learn how to write songs or where your voice sounded good and for what kind of songs your voice was suited for. I had about a minute to grab people’s attention before they walked away. It was a great way to develop.
What else did you learn from street performing?
Outside of just singing and playing guitar, I really started to develop my beat-boxing skills because that was a great way to grab people’s attention. In general, that was the performance type music that I wanted to write anyway. I’m not the standard sit-in-the-coffee-shop-and-play-my-guitar, singing sad songs. I jump around on stage a lot, and my songs are upbeat. That was one of the things that I had to figure out how to do alone to get people’s attention before I had the resources of a band with me.
It was a good training ground to be like, I’m either giving you something or I’m not –– and if I’m not, you leave. That has held true even if it’s a song on the radio. People either buy the song, they like it, they listen to it on Spotify and the numbers go up, or you’re not giving them something, the numbers go down and everyone leaves. The public is fickle and that’s totally cool –– you better deliver.