Overcoming Fear and Pain with Andy Grammer [Episode #459]
This week’s topic is: Overcoming Fear and Pain with Andy Grammer
I am so excited to have a very special guest, Andy Grammer, who is anAmerican singer, songwriter, record producer and multiplatinum pop artist. Listen in as Andy shares his wellness journey through the power of music – pushing through fear and and pain and into positivity!
Andy shares his wellness journey…
What inspired Andy’s music…
How to overcome the inner critic in your head…
Practices for overcoming fear…
Ways in which your lifestyle plays into your creativity…
We discuss the benefits of meditation…
Focusing on the good during the writing process…
Being in service in times of grief…
We discuss gratitude practices…
Breaking down what it means to feel like an imposter…
About Andy Grammer
Andy Grammer started as a street performer (for 4 years). He became a multi-platinum pop artist – inspiring and empowering the world by communicating his truths through his music. Grammer has taken the music world by storm with a succession of anthemic hits. By 2019, he scored six chart-topping hits—each certified gold or better by the RIAA.
The artist’s breakout “Fine By Me” and its follow-up “Keep Your Head Up ” are both certified platinum. His 2014 sophomore album, Magazines or Novels, went gold and yielded the gold certified “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah).” During this chapter, the single “Honey, I’m Good” reached quadruple-platinum status globally, emerging as “one of the best-selling songs of 2015.” He maintained this streak in 2017 with his album, ‘The Good Parts.’
The standout track, “Fresh Eyes,” tallied over 350 million streams, achieving platinum plaque. Not to mention, he consistently sold-out headline gigs everywhere. His current single “Don’t Give Up On Me” is surging to the top 10 at Adult Pop and continues to build with record streaming numbers. His upcoming album, Naive, is to be released July 26th.
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Kimberly Snyder: Hey, beauties. Welcome back to our Monday interview podcast. I’m super excited to have our very special guest today, Andy Grammer, who is sitting right next to me on my couch.
Andy Grammer: Yes.
Kimberly Snyder: He is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and multi platinum pop artist. He’s also one of the most positive people. He just bounced right into my house with a huge smile.
Andy Grammer: Wow man. Is it that you call everybody beauties?
Kimberly Snyder: I do.
Andy Grammer: That’s fantastic.
Kimberly Snyder: Our whole thing is about true beauty. We have something we teach in wellness called the four cornerstones for true beauty. Food, body, emotional well being and spiritual growth. We talk about beauty, not just the surface, not just hair and skin, but beauty the way Rumi and the Yogis talk about it. Beauty of the soul, beauty of connecting with your spirit.
Andy Grammer: Totally.
Kimberly Snyder: That’s your real power, that’s your Shakti, that’s your energy and we know that everybody has their unique form of beauty. Our whole soluna, our whole lifestyle is about really enhancing that beauty.
Andy Grammer: I love it.
Kimberly Snyder: I can’t wait to hear more about your music, your amazing artistry in the world. But before we dive in, this is the part where I have to hold back. I wanted… We have a fan of the week we always read out, Andy, because we’re so community focused. As you know, you have a podcast too, it’s just amazing. I feel connected to everybody even though it’s like we’re having this conversation, but I love to hear what people write in.
Fan Of The Week
Kimberly Snyder: His or her name is 412beads. And she writes: I’ve been listening to Kimberly Snyder for over five years. I’ve been at my top healthiest when I listen to her podcast weekly. I acknowledge her knowledge on every topic. Thank you Kimberly Snyder, and many blessings to you.
Share The Podcast and Leave a Review on Itunes
Kimberly Snyder: Well, 412beads, thank you so much for being our fan of the week. Thank you for being part of our community. I send you a huge virtual hug and beauties, for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week please just take a moment or two and leave us a review on iTunes, which is free, and easy and just a great way energetically to support the show. While you’re at it you can also subscribe to our show and that way you don’t miss out on any amazing interviews, like the one I’m about to have with Andy. Or any of our Q&A podcasts on Thursday. All right, all that being said, we have the amazing Andy sitting here with us. Andy, thank you so much for coming out here.
Interview with Andy Grammer
Andy Grammer: Oh, thank you for having me. It’s beautiful here.
Kimberly Snyder: You and I were chatting a little bit about being parents and about wellness and about, I know you like to talk about deeper spiritual philosophy ideas, as well. We’ve really taken this expansive view of wellness, like I mentioned to you, where I started as a nutritionist.
Andy Grammer: Oh cool.
Kimberly Snyder: My first two books are very nutrition focused and then it started expanding into energy and emotional health and emotional well being and spiritual growth. It’s just so obvious to me that it’s really not one thing.
Andy Grammer: It’s all connected, yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: It’s all connected. Can you tell us a little bit about your wellness journey and then we’ll get into your music, which is really about empowerment and making people feel good.
Andy’s wellness journey
Andy Grammer: Yeah, so I was raised a Baha’i. You ever heard of the Baha’i faith?
Kimberly Snyder: No.
Andy Grammer: It is a world religion based on the idea of the unity of religions.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow.
Andy Grammer: It’s kind of a cool way to grow up.
Kimberly Snyder: Where did you grow up?
Andy Grammer: I grew up in New York, but to grow up under this idea that like there’s one God and He comes with different accents at different times.
