Concert Spotlight Interview: Andy Grammer

Soul-Pop Singer Plays First-Ever Hamptons Show

Los Angeles native Andy Grammer is one of those singer-songwriters you can always count on for a lively show or an uplifting song, and also that rare feeling that everything is going to be ok. A multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, guitar, and trumpet (not to mention some serious beatboxing skills), Grammer released his third studio album, The Good Parts, in late 2017 and has been touring much of this year, taking his breezy music live for the very first time in the Hamptons at West Hampton Beach Performing Arts Center on June 29.

The “Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah)” and “Honey, I’m Good” singer infuses an array of rhythms and musical styles within his soulful music, making it a really inclusive celebration of life. Grammer took the time to speak with Hamptons Monthly about his life right now as a recording artist, the feeling he observes when performing live, and his devotion to giving back.

Your music is not only timeless but it crosses generations; it’s real, it’s bright, and it’s hopeful. What about your upbringing, musical connection, and overall spirit has driven the creation of songs like “Fine by Me,” “Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah),” “Keep Your Head Up,” and Honey, I’m Good”?

Someone once said to me, “you make it sound cool to be human.” We are all going through this crazy thing while being alive, and when you find truth to that it doesn’t just apply to an 18-year-old girl. It is kind of amazing to go on tour and just see a wide array of ages and different types of people who embrace us. That’s really fun.

You are of course playing the WHBPAC. Have you ever played in the Hamptons?

I have not, but I love that part of the country.

You wrapped a North American tour this spring and have appeared recently on the Today show, in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, on Jimmy Fallon, and in The Rose Parade. Overall you just have a busy schedule touring, creating, and more. Your latest album is called The Good Parts. What are the good parts for you right now in your life and what have they always been?

The good parts are — I mean, right now I have a little girl who’s 10 months old. So that’s pretty intense. It’s amazing, I’m already writing for my fourth album and being in the early stages of the abyss is scary, it could be anything. I’m really excited, I get to do these incredible things. I just got back from The Philippines and Bali, and to have fans across oceans is amazing. Just dealing with the pressure of doing it again and the idea of your mind staying open to do it again.

You have long been a philanthropist, not just an artist but someone who cares about the world. What has driven this desire for you?

Really it comes down to me being happy, selfishly. I have found that what makes me happy is when you’re of service. It’s like the easiest equation. If you’re on your couch and tired the best thing to do is go run or lift weights and I feel that way a lot when I’m being of service. And I’m always happier.

An Andy Grammer show is pretty special. You have a wonderful camaraderie with your band, the foot pedal and beatboxing are definitely a thing, and there is just so much energy. What’s something that might surprise fans about your live show? Is there ever some improvisation or does a song ever go on longer than expected because the crowd just doesn’t stop?

Much to my band’s dismay, they know that they can’t really corral me. The set list is very much an optimistic idea. I like to feel what’s going on and throw in other songs and do something that feels right. The idea of a straight set list — just no, it terrifies me. We have such a wide range of fans so it’s not just a certain subgroup of fans, it’s different every night, so I can just feel it out and go for the kill once I’m on stage.

You’ve been at the music game for a while. As sun-kissed fans make their way over to WHBPAC in a couple weeks, what will be most different about your show and what do you look forward to most about playing in the Hamptons?

It’s like aggressive optimism and I don’t know if you get a lot of that from a lot of acts. It’s unique to what we bring. If you haven’t seen us before it’s like “what the hell is this?” But then you get it and when you leave it’s like you took a musical Vitamin B shot. That’s what we do.