In the Spotlight with Gavin DeGraw
Patrick Fraser (Courtesy of RCA)
Just 12 days following its official release, Gavin DeGraw’s diehard fans have already mastered his newest song, “Not Over You”. Evident throughout the countless covers, tributes, and compilations, the long-awaited single has ignited a newfound respect and adoration for the “Chariot” singer.
Co-written by OneRepublic’s front man, Ryan Tedder, “Not Over You” boasts a telling account of lover’s woes, forged by what DeGraw describes as an organic songwriting process.
“I thought it was fantastic,” the singer recounts his time with Tedder. “For the last few years, Ryan and I have been flirting with the idea of doing something. OneRepublic and I did a show in the New York area once, and we were backstage talking about how we both wanted to record something together. It took a while, but we eventually met up in Nashville. We got together at
this great studio called Blackbird, owned by Martina McBride’s husband, and started writing “Not Over You”.
According to the singer, the single demonstrates a stylistic maturity which will transcend into his upcoming album, “Sweeter”, due in stores on August 9th.
“This particular album is very different for me, but at the same time, it’s very familiar,” he teases. “It’s very fresh, but it’s completely reminiscent of the stuff I’ve done, so what it’s going to be is a variation of the things that I’ve done in the past, with some new introductions.”
He continues, “I’ve worked with 4 different producers on this album, whereas in the past, I’ve worked with 1 producer on the entire record. [Because of that], we have very different production approaches. With someone like Ron Aniello, you’re going to have something that’s a lot earthier. With someone like Ryan Tedder, you have something that’s more modern and more rhythmic. Although there is a lot of vulnerability in some of the songs, at the same time, they’re very sultry and sexy.” In addition to broadening his horizons, working with a wide array of individuals allowed for DeGraw to confront his personal challenge of co-writing.
“My biggest fear in the past was co-writing,” DeGraw says. “I refused to co-write. It’s not that I thought people weren’t talented writers. I was just fearful of being in the room with a writer, because I like to write alone, so I was very adamant about it. For this album, I started writing with a couple of people and it allowed me to tap into different ways of writing songs. It really freed me in a lot of ways. It took away some of my self-consciousness of the things I would say in a song.”
Team work remains an integral part of his career, both in and out of the studio. Starting in July, the singer is slated to embark on tour as supporting act for co-headliners, Maroon 5 and Train.
"I think it’s a really perfect tour for me to be on,” he raves. “It’s just the right time for what I’m doing, and I happen to really like both those bands. They’re really good guys and we’ve hung out and done shows in the past. Maroon 5’s drummer [Matt Flynn] and I used to be in a band, so we have a lot of history.”
The first leg of the tour begins on July 22 in the West coast and runs through August 26, wrapping up in the Eastern US.
Between releasing his fourth record, performing new material, and touring alongside two renowned bands, De Graw admits that his fan support is what he most looks forward to in the coming months.
“What I’m most looking forward to,” the singer ponders, “is the experience of hanging out with the fans--feeling their reaction to the shows and to the songs. The most satisfying thing for me as an artist, is seeing how affected my audience is by what I do musically. That gives me a really good gauge on my career, my ability to write, and my resonating with them. That bond with the audience is my whole world.”
As his career reaches greater-than-ever heights, De Graw remains rooted and grateful for the success fueled by none other than his fan base.
“It’s important to keep your fans in mind, always,” he suggests. “My fan base always reminds me of who I am and where I came from, and that’s the best, most flattering thing anyone could ever ask for.”
Credits: Gavin DeGraw, Cara Hutchinson, Patrick Fraser, RCA Records
© Veronika Tacheva, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.