Kimberly Snyder: Amazing.
Andy Grammer: Throughout history God has come and they are all one thing. I would go hang out with friends and they’d be like, “You want to come to the temple?” I’d be like, “Same team. Let’s do it.”
Kimberly Snyder: Wow, did you study Buddha and Jesus?
Andy Grammer: Yeah, I mean loosely I’ve read as much as I can on each thing but what’s even cooler is that when I do read it, it feels like it’s all part of the same thing. Some people might be listening and be like, “Oh how could you say that?” But there’s a lot of study that I’ve done that leads me to believe that this is true.
Kimberly Snyder: I follow your… Paramahansa Yogananda, have you heard of him? And the self-realization fellowship is very similar. There’s like the quarter of all religions. All the religions are welcome. They say many paths up the mountain to God.
Andy Grammer: Yeah. So that was a really cool way to grow up. And then… Like my main spiritual practice and there’s like a lot of really great things to be gleaned from spiritual teachers. I find that I’m my happiest when I’m like actively trying to do those things.
Kimberly Snyder: So tell us a little bit about your work. Your track, Fresh Eyes has over 350 million streams. Congratulations.
Andy Grammer: Oh, thank you.
Kimberly Snyder: So, we use this word in yoga, Shakti, it’s like the creative power flowing through. Can you tell us a little bit about your inspiration, your music, I know it’s very empowering.
Andy Grammer: Before we go on, tell me a little bit more about Shakti. It’s very interesting.
Kimberly Snyder: So there’s this cosmic place, so to speak. There’s Shiva, Shakti, Yin Yang. So Shiva see up there on the mantle, that’s Shiva Nataraja is sort of the embodiment of creation, but Shakti is the force that goes through. So it’s like the energy of nature, the Shakti, the life force, so to speak. It’s like connected to Prana. So when I meet someone like you are an artist and it’s coming through, I’ll say, Oh that person’s got a lot of Shakti. My husband loves that term. Now he uses, he’s like, they got Shakti. I mean it’s everywhere. But when you can harness something, especially when there’s a motivation for inspiring others, you’re connected to it.
Kimberly Snyder: I
Andy Grammer: It’s funny because I feel like one of my favorite things to do is to try and get that out of other people. I love to try and figure out what the blockages are to actually just doing art. For a lot of people that’s scary, there’s all this fear around just doing it. And then if you actually do it, sharing it with others, there’s like so much block, so many blockages in the way of just sitting down and writing a song or just painting actually going for it. So that’s like one of my things that I love to try and pump people up about.
Kimberly Snyder: Do you think everybody’s an artist?
Andy Grammer: Yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: And different mediums.
Andy Grammer: Hundred percent.
Kimberly Snyder: So how did you get into music as your medium? Did you try painting? Did you try writing first?
What inspired Andy’s music
Andy Grammer: Both my parents are songwriters. My dad is a children’s singer. Amazing. His name is red grammar. He’s nominated for a Grammy for best children [crosstalk 00:06:38].
Kimberly Snyder: Wow.
Andy Grammer: He’s fantastic. So I grew up around people writing songs all the time, which was really sweet. And then I kind of studied acting for a little bit, thought maybe I wanted to do that. And then realized that all I really want to do is write. I love to write and try to use words to make these little packages that hopefully explode inside people when they get them.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow. So you write all your own music and do you write for other artists as well?
Andy Grammer: Yeah, I have some songs that like didn’t work for me that I passed around other people and then they’ve gotten to use it.
Kimberly Snyder: And I mean, sounds like you had this very idealistic childhood. You’re learning about all these different faiths, spirituality, openness. Your dad is also a songwriter, so you were kind of in this nest of creativity.
Andy Grammer: Yes, and then my mom was really good at… I think the piece of creativity that people maybe sometimes don’t get enough, is that it also comes with this like insane determination to just keep going, because the fear of being bad or being criticized is actually monumental and most people can’t get past it. I think there’s not enough conversation around, like how hard it is to just sit down and make something that… and then be okay to share with people and deal with it not being as good. There’s this guy Ira Glass that talks about like NPR. Right?
Andy Grammer: He has this quote about the reason that you get into any art form is because you have really good taste. So your taste is good. That’s why you’re like, Oh, I want to listen to music. I want or my taste in painting is good or something like that. And then when you start to create it, you’re the first one to know that yours isn’t as good as what your taste is. You get discouraged because you’re like, “Ah, I’m nowhere near how good my taste is.” And the only way to get what you’re creating to meet up with how good your taste is, is just do it an insane amount over and over again to the place where you’re like, “All right, cool. What I’m creating is now up to my level of what I like.”
Kimberly Snyder: Well, let me ask you a question Andy because I’m a recovering perfectionist. Which has manifested in my life in many different ways. I used to have eating disorders. I used to be obsessed with my grades. It was like nothing was perfect enough, which I think a lot of women in particular suffer, men too, of this idea of not enough. So we try to achieve more. So as an artist, as someone that is putting their work out how do you overcome that inner critic in your head that’s like, “Oh, this isn’t good enough to put out. This isn’t right enough yet.” Because you can tinker or like some people, just hide it away and never even put it into the world. And especially, I say women because when my community is a lot of women, but all people, this idea of not enoughness, lack, not feeling confident, what advice would you give people?
How to overcome the inner critic in your head
Andy Grammer: So to me usually, you have to tease out, I think most things are fear. Get to tease out what it is for you.
Kimberly Snyder: What is the fear.
Andy Grammer: Yeah, what’s the fear. So for some people, like a lot of times I think perfectionism is just fear of being judged or that it won’t be good enough.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes. Fear like, you’re not really going to be loved.
Andy Grammer: Yeah, or fear that you’re not as good as you think you are or just like a big fear somewhere. And so when you know that that’s what it is, then you can be like, “Oh, am I afraid? When you get clear on what it is, with a lot of new songwriters, I always try to say, you just have to finish bad songs. Your prescription to get to the next level. Songwriting is just finish bad songs and then cheer yourself on that you’ve finished something. Because I think that fear will take whatever it needs to do to get you to not do your thing.
Kimberly Snyder: So what are your practices for overcoming fear? Do you do breath work? Do you meditate? Do you pray? Do you just talk to your wife? I know you have, you’re also dad, you have a little two-and-a-half-year-old.
Practices for overcoming fear
Andy Grammer: [crosstalk 00:10:32] kind of where I go is that when I’m afraid I take an action. I’m afraid that the song’s not going to be good. I now have a kind of my routine is like, “Okay, I’m afraid I’m going to write a bad song.” That’s the only move. That’s what kills fear, is when you take an action and just actually do it. Then you can steer from like, “Okay, well this song is bad. Why is it bad? Because the hook doesn’t feel right now let’s work on this.” You can’t steer unless you’re moving. So you have to just start, just go. That’ll be my biggest advice of, if you’re paralyzed by fear in any creative pursuit is just go. Just start.
Kimberly Snyder: Just try to get out of that stagnant.
Andy Grammer: Yeah, just go make something bad. Make a deal with yourself to make something bad as opposed to make something amazing. Because I think…
Kimberly Snyder: Do something.
Andy Grammer: Do something. Do it. Just do it.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow. So how does your lifestyle play into your creativity? How does your exercise routine, we were talking about living in LA, being in the sunlight, or you’re spending time with your family or how you eat. How does your lifestyle… Do you find support or sleep? You think that’s something you get asked about a lot, but I always think about this Shakti. It’s energy. So if we’re depleted and we all hear a lot about all these rock and rollers that do drugs and they burn out.
Ways in which your lifestyle plays into your creativity
Andy Grammer: [crosstalk 00:11:55]. That’s completely insane.
Kimberly Snyder: They burn out and then they can’t produce albums for a couple of years, they kind of dip in and out.
Andy Grammer: I find even if I eat badly, I lose notes that I can sing.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow.
Andy Grammer: It’s frustrating.
Kimberly Snyder: And how do you define eating badly? Like fast food, sugar…
Andy Grammer: Yeah, fast food, sugars, over heavy on the carbs that doesn’t go well with me. But it’s hard sometimes on the road to eat correctly.
Kimberly Snyder: How often are you on the road?
Andy Grammer: Pretty consistently. We go out… We’ll do like a big tour once a year and that’s usually about two months. And then I do a lot of like leaving for four days at a time or even for two days.
Kimberly Snyder: You take the family with you?
Andy Grammer: Well, on the long ones we try to get the family to come out. But what’s cool about going out for like three days at a time, is then I just come home and see the little girl.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh and your wife has, you guys have another…
Andy Grammer: [crosstalk 00:12:43] two little girls.
Kimberly Snyder: Two little girls, oh my God. And we are soon to have two little boys on the way.
Andy Grammer: Oh, so awesome. You have a three and a half year old?
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, we have a three and a half year old, who is a boy and then this one will be a boy too.
Andy Grammer: I have a question for you. How do you… Have you expressed any of your spiritual ideas? How do you teach him? Like really complex, big ideas. Do you have any secrets?
Kimberly Snyder: Well, since he’s been actually in the womb, we’ve been meditating together.
Andy Grammer: That’s great.
We discuss the benefits of meditation
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, just connecting, sitting. When I nurse, when I would breastfeed, we would meditate. And then I mentioned Yoga Nanda. There’s this beautiful meditation center here called Lake Shrine. So we go every week and I take him to all, there’s all these sacred sites around the lake, Gandhi’s ashes are there. So there’s a Gandhi peace lawn and there is a Jesus statue. There’s a Krishna statue, there’s a Buddhist statue. So we just kind of talk about it in a, not dumbed down, but in a simple way. We talk about how everything is love and I just think it’s more day to day. We have some practices as a family. We say grace every time we have dinner. We sit and sometimes he protests and he says, “Stop praying mama, because your grace is going to be [inaudible 00:14:01].” But I just think it’s the general atmosphere. I think it’s parents just keeping that vibe of love and unconditional love. And I always tell him, you’re loved for you. It’s nothing you can do is going to make me love you more. So I try to reinforce that in conversations.
Andy Grammer: I don’t remember anything my parents told me about it. I just remember walking in on my dad every morning and he would be meditating.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow.
Andy Grammer: And so that is what hits home more than like anything he said to me. Which was like, “Oh, this is what we do. We meditate, we’re spiritual people. This is how we go.”
Kimberly Snyder: And do you meditate now?
Andy Grammer: Yeah, I do. I try to be, I have like seasons where I’m really good at it. And then seasons where I fall off and for me it’s like there’s a guy that’s been so good, Thich Nhat Hanh, you know him?
Kimberly Snyder: Yes, a monk.
Andy Grammer: I’ve been gobbling down every single one of his books lately.
Kimberly Snyder: So because you were raised with this idea of universality, is there any one, well, he’s a Buddhist monk I believe. Is there one faith you’re attracted to?
Andy Grammer: Yeah, so in the Baha’i faith, the latest prophet we believe is Baha’u’llah. So there’s tons of Baha’i writings and incredible teachings about the equality of men and women and…
Kimberly Snyder: Love.
Andy Grammer: … unity of religion, oneness of mankind, all this good stuff. But also from time to time I will just, because I believe that all the religions are one thing, I will go and find different people [crosstalk 00:15:30].
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah. Well, how will you teach your children?
Andy Grammer: Oh yeah, [crosstalk 00:15:34].
Kimberly Snyder: You are. And your wife is into it too.
Andy Grammer: Yeah, she’s…
Kimberly Snyder: That’s amazing.
Andy Grammer: Yeah, it’s really sweet.
Kimberly Snyder: How has that, if any, in some ways influenced your music? How do you get inspired, you were talking about a new track got released this week?
Andy Grammer: Oh yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: Which is awesome. Congratulations!
Andy Grammer: Thank you very much.
Kimberly Snyder: So do you feel like you focus on a subject? I feel like the writing process for me maybe very different than the music process or does it just feel like it’s coming through you? Whatever comes up.
Focusing on the good during the writing process
Andy Grammer: So the new track got released is Best of You. It’s featuring Elle King. It’s really sweet. It’s kind of about looking for, there’s a really cool quote in the Baha’i faith that says, if a man has 10 good qualities and one bad one, you focus on the 10 and if he’s got 10 bad qualities and one good one, you focus on the one. The Best of You is kind of like that idea of seeing the good in someone else and if you’ve been with them long enough, there’s plenty of other things to look at, but you try to still just focus on the good one. I definitely think it’s really fun to write pop songs about spiritual topics and it’s very difficult to do without being cheesy. But when you nail it, it makes a big difference for a lot of people.
Kimberly Snyder: There’s a lot of, well in any medium but in music as well. In certain genres, there can be a lot of negativity. And just the vibe can be kind of down and the lyrics can be a little bit of a downer.
Andy Grammer: So I have a… I’m going to pull it up on my phone. I have a song that came out that I feel like you guys would like, it’s called Wish You Pain.
Kimberly Snyder: Are you going to sing it for us?
Andy Grammer: No, I’m just going to read the quote [crosstalk 00:17:15]
Kimberly Snyder: Okay. I wanted you to sing something for us, Andy.
Andy Grammer: Yeah, I’ll sing something but you know you asked me, where does my music come from?
Kimberly Snyder: Yes. Because it’s very positive.
Andy Grammer: This is a Baha’i quote that I wrote a song called Wish You Pain around and the idea of Wish You Pain is like that’s how we grow. This is one of the quotes in the Baha’i faith. The more difficulties one sees in the world, the more perfect one becomes, the more you plow and dig the ground, the more fertile it becomes. The more you cut the branches of a tree, the higher and stronger it grows. The more you put the gold in the fire, the pure it becomes. And as strange it is that I love you and still I am happy that you have sorrows. So my meet and greet this year on my tour was like everybody would come… First we’d take a photo and then we’d get in a big circle, probably like a hundred people each night. And I would say, “I dare you to share your deepest pain that you’ve experienced in your life and then what it has forced you to turn into.” And I start with mine, which is, I lost my mom when I was 25.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, I lost my mom three years ago too.
Andy Grammer: Oh really? So it really crushed me but I’m like…
Kimberly Snyder: Was it quite sudden?
Andy Grammer: Well, it happened fast. She had breast cancer, but we caught it really late. She died pretty quickly. And it gave me an empathy that I didn’t have. I’m like, my life had been pretty easy, very optimistic I think like, genetically like a happy guy.
Kimberly Snyder: Happy guy, great childhood.
Andy Grammer: [crosstalk 00:18:41] and I’d be like, I don’t really understand why you’re upset, but I will try to cheer you up from a shallow place. And then when I really got rocked, losing my mom, I was like for two years, the guy at the table that didn’t talk. Just kind of like observed and really felt deep sadness. And that is such a gift now that when I go around and I sing hopefully uplifting things, it’s coming from a place of understanding as opposed to just, the surface idea of like cheer up. It becomes way more powerful when you’re like, be happy in spite of, as opposed to just like everything’s fine.
Kimberly Snyder: Yeah, well just glossing over it. It gets stuck in your body.
Andy Grammer: So I shared that first and then, I mean it was amazing. It was two months of, in each city people sharing these incredible stories of things that really knocked them down. And then highlighting what it was that they got from it. So in Sacramento this couple goes, “We lost our 10 day old baby.” And we’re like, “Oh my God.” And they said, “It was two of the hardest years of our life. But now the hospital calls us when it happens to anybody else and we’re the ones that go and console.” Which is like, “Oh my God, this is …” And I heard story after story of this every night before the show.
Andy Grammer: Because my meet and greet… And it was just like a powerful experience. And so that’s an area where like, okay, I read that quote to you. That’s what I was raised on, reading all these quotes. I try to fit it into a song. The song is I really like, you guys want to go, [inaudible 00:20:16] Wish You Pain. And then that turns into my meet and greet. And now this is just like a vibe. When people come to a show, it’s like a whole different thing for me that I love. And I love trying to find out ways that we can get into these topics.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, I love that you’re connecting it to real life and life experience. Have you ever had in one of your circles, someone say, share their deepest pain and then say no good came of it, or I don’t know what came.
Andy Grammer: Some are like, “It’s too fresh. Ah, this happened to me, I lost my dad a week ago and I can’t see it yet.” That’s okay. But for the most part, everybody was able to say what they got from it, which I think is, if you can see that the pain in your life is like the gym. When you go to the gym you cry out as you push up the barbell, but that makes you stronger. If that’s how you genuinely see life going, that’s a very grounded, optimistic way of looking at life. Is that even the things that are there that are really difficult are there to make you stronger, are there to teach you something, are there to leave you with something.
Kimberly Snyder: And like you said, when you’re going through it and it’s really fresh, it’s hard to see…
Andy Grammer: It’s hard to see in the moment.
Kimberly Snyder: … post.
Andy Grammer: But you do… Like for me now, two months, every day for an hour of hearing strangers tell you these in crazy events that have occurred to them and then seeing these beautiful things that they’ve gotten from it. I’m almost trained a little bit now, at least in this part of my life to see when something goes wrong in my life like, “Alright. So what am I getting?”
Kimberly Snyder: What a beautiful practice. Well, how did you eventually pull out of the tough time with your mom? Was music helpful to you or talking?
Being of service in times of grief
Andy Grammer: Yeah, so in the Baha’i faith, there’s writings about how acts of service done in the name of someone who’s passed on, it’s actually helpful to wherever they are. Which is a really sweet way to work through the loss of someone, is to do acts of service in their name. So my way of it was, I would tell people on YouTube or on any social media platform, I’d be like, “I just lost my mom. I’m going to do this thing called Cathy Graham.” So her name was Cathy. “And if you’re going through it, if you’re having a hard time, I will write you a quick little pick me up song. I won’t spend too much time on it, but I’ll write it in like five minutes and I’ll send it off.
Andy Grammer: So you send me what your problem is and I’d send it back to you.” So one of them was like this girl who had no arms and because of the way that she was living, she had to get back surgery and she reached out and was like, “I’m going to get back surgery.” and I wrote back like, we got your back. Do you get your back back? Shake it off. Some heavy stuff like a kid goes, you said you were going to do this. My dad just got into a motorcycle accident. We’re all in the hospital and all of our names start with T. So he sent me the five names of the kids with T. And it was like Travis, Teresa… whatever, and wrote like a quick little song to be like, it’s going to be okay. You’re going to be all right.
Kimberly Snyder: Just on the fly?
Andy Grammer: On the fly. Yeah. And being of service is usually one of the quickest ways to connect with yourself and then be happier. I think that’s like the life hack.
Kimberly Snyder: Being of service.
Andy Grammer: When you are of service to other people, you undeniably feel happier.
Kimberly Snyder: Do you have any gratitude practices or any, how does that play into your life?
We discuss gratitude practices
Andy Grammer: Yeah, so there’s a… I feel like we’re talking so much about Baha’i faith. I’m not shoving it and just like [crosstalk 00:23:38].
Kimberly Snyder: No, it’s incredible how integrated…
Andy Grammer: So there is a really super Baha’i quote it says, let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who cross your path. Bird. So like you’re walking around life going like, how can I be helpful?
Kimberly Snyder: I can’t believe I don’t know more about the, it’s almost like Rumi.
Andy Grammer: Yeah. Rumi’s the best.
Kimberly Snyder: But it is of that essence…
Andy Grammer: Yes, totally.
Kimberly Snyder: … a little bit Rumisticle. Where did it originate?
Andy Grammer: So it originated in Iran in the mid 18 hundreds. Yeah, it’s beautiful. There’s a lot of incredible quotes.
Kimberly Snyder: So you mentioned the, what was it? I Wish You Pain. Will you sing us a couple verses of it don’t put you on the spot, but just I love this idea about growth that comes through hardship and shifting it away from victim mentality. Like, Oh this sucks. Like why me to maybe this isn’t what I would have chosen, but I’m going to get stronger from this.
Andy Grammer: Yeah. So the hook is like, ’cause I love you more than you could know and your heart it grows every time it breaks. I know that it might sound strange, but I wish you pain.’
Kimberly Snyder: Whoa. I love it.
Andy Grammer: So what we’d do every night on stage we would bring somebody on out of the crowd. I’d ask… Because we do that in the meet and greet. And then during the show I would pick someone from the audience, they would come up on stage. I had a spoken word poet with me on tour and we would write a song on the spot for someone around what their deepest pain was and what they got from it. So if you did it right…
Andy Grammer: A girl said that one of her best friends committed suicide and it was really hard for her. And I’m like, “All right, so what did you get from that?” And she’s like, “What I… It’s hard to even say what I got from it but what I realized was everybody knew that we were best friends and so there was like a whole community of people that came to be sweet to me and to help me through it, that I didn’t know we were as close as the love that came.” So on the spot we wrote like we’re all your family, I think was the hook. And then the whole crowd sang it back to her on stage and it was like, awesome. This is amazing.
Andy Grammer: And we did that every night. Those are all on my Facebook. There’s like we did Facebook lives every night of…
Kimberly Snyder: My gosh.
Andy Grammer: … new songs that we write around this topic.
Kimberly Snyder: Going back to fear, how do you get past the fear of what if I don’t come up with a good song or whatever, I’m on stage and it sucks and no one likes my music. Again, the self doubt, the putting yourself out there, which we all do in different ways, right? There’s ways that we could put ourselves out and sometimes we hide. That is a very extreme example. You’re on stage and you’re really just going for it.
Andy Grammer: I think you can go back to the workout analogy of, unless you feel, I’m uncomfortable now in my life, if I don’t feel like a hard workout in this area, in the fear area.
Kimberly Snyder: You embrace it.
Andy Grammer: Some people are really good at working out physically, which I’m getting there. Where you’re like their shoes next to the bed. They put on their shoes and they go and they get a good sweat in. I have seasons in my life where I’m good at that. One of the things that I really try to do is like do that but with fear, like hopefully in your… You should always be pushing, I have this and I write some poetry and one of the things I just put up the other day was, if you don’t feel like an impostor daily, you’re probably not trying enough new things.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, break that down for me and an imposter like a fraud?
Breaking down what it means to feel like an imposter
Andy Grammer: Yeah, if you don’t feel like an impostor daily, it means that you’re not trying enough new things and you’re not like broadening your horizons. You’re not like stepping into rooms that you don’t totally feel comfortable and in trying different things.
Kimberly Snyder: That’s really interesting because I hear that a lot actually. This idea of impostor mentality. Like you feel like you’re a fraud. Like why me? Who am I to be this big singer or who am I to write these books?
Andy Grammer: I started as a street performer in Santa Monica.
Kimberly Snyder: Is it? That’s how you started?
Andy Grammer: Yeah, I did it for four years.
Kimberly Snyder: Really?
Andy Grammer: There’s plenty of time out there where you’re like, is this…
Kimberly Snyder: In the outdoor [inaudible 00:27:52].
Andy Grammer: Yeah on the pier. And so there was plenty of just singing for no one and no one caring and just [crosstalk 00:27:59].
Kimberly Snyder: Oh my gosh. Andy…
Andy Grammer: What I’m I doing [crosstalk 00:28:01].
Kimberly Snyder: How is that not in your bio? I feel like that’s an amazing thing to talk about.
Andy Grammer: I think that I try as much as possible, especially when I’m around other artists that view me as someone that has it. I like to try to dispel, I can dispel the idea that people have it.
Kimberly Snyder: Everybody has the shot.
Andy Grammer: Yeah. Everybody’s got it. And someone who is more willing to be persistent about it and can fight through the fear and can fight through the rejection will eventually be someone who other people go like, they just have it. I didn’t have it when everything ignored on the street. I just wouldn’t let fear dictate how this was going to go.
Kimberly Snyder: For me, I feel like vision has been really important. I remember…So I went backpacking for three years and I came back and I always had this idea, I want to be a published author. So I just started putting together ideas and proposals and I would send them out to literary agents, but I had this vision of what the first book would be. She turned out to be the beauty detox solution.
Andy Grammer: Great.
Kimberly Snyder: Anyways, it was like rejection after rejection coming in constantly but because I kept that vision somehow was my anchor.
Andy Grammer: I know it’s a big piece.
Kimberly Snyder: So being connected to, I mean, when you were on the pier, did you have this vision, “Hey, I’m actually going to be this big singer. I’m going to sell all these albums one day.”
Andy Grammer: Yeah. Kind of. I think that, what you’re talking about, you have to find this really awesome balance of humility to do the grunt work that it takes. And then in audacity at the same time that it could actually be you.
Kimberly Snyder: So what was your breakout, fresh eyes to get from the…
Andy Grammer: No, breakout was a song called Keep Your Head Up, which did really well on the radio. And it got used in a couple of movies.
Kimberly Snyder: Really? Like which ones?
Andy Grammer: Pitch perfect. The first Pitch Perfect movie.
Kimberly Snyder: Really?
Andy Grammer: And that was just a song that was like a pick me up song because I hadn’t gotten any [crosstalk 00:30:00]
Kimberly Snyder: Was it one of the acapella songs?
Andy Grammer: Yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh, amazing. Yeah. And so I’ve seen those movies.
Andy Grammer: Yeah, crazy. So cool.
Kimberly Snyder: Did you do any… did you start with acapella?
Andy Grammer: I didn’t, no but I love acapella.
Kimberly Snyder: So how has… I think all these life experiences influence our work in the world. How has becoming a dad impacted what you want to put out? How you look at yourself now you have a family? An expanding family.
Andy Grammer: It’s so great. Dad is the best word in the English language.
Kimberly Snyder: You love being a daddy.
Andy Grammer: I love it. I came from, we had my first parent teacher conference, my daughter’s in preschool and I was not prepared for how emotional I would get.
Kimberly Snyder: Oh my God, it’s so cute.
