"Keep Your Head Up" singer Andy Grammer talks about his single that's in everyone's head.
After the release of his sophomore album Magazines or Novels last summer, Andy Grammer transformed from a single-song artist to a raved-about singer-songwriter. Ahead of his sold-out show at Philly's Theater of the Living Arts this Saturday, we sat down with Grammer to talk about his favorite musicians, who he wants to collaborate with, and his thoughts on the city of brotherly love.
Did you always want to be a musician? ANDY GRAMMER: No, I was a super jock actually at first, big into high school basketball, letterman jacket, the whole thing. Right around junior year, I started getting into writing songs and that’s when it started to switch for me. I love writing songs; it’s my favorite. It’s really hard and taxing and frustrating but when you get one that people like and it serves someone’s ears, there’s nothing better than that.
Which musicians of the past and present inspire you? AG: Presently, like very presently, I just got the new Imagine Dragons album and I’m super digging that. The last Coldplay album really got me, and then great songwriters like Billy Joel, Paul Simon, a bunch of stuff…it’s a pretty wide range.
What music do you actually listen to on a daily basis? AG: On a daily basis, right now, again it’s between Imagine Dragons and the new Drake [album]. I’ve been flipping back and forth between the two of those—they’re both really good.
So would you say your music kind of falls in between both those categories? AG: Yeah, I’d like to think there are some of both of those in there. Especially the second album, I took some sonic risks a little bit.
Who would you love to collaborate with? AG: I would love to do something with a rapper I really respect that has something to say, so Lupe Fiasco or Common. And I could be playing my guitar or piano and beat boxing, something fresh.
Have you been to Philly? AG: Oh, I love Philly. Are you kidding me? Philly’s the best.
What are your plans when you stop in the city? AG: Usually I’m pretty busy during the day doing radio stuff, but at the end of the night before the bus leaves, we usually try to head over to Pat’s and Geno’s, and get one of each.
How does it feel to have a song that everyone knows, "Keep Your Head Up"? AG: It’s pretty amazing, because as a musician your whole life until something like that happens, everyone goes "What do you do?” and you’re like, "Oh, I play music." And they ask if they’ve heard anything, and you go “Aw, man,” and feel pretty worthless to the conversation at that point. So after you get one like that, and you get to say “Keep Your Head Up” and they go, “Oh, the one from Pitch Perfect,” it’s just a better interaction for sure.
Were you ever scared of being a one-hit wonder? AG: Yeah, definitely. Always. But then, to have “Fine By Me” as a follow up do pretty well as well, that kind of helped me get away from it. And, especially now with the new single “Honey, I’m Good” doing so well...hopefully we are pushing further and further away from that idea.