Andy Grammer with Colbie Caillat in concert plus exclusive interview [Music]

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Appearances with Regis & Kelly, Rachel Ray, Jay Leno and tours with the likes of Natasha Bedingfield and Colbie Caillat? That’s a far cry from playing his catchy tunes on the streets of New York City and Los Angeles with an open guitar case full of spare change and small bills. Andy Grammer grew up traveling with a father in the music business – Red Grammer – who has a Grammy Award nomination to his credit for his work in children’s music.

Andy says the experience growing up around the business is what probably turned him on to it in the first place, but that it sure didn’t make the road to success any easier.

“My parents have always been extremely supportive, which is rare for some people in this profession,”says Grammer.

Born in Los Angeles, Grammer actually grew up in another skyscraper jungle, New York. Grammer lived about an hour outside of New York City and recalls taking the train into the city in search of opportunities to perform.

“I remember just needing places to play… researching on the internet and finding as many open mics as I could, says Grammer.”

For any musical artists out there trying to make it, you can certainly relate to the desperation for opportunities that come along with the journey. Grammer talked to us about how sometimes you were able to find those open mics and find out that you’re at the bottom of a 2-hour long set list.

“It was tough sitting through 2 hours of other peoples’ music at an open mic just waiting to play your one song. By that time, people are ready to leave.  So, getting heard was difficult sometimes,” remembers Grammer.

It wasn’t always music 24/7 for Andy though. Grammer says that actually some of his most fond memories growing up aren’t related to music at all, but basketball. Andy described himself as a “big jock” in school, playing the sport competitively from middle school through high school. It wasn’t until Andy realized a professional basketball contract wasn’t in his future, that he turned back towards the arts full-time. Grammer studied Theater for two years at Binghamton University in NY and then transferred to Cal State Northridge for a major in Music Business. Shortly thereafter, Grammer had hit the streets to play music.

“The more music I play, the more I love it,” says Grammer.

Now you can catch the “Keep Your Head Up” star right here performing with Colbie Caillat in Louisville August 24th at Brown Theatre.

“It’s really great to write and perform music, then come to a place like Louisville, KY where I’ve never even been and people know my songs and enjoy me performing for them. Just a huge thank you for that, it’s really cool,” said Grammer.

Then I asked Andy a question to which I feel most artists would have given me a completely different answer. “What would you say are your major goals, what is your pinnacle as a musical artist?” I asked.

“I wouldn’t say there is really a pinnacle. When you are doing something that you love, that’s what it’s all about. If you set a goal for yourself and then you achieve your goal on Friday, what do you do on Saturday? I try not to get too goal oriented, I just want to create quality music and get that to people’s ears to enjoy.  If it weren’t for this opportunity I have now, I’d still be out there on the streets performing because it’s just what I love to do,” replied Grammer.

I’ve got to say, those are extremely wise words for such a young star. Grammer has got troves of talent and the outlook for his success as a musical artist and performer is a positive one. To be so well-grounded and have such a great attitude about his work is refreshing and a real credit to his character.

Grammer had nothing but good things to say about tour mate Colbie and her band.

“She is very cool. She and her band are so talented, they sound great. We are going to have a lot of fun just hanging out. Right now we’ve been getting things rolling with this tour and I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to the next couple of months,” said Grammer.

In the meantime, Grammer confirms that he is writing new material and will be performing on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show September 2nd.

Of course, you can see him in person long before that alongside Colbie Caillat next week at Brown Theatre. Louisville.com will be on the scene for photos, video and updates from the concert.

Below is a copy of the 20-minute exclusive interview:

 

Will this be your first visit to Louisville?

 

Yeah, I guess you could say this is my first time to Louisville. Besides being in and out of airports.

You hit it big-time quite all-of-a-sudden. You’ve been working at this your whole life. But for people like me, one minute I’ve never heard of you and the next you’ve got a major single sweeping the country and an awesome award-winning video to go with it. What has been the defining moment for you, when you finally said to yourself – wow, I’ve finally made it, this is my shot?

I don’t feel like I really ever had that. I think that maybe some artists do, but I feel like I still have a lot to do you know? I’m still looking for more and I’m just very happy to be in the conversation.

Born in Los Angeles and grew up in New York correct?

Yes, correct.

Tell me a little bit about growing up in New York.

 I lived about an hour outside of the city and I remember just needing places to play. I would take a train in and play open mics as much as possible. Researching on the internet and finding as many open mics as I could. It was tough sitting through 2 hours of other peoples’ music at an open mic just waiting to play your one song. By that time, people are ready to leave. So, getting heard was difficult sometimes.

Growing up, did you ever face a lot adversity…people telling you that you need to focus on a different career path?

I grew up around music with my father being a performer, so I saw it being done.  But, that certainly hasn’t made it any easier. My parents have always been supportive, which is rare for a lot of people in this profession.

Can you give me a fond childhood memory that stands out in your mind?

Basketball. I was kind of a big jock in high school. I really enjoyed being on the court. But yeah, I love basketball. I’d say I kind of grew up a Knicks fan. Lately I’ve gotten to see the Lakers play a lot and I’m kind of split between the Knicks and the Lakers now. I do see the Clippers sometimes too, Blake Griffin is a beast!

Are you working on any new projects right now while touring? What’s next for Andy Grammer?

Yeah, definitely! I’m constantly writing new stuff. Right now we’ve been getting things rolling with this tour and I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to the next couple of months, so it’s been my main focus here lately. I will actually be doing a performance on Jay Leno on the 2nd of September.

How has it been touring with someone like Colbie? She’s really cool huh?

She is very cool. She and her band are very talented, they sound great. We are going to have a lot of fun just hanging out.

What would you say are your major goals, what is your pinnacle as a musical artist?

I wouldn’t say there is really a pinnacle. When you are doing something that you love, that’s what it’s all about. If you set a goal for yourself and then you achieve your goal on Friday, what do you do on Saturday? I try not to get too goal oriented, I just want to create quality music and get that to people’s ears to enjoy.  If it weren’t for this opportunity I have now, I’d still be out there on the streets performing because it’s just what I love to do.

Do you have any messages or something that you would like to convey to fans and listeners here in Louisville?

Thank you so much for listening to my music. Huge thank you. It’s really great to write music and perform music, then come to a place like Louisville, KY where I’ve never even been and people know my songs and enjoy me performing it for them. Just a huge thank you for that, it’s really cool.

 

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.rockwired.com/andygrammer.html