Gavin. No, not Gavin Rossdale. There’s a new Gavin out there to swoon over – Gavin DeGraw that is. Most people are not yet familiar with this Gavin, but may recognize his song, “I Don’t Want to Be,” as the “One Tree Hill” theme song. DeGraw, a singer/songwriter/musician, who classifies his music as “songwriter/pop-rock/classic rhythm” is currently touring, promoting his CD, Chariot. Following in his parents footsteps, (his father plays the guitar and sings, as does his mother who also plays the piano, and his brother does all three), DeGraw started young. “I started singing right out of the womb I guess…they heard it as crying but I thought I was singing.” Around eight or nine years old, he began playing piano, followed later by the saxophone and guitar.
While DeGraw said he dreamt about being a musician one day, he also said he dreamt about doing many things such as being a lawyer, astronaut or tractor trailer driver and did not really think about being a muscian seriously until he was at a Billy Joel concert in his mid-teens. In response to beng asked who the influential musicans in his life are, Degraw replied “the Beatles, Beach Boys, Marvin Gay, Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan,” amongst many others.
When asked about touring (which he will be doing now through the beginning of September throughout the United States), DeGraw replied, “I love touring, I love playing for new audiences and, you know, getting that instant gratification from playing a song and people either like it or they don’t.” While he enjoys playing, he also mentioned that getting to the places to perform is the worst part, with being on the tour bus or at the airport for countless hours. When asked about what he missed most from home DeGraw replied, “The thing I miss is being home, I miss being in my old house you know, I miss my apartment. I kinda live in two places.”
The songs on the album are in many ways like stories and as DeGraw said, “my own identity.” While he already has another album written, on Chariot, DeGraw said that “I Don’t Want to Be” is one of his favorite songs. “I Don’t Want to Be” has a strong flavor for me on a personal note just because it’s about identity and for me it’s about being my own man and that’s where it holds its value.” Upon hearing the chorus, one can understand his feelings on this as well as relate to these lyrics: “I don’t want to be anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately/All I have to do is think of me and I have peace of mind/I’m tired of looking ’round rooms wondering what I’ve got to do or who I’m supposed to be/I don’t want to be anything other than me.”
DeGraw’s lyrics and an easy-to-listen to music as well as his infectous laugh help to make him a rising singer with the definite potential to make it as a well-known artist. For more information on him, visit www.gavindegraw.com or watch him on ABC’s “The View” on April 27.