Andy Grammer won't say he's a master of his craft. But if you follow Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000-hour rule, he should be pretty close. The platinum-selling songwriter spent his early career busking on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
"The only way you get the reps in was on the street," says Grammer, who performs Saturday as the headlining entertainment for Spingtini 2014, the annual North Fresno parking-lot party and fundraiser, which will benefit Made for Them.
Musicians, even the working ones, only get three or four good hours a day in front of people, really honing the craft, he says. Grammer played for eight or nine hours each day.
"By the third year I was getting pretty good at it," he says.
He learned to beatbox and figured out which songs were best suited to his voice. More than that, he learned a simple fact: Whatever he did had to be amazing.
On the streets, there is zero entitlement, he says. You have 15 seconds, or less, to make an impression on an audience that is indifferent at best.
"It's got to be the same when you hear it on the radio," he says.
Of course, Grammer has had some experience in that field, too. Billboard named Grammer an "Artist to Watch" in 2011 on the strength of his debut album "Keep Your Head Up." His first two singles hit the Top 10 on the magazine's adult pop charts. The last person to do that was John Mayer.
In all, Grammer has sold more than 2 million tracks and 100,000 albums and performed on stage with everyone from Taylor Swift to Train.
In March, Grammer premiered a new single, "Back Home," which is already on Spotify's viral top 50 list, he says. It's the first single from a yet-untitled full-length album, which he will release later this year.
Grammer also just announced a tour in June and July. It's a step back in front of his fans, he says: "It's kind of like pushing the reset button."
Springtini 2014, featuring Andy Grammer
6 p.m. Saturday at Park Place shopping center, Palm and Nees avenues. Tickets are $25-$30. This is an age 21-plus event. Details: (559) 497-5118, kjwl.com