Andy Grammer On His New Track For Five Feet Apart And Working With Its Stars, His Upcoming Album And More

Andy 2019 3 PC Joseph LlanesPhoto Credit: Joseph Llanes

Famed musician Andy Grammer entered the music industry in a strong way. He first shot to fame with his debut album in 2011, with hit singles “Keep Your Head Up,” and “Fine by Me,” both of which went platinum. He followed up with his “Honey, I’m Good,” hit song, ranking one as one of the best-selling songs of the year in 2015 and earning the prestigious triple platinum title. With his refreshing, uplifting lyrics and instrumentals, Grammer quickly became a universal fan-favorite artist, bringing a refreshing but relatable take on life with his upbeat music that has served as the background music for movies, videos, events, weddings and so much more.

Now, Grammer is re-emerging with new music, just in time for the hit movie Five Feet Apart‘s release—of which his track, “Don’t Give up on Me,” serves as one of the film’s signature songs. The upcoming film stars Riverdale‘s Cole Sprouse and Edge of Seventeen‘s Haley Lu Richardson, centering around two teens in love that can only remain five feet apart from one another due to Cystic Fibrosis, which they are both hospitalized from. Here, we sit down with Grammer to discuss the new hit song and its inspiration, what drew him to the film, working with its castmates, his upcoming album and his new podcast, “The Good Parts.”

HL: Tell us about your new song, “Don’t Give Up on Me” in the movie Five Feet Apart. What was the process of creating the song for this movie? 

AG: You know, it kind of worked out perfectly. I had written it with a couple of friends a week before, and one of my great friends Justin Baldoni [who is directing the movie] texted me asking if I had any songs that would be a fit for the movie. I had just written it and it was crazy because it fit so perfectly with the story of two people that aren’t allowed to touch, that fall in love and don’t give up on each other. It was almost creepy how well it went. I think sometimes when a big piece of art is coming out, the universe starts to conspire to help make it work. It felt like fate.

HL: How are you merging the charity of Claire’s Place Foundation with the release of this song for the movie?

AG: So, Claire was this unbelievable girl who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and was very authentic and transparent about it on YouTube. If you’ve seen any of her videos, you’ll understand she’s just amazing. And she was the inspiration for the movie. Someone who is basically sentenced to death and then makes it a beautiful piece of art and is inspiring everyone around it was just so incredible to me. So we decided that when we put the song out, we would donate 10-percent of all proceeds to Claire’s Place Foundation in honor of her inspiring story and the organization’s mission.

HL: What inspired you to create this song?

AG: As an artist, it’s a universal struggle to keep pushing and believing in yourself. So, I was kind of writing it for myself and my wife because every day you’re on the hunt for art and usually it doesn’t go that great. And it’s an overarching theme of my life and many other people’s lives in general—you always need that one person who doesn’t give up on you when maybe they should have. I think we tend to give up on each other too quick at times. I feel like with tying in the movie, we really caught onto something special with this one.

Andy 2 2019 PC Joseph LlanesPhoto Credit: Joseph Llanes

HL: Did you get to work with the cast? 

AG: I got to meet everyone involved and go to some of the premieres, which was super exciting. Two nights ago I went to Claire’s Place Foundation and just got to talk about the movie and the song and help bring awareness to cystic fibrosis. Justin [Baldini], Cole [Sprouse] and Haley [Lu Richardson] all did such an incredible job with this film and it was great to see them enjoy all of their work at the premiere and bring forth a message so important.

HL: Which aspect of the film was the most memorable for you?

AG: I think visiting someone in the hospital is always extremely hard, especially for me. And anytime I see movies that take place in a hospital setting it can be tough to watch but the character that Haley Lu Richardson plays, Stella, is so positive in the face of such a devastating reality and that’s something that really hits for me. I think that’s the essence of “Don’t Give Up On Me.” Even when something is so devastating looking at you right in the face, there’s always another way to look at it from a hopeful perspective. I do think the word “hope” or “positivity” can sometimes be cheesy—but when you’re hopeful in the face of a terminal disease, that’s as real as it gets. And it’s such an inspiring message.

HL: Aside from your new song, tell us about your podcast, “Good Parts.”

AG: Oh man—I love to get into discussions with anyone. I like to ask the deepest questions, like “Do you believe in God?” or “What’s your most spiritual experience?” I think everybody has one of those and it takes people to the edges of themselves. I love asking a question that prompts the person to start the answer by saying, “Listen, this might sound weird but . . .” [laughs]. But I love it. It’s so great to create a space for people to really get into discussions, and sometimes in interviews, you don’t get that because it’s too short and answers might be taken out of context. But in a podcast, because of the unrestricted time, you can really dive right into it. I always like to learn other people’s stories and hear different points of view, and that’s really what the podcast is all about.

HL: Who have some of your most interesting guests been? 

AG: You know, they’re all interesting for different reasons. Dan from Imagine Dragons was really cool to get to know because he’s a pretty spiritual guy like me. We had Leslie Odom Jr., Jillian Michaels, Derek Hough, Hunter Hayes, Justin Baldoni. Honestly, all of them were amazing—it’s one of my favorite things to do. Whenever I’m scheduled for a Podcast episode, I always wake up excited. The first season went awesome and now we’re in the middle of recording the second.

HL: In terms of music, what else do you have going on for 2019 and 2020? 

AG: We have an album coming up! We’re looking to tour in the fall. Right now, I’ve been slowly introducing some new tracks to smaller audiences—it’s a fun way to bring everyone into a new installment of my music, especially with the premiere of “Don’t Give Up On Me” in this movie. The song is now on the radio, and we’ve been getting some great feedback. My favorite part about all of this is seeing the reactions of people listening to my music through social media. If I get a message saying it changed someone’s life for the better in some way, I know everything I’m doing is worth it and that’s what keeps me going.