A blind fan

I found a conversation from the Gavin DeGraw Facebook-page concerning the new single Fire. It concerned the change that has been going through Gavin’s musical style and whether that is a bad or a good thing. This conversation was interesting to me and in the same time it made me think. A lot. It was about being a blind fan.


The whole conversation can be found here, so just CLICK, it’s under the 12th August post “Watch the lyric video for ‘Fire’ now on VEVO”. But I’ll copy-paste the parts that I found interesting here anyways.


MH: This song is not Gavin. Go back to who you were. You can be commercial without changing who you are and who we all fell in love with from the beginning. Not a fan. and I love everything this man does.


DS: why is it… every time an artist does one song thats a little bit different to their usual stuff, some idiots feel the need to call them a sell out? or say “this just isnt them… why have they changed” can’t be a real fan if you don’t like or at least respect every song! brilliant powerful tune!!!<3

LS: to anyone who says he has to sing this kind of songs in order to stay relevant, i remind them that these already-heard-all-sounding-the-same songs are the ones people are soon going to reject. music needs diversity, not homogenisation. true artists have enough personality to evolve by staying loyal to their style and roots without bowing to the industry. influences are ok, but a total conversion to mainstream sounds and lyrics in order to reach easy success working less hard is not brave evolution, it’s commercialisation. music is identity, not fashion, to true artists. and true fans don’t have to support singers whatever they do. those are blind fans, not true ones. peace.

KA: LS, although you seem to suggest that with this song Gavin has simply sought commercialisation and is working less hard and not staying true to himself, I have to disagree. To say a pop song is easier to write and results in less work is just plain dross. He recently discussed song writing in a video interview on here and his purist views of writing on his own and how this can be restrictive, therefore collaboration brings out new things in him, thereby being more creative and inventive. The lyrics are the key to a song, which again he reiterated in the video and he stays true to this writing inciteful and what are meant to be inspirational lyrics. To me his voice brings an imperfect soulness to a pop melody, which he has experimented with more on the last album. This actually brings a uniqueness in itself. He is a true musician and I don’t believe he will lose the true spirit of the soul that makes him, he can adapt and invent accordingly. If he produces another 2 or 3 albums with samey songs then fine but to begrudge an artist diversity in his own music labelling it as pure commercialisation is a bit short sighted. Fine you may not like it and I will be honest and say I prefer nothing more than hearing Gavin singing alone with a piano, but there is only so much of that writing you can do before you become stale and lose your creativity.

LS: pop songs are not less hard than others, KA. i never said that. i really like pop music in fact, and anything in general is hard if done by means of true dedication, but the particular attitude gavin’s been having towards this whole new pop career aims precisely to produce as much music as possible feeling less stress, in order to “let the ball roll”, as he said in one of his last interviews. in order to “be in the now”. it’s patent that all this is going to affect quality. i don’t need other albums to say this cause make a move (the entire album) and fire come from the exact same field. specifically, the new single is another motivational anthem, a copy of everything will change, but this time with even poorer lyrics and annoyingly overproduced. absolutely not gavin. in the future, things might be even worse since he wants to experiment sounds and styles collaborating with artists like dj armin van buuren. i say “worse” because this is not evolution. experimenting something embracing what is trendy, following fashion after ten years of specific different direction, roots, values and trademarks, is not evolution, in my opinion. don’t like “commercialisation”? let’s say “easy attitude towards success”, if you prefer. this kind of change in this particular musical/historical period is not a brave evolution, at all. this is mere pursuit of success, exactly what he wants. he admitted that. he can say it through kind words trying not to betray long-term fans patently, but this is it. i have nothing against success for a great artist like him. he totally deserves it, but not this way. i could be successful too dueting with pitbull these days, if you see what i mean… if you watch his interviews over the years, you’ll realize he’s changed, very much, unfortunately. i had faith after make a move cause just like you i thought it would be only a step in the process, but fire is the validation of what i feared…

KA: We shall see LS. Fire is essentially the prelude to his Greatest Hits album along with You Got Me, which isn’t far removed from his original ballad material. This prelude, which was produced by serial hit makers will no doubt be a way to get people listening to the more commercial world to tap into the old Gavin as well. As I say I don’t see 11 tracks, which is what it is including Make a Move as reason to think that he has lost his roots. In fact Save Us Tonight and Leading Man are not far removed from previous things he has done to be honest. He is currently in the Make a Move tour, which he has been doing for nearly a year now so this is the current music he is producing. It’s a movement in time and I think there will be other changes in direction that he takes throughout his career to stay fresh in himself. But I do hope on the next album there is a mixture of change and the old soul, but I do like to see him evolve and what that brings to the table.

What do you think of this? Has Gavin changed his style for good? Is there no going back? Should or should he not go back?

What do I think? Well, I’m a kind of a person who almost every time finds something to agree with both sides. And so do I in this one, too.  This was very interesting conversation to me, because I kinda get both of these opinions.

I was so totally disappointed with the Make a move -album when I first heard it. I thought to myself that this is not Gavin, at least not the one I knew. I thought that these songs I have heard before, they didn’t do the trick of degrawement for me. However, there was something intriguing that kept me listening it over and over again. And slowly he dragged me with him.

In one interview Gavin says that it may take several listenings through to adapt to the new things an artist is doing. And that is just what happened to me. I adapted, I like the album now, but I have to admit I like the earlier ones better.

Okay, the new single, Fire, is, just as LS said, similar to the Make a move -album. It’s not the old Gavin style. At all.

But you know. One can do only so much before becoming boring or bored of what he is doing. “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” And in the process of developing, exploring, continuous learning that’s called life, you can’t go doing something you’ve always done. That’s not learning, that’s not taking risks, that’s not developing. That’s just boring.

So, in a way, the point I’m trying to make… Even though I may not be madly in love with the newest songs, I can still understand where it’s coming from and have a respect for that. I think it is brave to do something very different from what it has used to be. In a way I do understand LS’s opinion, too, for if the thought behind the songs would be the easy money and success, it wouldn’t be brave, that would be only sad.

But I’m not ready nor willing to believe that would be our Gavin. Time will show, though.

The thing that made me write was about being a blind fan, and with that statement I so totally agree with LS. Being a true fan doesn’t mean you should love everything an artist does, just because it’s his doing.

But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t grow to like the idea of the new things with him.



10 thoughts on “A blind fan

  1. im with you. i stumble back and forth between both sides of the argument. some days im angry and sad and i feel like he’s completely lost touch with himself and other days i see him with fans or on stage and im back to being a human heart eyes emoji over him. make a move was almost entirely disappointing to me..still is. its grown on me more since the initial listen but i still have the same problems with it as before.. which isnt at all the change in sound but the quality of the lyrics. the sound of pop music is always changing and theres nothing wrong with following a trend in sound. if you think back on any era of music they all have a distinct sound. and we all know that gavin can play his own instruments..that he can hold his own in a live performance, so theres nothing wrong with playing with sounds in production and making something that fits the current landscape. its the writing i cant get past. gavins writing used to have such a..far away.. kind of enigmatic, dreamy quality to them. it was poetry through and through. you could read it without melody and it still had the effect of poetry… the kind of lyrics that just blew you away, made you wonder about them and continually changed meanings over time. i feel like i couldnt write something like his older stuff in a million years.. it takes something special to be able to capture a feeling or a moment or a story the way that gavin can.. and now we’re getting songs i feel like i could sit down and write no problem if someone handed me a melody. you’d think that if there are 4 people sitting down to write a song it would be more complex…with only the best ideas rising to the surface. but open up the lyrics for “make a move” ..and then open up the lyrics for the songs gavin wrote alone..songs like dancing shoes or glass or she holds a key or WBT.. i cant say theres even one lyric on the record that speaks to me. obviously this is not the case for everyone, but when youre coming from songs like “young love” or “belief” or even “spell it out” (which was a co-write!)…i mean…no contest, right? and i dont think theres all that much room for argument there.. even some of the most die hard defensive fans admit this album either isnt their favorite or doesnt do much for them, or even that they stopped paying as much attention to him after its release. i try not to get too aggressively into it anymore because i dont know why its happening and theres only so much disappointment you can express before people get weird about it or start accusing you of calling gavin a sellout. record labels are pretty pushy and most days i just hope that he isnt being forced into doing things that isnt in line with his own creative vision for the sake of fulfilling contractual obligations…especially because it does seem so far off from his (pretty strong)opinions on the importance of quality music for the first..8 or 9 years of his career? just seems to me when he talks about these songs that he doesnt sound like he believes in them the way he did in older interviews. and i cant imagine why he would. that being said…i still dont think gavin has come so far away from himself that we’re at a point of no return. there ARE still elements of himself in the songs and he still sings the hell out of all of it and whether or not he believes in the songs or not he sure as hell performs them like he would anything else….which is with everything he’s got. its still just one record and a single. at the end of the day gavin is still gavin…his personality hasnt changed. he is still full of gratitude, respect and humility and treats people the same as he always has. plus..its art. art is up in the air. it doesnt have to be this serious. he didnt perform surgery on someone that ended in a funeral. he made a CD. art is learning and growing and changing and sometimes when you learn and you change and you grow there are awkward, messy, not always so great moments in the middle that youre probably glad werent up for public debate, right? its just a record. all the greatest artists in history had albums that completely bombed…all of them. why? cause its art. practice makes perfect. and practice means youre trying and trying means failing sometimes while you figure it all out. above all else, gavin goes above and beyond for us fans and so i think, for me anyway, he’s earned at least our faith in him.

  2. Thank you for your amazing comment! It feels to me now like you took my thoughts and articulated them way better than I could. I so totally agree with you on everything you wrote! So, thank you dearly for sharing your thoughts!
    The lyrics was the thing that got me, in the first place, I was amazed his talent with his words. Just as you said, the stories kept growing, changing meanings, I could identify myself from them. I was crying with several of his songs – but have done it with just ‘Everything will change’ from the Make a move. ‘Belief’ is one of my greatest favorites, and I’m mesmerized by ‘Mountains to move’. And just as you said, I had also no courage to ever think that I could do something similar with my words.
    I have been worrying about the record labels, too, and wishing that nobody is forcing Gavin to anything he doesn’t believe in. The question is, if someone does that to him, why does he let it happen? I have no answers, no information about this, all I have is these vague feelings of not doing the best he could.
    And co-writing, it can do good, Gavin has made his point of working together, reaching even higher goals with others. But still I feel also that co-writing can somehow make one’s personality more blurry… it’s easy to take the ideas from others even though they might not be exactly the thing you’re searching for. It’s easy to be content with less effort, but there’s this price to be paid. It’s not you anymore.
    But I also agree with you on the comment that it’s just a cd. It kinda puts it all in a right perspective.
    I guess we fans have our own image of Gavin and our own expectations, and when he doesn’t act like we would like him to act, we get all annoyed or disappointed. But we should remember, he is not ours to own, he makes his own decisions and takes his own directions, what ever that will be.
    And if he is doing things that make him happy, then all I can do is be happy for him, too. And yes, have the faith.

  3. wow, i see so many typos reading my comment back im cringing haha but no problem!! i always enjoy reading these blogs and this topic is particularly important to me so i figured id chime in. i think i remember you writing something about not knowing how you felt about everything will change? something like it was too encouraging or something? its funny with that song because initially it never really spoke to me and i think maybe for that exact reason. not that being encouraging is a bad thing but maybe for the fact that it was too DIRECTLY encouraging? kinda of like in the way that people post inspirational quotes on facebook and you just kind of scroll past them because theyre so obvious?.. i dont know, but after watching videos from his live performances he’s definitely pulled some emotion out of me with it. you can tell he believes that song and he’s made me believe it too. so yeah..the lyrics have definitely come quite a few steps backwards from where he was before. i agree about “mountains to move” …so crazy beautiful. with the label thing, like i said i try not to form any solid opinions because i dont know how it works, but i do think when it comes to him “allowing” it theres definitely a chance that a lot is out of his control and hes doing the best he can with their demands..and he’d likely be in debt to them if he just stormed out, you know? unfortunately record labels have a lot of the control and not all of them necessarily allow their artists the freedom they need to be as artistic as they could be. they have their own ideas of what it needs to be and their ultimate goal is to make money off them. gavin started co-writing as soon as j records merged into RCA…so theres gotta be a connection there as far as whats expected of him, imo. im not saying theres not the possibility that he’s perfectly fine with all of this either, but i tend toward having more hope in gavin that he hasnt just suddenly become a lazy songwriter. but yes, exactly true about owning the artist. my initial reaction to make a move was a lot more emotionally charged than it was a critical evaluation of the record, i actually felt offended that he would release it to us and im not sure that was the right approach. but whatever it is that has caused such a drastic change, i hope he gets fed up with it sooner than later and we no longer have to worry or talk about it. i think the last thing me or any of us wants is to be disappointed in anything gavins doing.

  4. Well, yes I did write something like that about ‘Everything will change’, for somedays it just annoys me so much, and on others I’m so madly in love with it. Ha, that’s my relationship with Gav these days, I guess. I think you found out the reason for my annoyance, I haven’t thought that in that way before, but it just might be that the song is just too obviously encouraging.
    And I agree also with what you wrote about the first reaction on ‘Make a move’, for it was so strongly emotional for me, too. I was, too, annoyed and disappointed and actually was worried to be going to my first concert ever that was coming up. I think that the thing that makes us (me at least) emotional over this change is the fear that this change could somehow come to change also his being as a human, his character, his attitude towards us fans and everybody else.Like he would have woken up one morning and decided that what the heck, I’m so done with all this kindness and doing my own stuff, now it’s my time to take the easy money out of it. I understand it might not be the case, but it’s so easy to personify the cds and singles to the person who is performing them, like he is believing in what he is singing and means everything of it too. Ha, like I mean everything literally when working on my novel to come, right?
    I also get it that the record labels have their say on everything an artist does for them. And I find it very restricting and sad, because I believe that music industry – just like any industry in the world – needs it’s diversity, the power of music is in it’s way of touching us all, in a way or another. In one interview Gavin says that music is …’touching us in so unbelievable personal level’ or something similar, and I always nod when I hear that. But sadly, these new songs don’t touch me much at all. I feel like I’ve heard them before like hundreds of times when I just turn the radio on. Where’s the magic?
    It must be frustrating, I can’t even imagine, if not able to do the right thing for him. But how could I know, this could be all his idea as far as I know! Maybe I should ask him that in my m&g? Ha!
    And, another thing I have been worrying about is Gavin’s amazing pace of touring! I mean, oh man. Does he get his rest and relax… It must be incomprehensively demanding to work with some new material when doing touring at the same time! Maybe all he needs is some time.
    And maybe all I need is to shut up, right? And let the man do his thing.
    I absolutely love the previous ones, and Gavin’s voice and everything I must have been telling over and over again. So, I’m not trying to backstab him or anything, just being genuinely worried about his happiness. (ahh, and mine, in the same time!)
    Do what you love, and you’ll get there, eventually, he said somewhere. I surely hope that’s what he is doing.

  5. totally agree again, especially what you said about touring. he tours pretty relentlessly and i imagine its hard to get the time to sit down and write and record new material when you’re always on the road like that. but still he does always say in interviews that he is always writing, that he writes every day even on the road. and i think for the majority of his career he toured just as much. the difference was that his albums came out a lot slower before. and he’s said in more recent interviews that getting make a move out so soon after sweeter was so that he didnt fall off the map. i kinda felt the same way as you about going to his show, because ive been a fan since the beginning of his career and didnt get to see my first show until this past april. fortunately seeing him live wasnt at all disappointing for me and was better than i imagined and ive seen him 3 times this year now. i also had the chance to meet him after that first show and even though i knew he came out to meet fans after shows and that he was really nice i wasnt remotely prepared for how genuinely sweet, appreciative and patient he was with me. i was surrounded by girls pushing and shoving their way to meet him and still he treated me like he had all the time in the world and like i was the only person in the room. granted, a lot of times hell just shake hands or maybe sign something but when i got to meet him after that show he asked my name and shook my hand, signed my CD, took my phone and took selfies with me and gave me a hug. i told him that i loved him and that he was beautiful and he replied “thank you so much, YOURE beautiful”.. i was blown away. since that happened all my worries about him changing personally have completely dissipated. i got the chance to meet him again at my last show earlier this month and he was just as sweet as the first time. when i told him i drove 4 hours to get there he high fived me and he thanked me very graciously when i thanked him for how sweet he was to me when i met him in april and told him it was really special since ive been listening to his music since i was a kid. so like i said, i dont think theres any chance in the world he’d ever change so drastically that he treated fans differently. he has always been incredible towards fans and is genuinely grateful for every one of us and for that alone ill always do my best to be on his side when it comes to the music. i do wish the show itself wasnt so rushed and that it was more laid back like his earlier shows were, with his banter with the audience and diversions in the setlist for requests or just because he feels like doing something different but either way its always a great time and ive yet to have been disappointed and im sure you wont be either!

  6. I’ve heard so many amazing comments of Gavin’s attitude towards his fans that actually that is starting to relieve my freaking out -phase I’m in at the moment. Ha. I was in my first concert in the past February, and even though I was a bit doubtful when went, I was so overly and completely degrawed afterwards it was getting ridiculous. His live performance is something very extraordinary, indeed. In that concert I was in the backest of the back rows possible, but I enjoyed it a lot. Didn’t meet him, though. This time in September (argh!) I’m doing 2 shows, and I expect not to be disappointed (or in the back row) at all, if not then because my expectations have rised so high with all the experiences I have read from all of you.
    The one thing that keeps popping up is that he seems to give the feeling like he had all the time in the world and even if the m&g time is (way too) short, it feels, umm, how to say, full? Giving his undivided attention to the person he is talkin with. Anxiously waiting (and fearing) it, still don’t know what to say to him. Uh oh.
    I wish I would have been with him since the beginning, but I’ve known him only about a couple of years, since ‘Sweeter’. So my experience and knowledge of him is based pretty much on other’s experiences and thoughts, and of course countless of amounts of youtube videos and interviews, ahhah!
    You have relieved also my uncertainty for him as a person, so, maybe, in the end, this changing of style and all, isn’t anything else than changing a style, you know. So thank you for that, too. I just NEEDED to tweet that quote about lyrics, because of what we have just talked about. That was something, I don’t know. Hearing him say that makes me feel the connection, in mind. