From street musician to global success: What Filipinos can learn from Andy Grammer
Seph Asong ( - June 13, 2018 - 11:47am

MANILA, Philippines — Smack right in the middle of pop scene’s deafening sound of musical manipulation is the raw talent of Andy Grammer.

His approach to making cheerful and positive songs has been the result of his decade-long mantra: to speak his own truth; though the concept of honesty—what it means and how to achieve it—offers both inspiration and challenge to the 34-year old singer, songwriter, and record producer, whose platinum hit singles include “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine by Me.”

Grammer admits that his songs may come across as too sweet, but lyrically he tries to balance them out to echo high-spirited and meaningful lyrics, something he has known for. After all, different people have different ways of interpreting songs, and right now in the world, we need music that speaks the truth.

He started performing in the streets of Los Angeles and from that very humble beginning, he made his way to becoming a mainstream multi-genre musician; catching everyone’s attention with a succession of chart-topping hits; the first male pop singer in a decade to reach the Top 10 on Adult Pop Radio with his debut album skyrocketed to the top.

His second album, Magazines or Novels, featured the triple platinum hit “Honey, I’m Good,” subsequently hitting the ninth spot on the Billboard Hot 100, making it his highest single on the charts to date.

At his recent intimate concert held at the Music Museum in Greenhills, San Juan, Grammer performed some of his hit songs such as “Good to be Alive,” “Blame it on the Stars,” “Spaceships,” “Freeze,” “Working on It,” and more. He was also joined by his band, which equally demonstrated their invigorating sound on stage, proving that nothing beats a good old live performance.

Grammer performed with such passion with an infectious energy, to which the crowd found themselves lost in the moment, singing along with him. In between sets, he would engage his audience by sharing some Tagalog words he learned and was really conscious about the whole thing if he got it right or not. He also talked about how the song “Keep Your Head Up” paved the way for him to perform alongside pop icon Taylor Swift in one of her tours, despite being a newcomer.

After producing several hit tracks and touring the world, Grammer has found his own lane, his own unique artistry, and his place in the music industry. The evolution of his music from the very first song leading up to this day pays tribute to the good and the bad. As a songwriter, Grammer tries to broaden his spectrum as much as he can, taking on different genres—and staying true allows him to hit the sweet spot.

During his concert, his fans witnessed his brilliance and how he naturally connects with people, making them feel they are part of the story. And that is the kind of thing we appreciate about Andy—that no matter how many times he sang his songs onstage, he makes sure he speaks his truth; always believing in the lyrics.

He concluded his performance with a dramatic encore, when fans started screaming for him to come out of the stage once more, and he did. Singing an acoustic cover of Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” made the night seemed even more magical. We have heard the song a million times over and several other artists did a cover too, but it was quite different how he did it. With just piano and pure vocals, he was able to strip down the song to its core, and everyone felt it. — Video by Kat Leandicho

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