Eclectic American singer and songwriter Andy Grammer describes himself as optimistic.

You’d better believe it.

As we talk, an energy fills his voice, reflective of a deeper purpose. He wants to remind people that life is awesome. It’s another example of Grammer’s unfailingly down to earth mentality. We’re here to discuss a new album, yet ten minutes pass before he even mentions it.

When he does, the title is unsurprising: Naive. Somehow, although we know Grammer for his pop-y, upbeat hits such as ‘Keep Your Head Up’ and ‘Honey, I’m Good’, it makes sense. This is Andy Grammer, consciously deciding to peel back the layers and further pursue artistic self-discovery.

Our conversation skews off into tangents. We move seamlessly from life as a young child, “I never had an issue with attention”, to performing on the streets of Santa Monica and making experiences that prepared him well for the entertainment industry, “you have moments where you’re a superstar, but then everyone leaves.”

Grammer likens street performing to the ebbs and flows of writing, producing and performing. “When you’re unknown, hitting it the first time is an incredibly difficult thing to do,” he explains. “However, repeating it is even harder with your name out there. It’s a rollercoaster.”

Since his 2011 self-titled debut, Grammer has consistently delivered impressive range, deft musicality, and endless charisma. Fans don’t just enjoy his music, they identify with the empowering narrative he lives and breathes. It’s something he’s given much thought. He recently launched a podcast, The Good Parts, to highlight successes, failures, and spiritual experiences of the world’s best known entertainers. For a long time, he shied away from sharing his own spirituality as he didn’t want to be seen as pushing an agenda.

Yet Grammer, just like all of us, has a story. His mother, Kathy, passed away from breast cancer when he was 25. It’s the inspiration behind one of Naive’s newest tracks, ‘She’d Say.’ The emotionally charged anthem ponders what his late mother might say to his young daughter, inspired by the shamanic advice of Dannion Brinkley. “It’s just so wonderfully weird,” Grammer laughs. “My wife got me on the phone with Dannion, an author who was struck by lightning twice.” He told me, “Kathy wants you to write a song to your daughter about what she’d say to her, because she can’t say it.”

We candidly discuss ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’, the powerful hit making headlines across the world after starring in screen drama Five Feet Apart. He goes quiet, “there’s a reckless abandon to keep going. This spirit runs through the whole album.” The song has already clocked 75 million total streams since release and was added to Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits.

What’s intriguing about Naive is both where it comes from, and where it intends to go. Grammer writes a large number of songs, sometimes in the hundreds, before whittling them down. He tells me that at previous album pre-release hearings, audiences called his tracks “so much fun.” This time, the keyword was “powerful.” He says the comments spoke of a genuine need to look at the world, and each day, differently – with fresh eyes, if you like.

For many, Grammer has become the voice of perspective. He says it makes you stronger when things go wrong. The 35-year-old is known for his unruly image of positivity, naturally raw and uncensored. He doesn’t falsify his intentions, nor does he pretend to be someone he’s not.

The positive guy is far more three-dimensional than a goofy smile. It takes a lot to wake up and bring light. Positivity, that’s heroic.  It’s a heroism Grammer embodies during our conversation, and in his interactions with the world around him.

Andy Grammer describes himself as optimistic.

“Don’t get cut down… speak on behalf of the happy people.”

You’d really better believe it.


AARON DAHMEN: Softish skin, over gesticulated and a pair of unorthodoxly wide dimples. See what Aaron gets up to on Instagram: @dahmenaaron, or check out his latest tweets: @dahmenaaron.


Check out more of Aaron’s work here:

In Review: Les Misérables Live at the Isaac Theatre Royal

Five reasons why New Zealand is the funniest country in the world

In Review: The Cows