Soulful musician Gavin DeGraw spills on what it takes to be a rock star.
by Brittany Geragotelis
When Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” debuted as “One Tree Hill” theme song back in 2003, it was clear that the hat-wearing-hunk would be around for a long time. Gavin’s latest album, Sweeter, available now, is everything you love from the artist but with a bit of edge and sexiness we haven’t seen before. Here’s what he had to say about living the rock star life.
1. Own your audience…no matter the size. “I started playing in [public] when I was 15 or 16 on school nights when everyone else was doing their homework. My dad would come out and watch me and my brother play in [clubs] and sometimes even play guitar. It was very cool—kind of a small-town thing to do.”
2. Don’t stop until your dreams are a reality. “I remember my brother and I were hanging out in New York right after playing our first show there and he was like, ‘We’ve got to move here.’ I said, ‘Move here? How are we going to do that? We don’t have money.’ He told me to save my money and then we’d move there. Six months later I’d saved some money, sold my truck and we moved.”
3. You never know who will “discover” you. “I knew this couple from my hometown and gave them a tape of my music that I’d made in my room before doing my first show in New York. The couple ended up calling a few people they knew, and next thing you know, the president of RCA was at my show.”
4. Let your passion drive you. “For me, music is something I happen to love—period. At some point I looked at it and thought, maybe I can make a living at this. I never just saw it as a job.’ It was my passion.”
5. Create your own luck. “You’re the master of your own destiny. I really do believe that you control your goals and outcomes. You make your luck happen by putting yourself in the position to get lucky over and over again. It’s not like the lottery. It might happen once, but you need to stay persistent and dedicated. Be goal-oriented about the things you love, and you’ll find yourself again and again in the position to be ‘lucky.’ ”