According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, one of the definitions of naive is “deficient in worldly wisdom or informed judgment.” Andy Grammer chose to embrace his naysayers, who called him just that, with his new album of the same name. “Naive” is Grammer’s fourth album, and with it he seeks to spread a message of positivity in spite of circumstance.
Grammer compared life on-tour to a big sleepover with his friends and said that it is easy to miss home while on the road. Grammer has a wife and a 2-year-old daughter he left at home while he went on tour.
“Tour life is not super stressful," Grammer said. "It’s like you get these weird pockets of time you don’t know what to do with. You’ll be in like Omaha, and you have an hour and a half to do something … There’s a lot of time you just feel like a sloth, mixed with the most exhilarating experience of your life where everybody screams the words, and it’s like the best thing ever.”
Dubbed the “Don’t Give Up on Me” tour, Grammer seeks to spread optimism in honor of his new album. When he created his latest album, Grammer said he drew from his own life and often incorporated his family into the music.
“My daughter is actually on this latest record," Grammer said. "I sing personal stories, so [my family] is pretty interwoven."
Among the collaborators on the album was a group that was especially personal to Grammer. Ladysmith Black Mambazo was featured on the song “She’d Say.” The song itself is about what Grammer’s late mother would say to his daughter if given the chance.
“Ladysmith Black Mambazo came from a wild experience. My mom loved them and the song was about her," Grammer said. "We chased them down and got them on [the album].”
Although most of his music falls under the pop genre, Grammer cares more about the songs and the way the stories are being told rather than the genre that they are classified.
“Once I have the song correct and I know that the story is being told right, then I’m pretty open to producing it however," Grammer said. "I don’t set up boundaries of, ‘Oh, this is gonna be too acoustic, or this is gonna be too intense in this way or too rock' … whatever needs to happen needs to happen.”
Regardless of what his songs wind up being about, Grammer tries to make sure the messages they send are positive ones. The optimism Grammer has serves as part of his inspiration for the album.
“[I have ] kind of like a reckless optimism, I love to see the good in everything,” Grammer said. “I think that optimism in the face of negativity is what makes [the album] interesting. If you’re seeing my kindness as weakness, then I don’t really care.”
This sentiment was appreciated among some of Grammer’s fans. Concertgoers Amanda and Anthony Munkres-McDonald had been fans of Grammer for some time before attending his NAU concert. Amanda’s favorite song by Grammer was “Honey, I’m Good,” and Anthony’s was “Fresh Eyes.”
“We started listening to him when he came on the radio, so a couple of years,” Amanda said.
Heidi Wilcock and Sarah Peterson were also longtime Andy Grammer fans in attendance at the concert.
“We’ve been listening to him since we were like 12,” Peterson said. "When we were that little, he sounded a lot cleaner than other artists. He sounded so happy all the time. If it wasn’t something happy, it was something meaningful.”
Wilcock said she was was drawn to Grammer’s music by her brother, who was listening to him when she discovered the artist. Peterson and Wilcock’s favorite songs by Grammer are “She’d Say” and “Biggest Man in Los Angeles,” respectively.
From performing on the street after the loss of his mother to touring across the nation, Andy Grammer has had a storied career thus far. The next few stops on the “Don’t Give Up on Me” tour are through California in the next week, with Washington shortly thereafter.