Andy Grammer: And she’s like, we’re going to a conference. I don’t even know what that means at this early stage. And she just started telling us all these really sweet things about my daughter and I was like, “Oh yeah.” [crosstalk 00:31:00].
Kimberly Snyder: Did you cry?
Andy Grammer: Yeah, definitely. Right in front of her. It was so sweet. I think that, one of the things I love about being dad to girls specially, is kind of going back to what I said about my dad, which is, I don’t remember what he said. I just remember the things he did. And so to get to be the door to a whole gender for someone when there’s so much work to be done on the equality of men and women, to be a dad to a girl is a great, awesome responsibility. That’s my favorite part.
Kimberly Snyder: So it sounds… you mentioned this has been, this equality of men and women. This theme has been part of the Baha’i faith. Tell me a little bit about you and your wife, how you met, how you vibe, how you support each other. And she’s an artist too.
Andy Grammer: Yeah, she’s a songwriter and an incredible artist and she’s done stuff like, she was a backup singer for Selena Gomez for a while and she’s been…
Kimberly Snyder: What’s her name?
Andy Grammer: So her name is Aijia.
Kimberly Snyder: Aijia?
Andy Grammer: Yeah. And we’ve been able to hopefully be supportive to each other along this journey. There’s pluses and minuses to being in the same career.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Andy Grammer: So we’ve navigated that hopefully pretty well and are able to have like some really honest and intense conversations.
Kimberly Snyder: I think that’s important. I have worked with actors where they’re both actors and I have seen in couples a level of competition and sometimes it emerges, sometimes it’s healthy, sometimes it’s triggering for people when your partner can start to be more successful.
Andy Grammer: There’s like a lot of… I think there’s, it’s weird to try to find times you get better at knowing each other and knowing like when you’re able to critique each other and when it’s like not the time. A lot of the confusion comes from, what do you want me to be right now? Am I supposed to be your husband or like a coworker? And those are different situations. It’s better that we get at communicating about like what we want from the other person in that moment. The less rocky it gets.
Kimberly Snyder: And back to what you where saying about, faith and hardship makes you stronger. Being in the same profession can create new challenges that..
Andy Grammer: It does. I think that we’re, 10 years in on dating and we’re getting definitely better at it. I have a writing session with her this week. I think tomorrow.
Kimberly Snyder: So have you ever collaborated on an album together?
Andy Grammer: Yeah. Well she sings backup only. But she sang back up oN a song called Honey, I’m Good, that did pretty well. And she’s done a lot of different collaborating with me, but we’re just hitting this stride where we just write our songs together, which is cool.
Kimberly Snyder: So what’s coming up for you? What are some of your goals right now as we go into 2020,
Andy Grammer: The biggest goal is to, have a daughter.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes, in just a few months.
Andy Grammer: In like a month and a half, we got another little girl coming. So that’s like, honestly where my head is mostly at. How do we get this [crosstalk 00:34:00] perfectly? And then after that I’m already writing for my next album and there’ll be a tour probably in the summer at some point. Got this new song like I said, Best of you with Elle King. It’s starting to do really well and it’s exciting and continue to push, continue to grind, continue to find ways of finding these universal truths and getting them into three minute songs. That’s like my favorite.
Kimberly Snyder: And what happens when you have a quote, you start your process and then for some reason you’re just in a funk or you have a block day or you’re just not getting it before you say, I do something, but what if it’s just not happening? How do you..
Andy Grammer: You write a bad song.
Kimberly Snyder: You just keep going?
Andy Grammer: Yeah.
Kimberly Snyder: And so you don’t worry about being perfect, I love this.
Andy Grammer: I used to write about a hundred songs for every album. And [crosstalk 00:34:46] make it. So am I good or am I persistent? I don’t even know if I’m talented. I give myself so many chances.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, Andy, I think you’re really talented.
Andy Grammer: I give myself so many chances. So the idea of showing up, I show up, me and [inaudible 00:35:03] killing like a killing going… Oh, what’d we say? Slaying the dragon. Your only job is to show up and give your all and then whatever happens that day is kind of like out of your control.
Kimberly Snyder: Wow. Well this is great. Thank you for sharing this because as we think, Oh someone is amazing artist and they have it and it’s all perfect, but to say, Oh, there’s actually many songs that don’t make it into the album is really refreshing.
Andy Grammer: Majority of songs don’t make it and if you can just keep getting up and going for… And be like, my job today is that I showed up and I slayed the dragon. I showed up for my part of the job and then the mysterious act of like when the magic, when the lightning gets into the bottle, anyone who claims they know exactly how to do that, they’re lying. Nobody knows how to do that. You just keep showing up and you do your part.
Kimberly Snyder: Well it’s similar to wellness. We talk about this idea of a morning routine with taking your probiotics and drinking hot water with lemon and drinking our glowing green smoothie. And it’s these small steps that you take consistently, even if the rest of your day isn’t perfect.
Andy Grammer: Totally.
Kimberly Snyder: You have… That work you’ve put in in the beginning and that will move you forward. So having that persistence versus trying to be perfect or making these big fancy recipes or whatever.
Andy Grammer: I think perfection, that word to me means I’m afraid.
Kimberly Snyder: Interesting.
Andy Grammer: When I hear perfection I hear like, Oh, you’re a F… Like to me it, especially with songwriting or an art, it’s like you don’t want to… You’re afraid to finish because if you finish a song, then you have to show it to someone and say, I’m done, this is the best that I could do.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Andy Grammer: And you’re afraid to tell someone else. This is where my limits are. What do you think? You’re afraid to take..
Kimberly Snyder: Get rejection possibly.
Andy Grammer: You’re afraid to get rejection. So perfectionism to me is a word that just means, I’m scared. [crosstalk 00:36:50] perfection I’m like, ah. You’re afraid. I get it. I’m a perfectionist too. I’m afraid of what people are going to tell me.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, what I mentioned I always call myself a recovering perfectionist and I think the big fear was I’m not good enough. So if I show people, if I try to be loved this way and I’m not loved, it’s because I’m not good enough. Very deep.
Andy Grammer: It’s deep seated stuff. And the more that you can just be, I have to do more than you talk about doing, then everything starts to move.
Kimberly Snyder: I think expression is really wonderful too. So we do circles actually see all these chairs here?
Andy Grammer: I love it.
Kimberly Snyder: And we were doing a circle and I just did a women’s circle on Sunday with 50 people. And there’s this idea of being witnessed and speaking your truth like you do in your circles. Like you’re just naturally doing, it’s naturally unfolding. And then you’re speaking your truth in your music.
Andy Grammer: I have this weird idea that like groups of people when it’s aligned with one performer singing to a group of people, that’s like entertaining in a circle. It’s like that’s when transforming [crosstalk 00:38:00] isn’t it?
Kimberly Snyder: Incredible.
Andy Grammer: When you sing in a circle it’s like that’s when everything in your, that’s when shift occurred.
Kimberly Snyder: It’s true because everybody is vibing off each other’s energy and the wisdom is coming up. So Andy, thank you so much.
Andy Grammer: It was really fantastic.
Kimberly Snyder: You are an amazing, inspiring human being.
Andy Grammer: Any of you listeners, I have a podcast called the good parts.
Kimberly Snyder: The good parts. We’ll link to it beauties.
Andy Grammer: Which to me it’s from another one of my other songs. It says, tell me your story, but don’t leave the good parts out. Like the most interesting. What happens when we die? What is your spiritual practice?
Kimberly Snyder: What do you really believe?
Andy Grammer: What do you believe in? Let’s get in with the gooey good stuff. So all my[crosstalk 00:38:41] and singer friends, they come over and we go deep.
Kimberly Snyder: Incredible. And so you have a new track, you said that was recently released too?
Andy Grammer: Yeah, it’s called The best of You.
Kimberly Snyder: The Best of You and you have a lot of music, a lot of clips. Everything’s on YouTube.
Andy Grammer: Sure check out YouTube, follow me on Instagram @andygrammer. [inaudible 00:38:59] Facebook…
Kimberly Snyder: Amazing beauties we will link to all of Andy’s channels, all the places you can find him. As you heard from just a couple of lines, he’s amazing, inspiring. As I would say the Shakti is coming through and I think music is such a powerful way to lift yourself up, to tune in, to merge with an energy when you’re, especially if you’re feeling down or you’re feeling overwhelmed or feeling stressed. So Andy came into my space because of his positivity and so I’m really excited that we connected in person.
Andy Grammer: Lovely. If you’re listening, thank you so much for allowing me to come and be with you for a… What I say when I end a show is I can’t see all your eyes when I’m at a show, I try to look everybody in the eyes at the end and I end with a song right now called don’t give up on me, which is… I just like to say if there’s anything you got from listening to me for this last 40 minutes whatever, please don’t give up on bringing your authentic self into the world because we all super need it. And it’s like difficult [crosstalk 00:40:00] all the barriers to continue to bring it out because everybody needs it.
Kimberly Snyder: Beautiful.
Andy Grammer: Awesome.
Kimberly Snyder: Well, Andy, I want to actually ask you one last question. What does beauty mean to you?
Andy Grammer: Beauty to me…
Kimberly Snyder: I’ll say true beauty. What does true beauty mean to you?
Andy Grammer: True beauty is, when you are being your authentic self and like not worried about changing that for what the other person’s gonna think.
Kimberly Snyder: Yes.
Andy Grammer: And this is hard…
Kimberly Snyder: Your light coming through.
Andy Grammer: It’s really hard to just, I would say like when someone says, just be yourself. That to me is like the top of the mountain, but everybody says it like it’s right here. It takes a lot of work to figure out how to sit in yourself comfortably and just be okay with who you are.
Kimberly Snyder: I love that.
Andy Grammer: But when we see someone doing it or when we do it with ourselves that’s fantastic.
Kimberly Snyder: And it’s so magnetic.
Andy Grammer: It’s magnetic.
Kimberly Snyder: That’s attractive.
Andy Grammer: It gives everybody else permission to be themselves.
Kimberly Snyder: Beautiful. Thank you again so much…
Andy Grammer: [crosstalk 00:41:03]
Kimberly Snyder: … Andy. Thank you so much Beauties for tuning in. We will be back here Thursday for our next Q&A podcast. Until then, be sure to check out the show notes, which are at mysolluna.com, we’re on socials as well @_kimberlysnyder and take great care of yourself. Lots of love. See you back here soon.