Music is something that has always helped me throughout life and has helped me find myself. It’s what makes me feel inspired to be an individual and think creatively outside the box. I do not just listen to music, but actually write music, play several instruments and sing. It’s my way to escape stress, express what I’m feeling and hopefully creating something that someone else can relate too.
However, the point of this is not to discuss my music but the music that has helped me, and the artist who has created it. The artist is Andy Grammer, and his song “Keep Your Head Up” has inspired millions of people to keep going even when times get tough. The song reassures that there will always be a brand new day and that just because something might be bad now does not mean it won’t get better. This is the story of how music and Andy Grammer helped me become a new person.
Growing up I had always been bullied by classmates from the preppy elementary school I attended because I did not want to go along with the crowd. When most kids were playing sports I was practicing saxophone, at the time, this was seen as “weird” to other kids. The torment would get so bad and teachers would not help in anyway and blame me, telling me to stay with the crowd and stop going against it. Outside of school I was told by family how I was never good enough, since they would always compare me to my cousin Andrew. They would praise Andrew with everything he did but criticize anything I would do. Between the bullying at elementary school of people calling me weird, making fun of how I looked, and the constant ridicule from certain family members, it had seriously affected me in a negative way even years after this occurred. However, music was the driving factor during those years that helped me stay strong. At the time it was music by Avril Lavigne that helped me stay strong and only influenced my appreciation towards this art form of expression.
It was not until 8th grade, at a different school, that my music teacher convinced me to try out for the musical. I could sing, but the fear of bullying hindered any confidence boost I could have. With many pushes, my music teacher, Mrs. Barni, forced me out of my shell and I sang in my 8th grade musical. It was then that I changed as a person.
High school was better, but I was still treated as an outcast and any group of friends I had always would burn me or go behind my back and use me. This only created more trust issues than I previously had. Music, however, was the one force in my life that never abandoned me. It was my go to, it was my anti-drug, it was my everything. High school ended on a fairly good note only because of music, like jazz band class, and talent shows.
College was the new and fresh start I had been waiting for. However, it was plagued with tough classes, more cliques than my high school, and a tougher situation of “fitting in.” In November of 2010, Andy Grammer released “Keep Your Head Up.” I heard the song online, and the song instantly made me feel an immense amount of happiness; at the same time it also made me remember the pain throughout my life of people hurting me. The song was almost a revelation in my life and after a few listens I already began to change my perspective on life. I was fortunate enough to connect with Andy after and worked on his street team, created the popular Andy Grammer fan site Andy Grammer Nation, and started to know him on a more personal level. The year progressed and he subtly released new music, but in June of that year Andy released his debut album that was self titled. It featured my favorite song of his, “Lunatic,” a song all about following your dreams no matter how many people tell you that your dream is impossible to reach.
My Sophomore year of college however, was not a cake walk. My best friend at the time, Jake, was going behind my back and bad mouthing me to a girl I liked because he liked her, telling people rumors about me that weren’t true, and then acting like he did nothing wrong. At the time I was tutoring him for school because he was on the verge of being expelled. Unknowing of his backstabbing habits happening, it didn’t bother me so I continued to trust him. In the spring semester of that year, Jake convinced me to rush with a fraternity on campus. Jake was rushing too. Never being the type of person to want to be in Greek life, I was surprised by how nice they were. However, when I got the bid and Jake didn’t is when Jake got jealous. He still hung out with the frat, but was making up rumors about me the entire time. The frat believed every word of it and then turned against me. A week before initiation the frat had made me public relations chair, within the week, however, they decided to remove me from being a pledge, kept my $70 deposit, took my pledge pin and planned it so it would be after housing was finished, resulting in me living on their floor for this year, to not having anywhere to live. They never once apologized. It wasn’t until all of this happened that Jake came clean about what he had done to me or said about me. After he admitted to all he had done, he never apologized and just stopped talking to me.
I was broken, I had never felt so down in my life; a person I trusted and a group of people who promised to have my back had all abandoned me at one time. I sacrificed a lot of my time to them and was only repaid by feeling used. They never once apologized and acted as if the entire thing was my fault when it had all been lies from a jealous friend.
Andy Grammer’s music, however, lifted me right out of that hole. I felt so hurt and so angry not knowing where to turn. I couldn’t trust my friends anymore and I couldn’t trust my school. The only thing I could trust was music, and Andy Grammer. I played KYHU non-stop until the song was even more embedded into my mind than it had been. The other songs that helped me through were “Miss Me,” “You Should Know Better,” and “Numbers.”
From my passion of music, and Andy’s encouragement, I now am working at Live Nation and making my way into the music industry where I can be myself, and do exactly what I love and what has helped me so many times in my life.
Andy’s music, knowing him and his management personally, and meeting new Andy fans reassured me into knowing I wanted to work in the music industry. Andy was my lever into the business.
Next, I plan to move to L.A. in a year and a half, work on getting my entertainment law degree at Loyola Marymount University, work at a label, and I plan on starting my own talent management company.