Andy Grammer Talks Teaming Up With Grammy Auction, New Album: 'I've Got Something Special to Share'

Andy Grammer
Brian Higbee

Andy Grammar

As Music's Biggest Night quickly approaches, the Grammy Foundation is teaming up with MusiCares and eBay for Charity to auction off memorabilia and unique experiences involving some of music's biggest names. One of the artists involved is Andy Grammer, who has a history with (and passion for) MusiCares.

"A big part of my upbringing was being with an instrument and kind of figuring myself out through music," he tells Billboard. "So I feel a strong desire in any way that I can to help do that for other kids."

His contribution to the auction is a VIP experience to one of his concerts in the coming year, including soundcheck passes, autographed merchandise and a meet-and-greet -- or what he likes to call "a good Andy hang." Among other items in the auction are guitars signed by artists like Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars, tickets to this year's sold-out Coachella, and even passes to the 2018 Grammys. (You can bid on the items until Feb. 23 at ebay.com/grammy.)

This isn't the first charitable thing Grammer has done in the last several months, however: All of the proceeds from his latest single, "Fresh Eyes," went to Los Angeles' Union Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter that was also featured in the touching music video for the song. But Grammer would likely still be giving back even if he wasn't in a position where people look up to him. 

"One of my passions in life is to try to inspire people. I don’t know if that sounds cheesy, but I genuinely love to do that," he says. "I’m just trying to write things that resonate with people. And when we’re all going through something together, I think you smile after that -- I hope that people leave inspired after one of my shows."

With no tour dates on his schedule currently, Grammer says there will likely be a one-off show for the Grammy auction winner to attend. He does plan to get back out on the road at some point this year, but his third studio album is the priority for now.

Although it's already been nearly two-and-a-half years since his last record, Magazines & Novels -- which brought the bouncy, irresistibly catchy tunes "Honey, I'm Good" and "Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah)" -- he insists that period of time has been spent perfecting his next release. 

"I’ve got something special to share but it’s not quite ready yet," he teases, adding that the album will be ready "as soon as it feels unbelievable. As soon as it feels actually finished or as soon as I have every little piece that I need. I feel pretty close, I’d say I’m in like the fourth quarter of writing." 

With around 85 songs to choose from so far, Grammer says he's adding more on by writing new tracks every day -- but he likes having a big pool. "For me it’s kind of like throwing darts, and the more chances you have throwing them, the more you’re going to be like, 'Oh sweet, I got a bull's-eye.'" He adds, "I want the ones that feel like they need to be sung. You know when you hear a lyric and you can tell that the person means it? That is really hard, that is so much harder than it seems to find the topics that you’re passionate about and have it come across as like, 'Yeah, that guy needed to sing that song.'"

Call him crazy, but Grammer clearly knows what he's doing in terms of crafting a song that connects with people: Nearly seven months after the release of "Fresh Eyes," the song is in the top 10 of the iTunes Top Songs chart and is the most-streamed song of his on Spotify by 30 million listens.

Even if you don't win the Grammy auction to get a "good Andy hang" in the near future, you can rest assured that listening to the music Grammer's whipping up for his next album is going to be practically as impactful as hanging out with him in person.

"Finding words that need to come out of my mouth -- I’m always on that hunt," Grammer says. "To 'sing your truth' sounds like to 'sing with your feelings,' but it’s so much harder than that to actually make people feel. And to actually have the thing be what you envision it to be, for me, is a lot of hard work. But it’s worth it -- when you do it correctly, it can make a difference in someone’s life, and that’s a big deal."

2017 Grammys

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