Spotify alert! Andy Grammer's new song "My Own Hero" debuts at the 2019 Sports Humanitarian Awards. So we asked the singer about his inspirations, his own heroes and those KD-to-NY rumors.
ESPN: What were you thinking about when you wrote "My Own Hero"? Andy Grammer: It was just a time when I was coming up against a lot of walls and none of them were breaking. You have people who you usually look to for help who weren't there. So it was like there are these moments where you're alone and you're either going to do it or not.
This song seems more serious than some of your other hits. Is there something different that you're trying to convey? I know some people see me as the happy guy, but a lot of times, underneath your smile, there's a lot of war that goes into someone being happy. I know that sounds insane, but that's just the truth of it.
Any specific lyrics that hit home for you? The one that comes to mind is the second verse: "I don't know how I'm gonna do it, but I'm gonna do it with or without you." In any situation, if you're actually going to get something crazy-good done, you have to have that in you.
What kind of impact do you think the song will have on the audience? Listen, anyone in that room will understand. There are laws to the universe. There are truths to being a human, and I hope people in the room feel less alone and can get around the idea that "Oh yeah, we get it." There's a community feeling to that.
Are there any hidden meanings behind some of the lines you wrote? Honestly, it's straightforward. If you've ever started your own business, you know what it's like. If you've ever tried to create distance between you and the ground in your own field, you are going to have to do some really intense things by yourself. I learned a lot of this from sports.
How so? How did sports play into this? That's all I cared about until I was about 16. Yankees, Knicks, that's it. Like, learning how to make your basketball team without a good left hand meant just practicing dribbling with your left hand. Sports taught me that persistence.
You're a lifelong Knicks fan. So who is your favorite player of all time? When I was playing high school ball, it was all about John Starks. And then there were the Larry Johnson years too. And [Patrick] Ewing was always great. But I remember Starks dunking over Jordan was a big deal to us. He posterized Jordan. That was pretty dope.
Who is your dream Knicks free agent? That's not hard. Everyone knows it's Kevin Durant. It changes every 15 minutes, but if it was Durant and Kyrie [Irving], that would be pretty serious. I'm uneasy, but I feel like it might happen. That's so crazy.
If you could collaborate with any athlete on a song or album, whom would it be? It might be a cliché answer, but I've been watching a lot of stuff that LeBron James has been producing and it's so good. I'm just a fan of him as a human. I just watched The Shop on HBO with him and Drake, and oh god, it was so good. I would love to do anything with him.
What do you hope the biggest takeaway is with this song? I'm the biggest fan of songs when they're actually of service. For sports people, if it's 5:30 a.m. and you're running to "My Own Hero," I'll be pretty freaking psyched.