Whether you're into Top 40 or you think all of those songs are cheesy and overproduced, there's a new pop-rocker on the scene who's worth your attention.
Andy Grammer is more than just a blue-eyed songbird with a charming smile and catchy hooks. And he's definitely not the guy who depends on a producer to Auto-Tune his mistakes. He's actually a talented singer who rose to fame much later in life than most pop stars today, even though he can sing teeny boppers like Justin Bieber out of the water.
So far, Grammer has received the attention of fellow stars like Taylor Swift and Colbie Caillat. He's on his first national tour, and lucky for you, he's coming to Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, February 22, at 7 p.m.
If you know him only as the guy who sings that catchy song about keeping your head up, here are a few other reasons why there's more to him than that and why you won't regret going to his show.
1. From the L.A. streets to the music biz
He didn't just give up and get a 9-to-5 office job because his biological clock was ticking (can men have those?). Since he was a high schooler in New York, Grammer's been singing on the streets to catch the eye of anyone in the music industry. Grammer then worked his way west to Third Street Promenade in Los Angeles and for years played on the streets with other performers, who oftentimes were like circus acts. Amid the belly dancers and fortunetelling cats, Grammer lugged around his acoustic guitar and car-battery-powered amp and sang his heart out, hopeful that he would get discovered.
At age 28, all the years of hard work finally paid off when his manager noticed him singing on the street. Now there's no more singing under the sun. He might not be as young as other pop stars when they're discovered, but he definitely offers a fresh face and sound.
2. He sings about staying positive.
Who doesn't want to hear that they're going to turn out fine? With lyrics like, "The glow that the sun gets right around sunset helps me realize that this is just a journey, drop your worries, you are gonna' turn out fine," Grammer's first hit is an immediate mood-booster. "Keep Your Head Up" is the happy people's anthem and could lift the spirits of any grouch. He wrote the song on a day when his CD sales on Third Street Promenade hadn't gone as well as he'd expected.
Plus, whoever can get Rainn Wilson, better-known as the intense Dwight Schrute from The Office, in their music video automatically wins points for originality and good sense of humor.
3. He can beatbox well.
As if his voice weren't enough, Grammer adds beatboxing to several of his songs when he performs. He learned how to beatbox as a way of making him stand out when he was performing on the boisterous streets of L.A. He had to think of a way to take down the mellow and bump up the energy to keep people engaged -- and maybe even buy one of his CDs.
4. He's original, and his lyrics are genuine
Sure, he might remind you of a better version of Maroon 5 meets Jason Mraz, but his sound, lyrics, and style are completely original. He has a fresh sound and writes genuine, crafty lyrics that will get stuck in your head. And, good news, you wouldn't be ashamed to sing them in public! He writes about real-life situations you can relate to (and that will probably make you melt).
On the song called "Ladies," inspired by a lesson his late mother taught him about how to treat women, he says, "It transcends what could be a cheesy topic, and that is gold to me because my experience is true."
5. And did we mention...
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Andy Grammer with Ryan Star and Action Item at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, Wednesday, February 22, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $15 at the door.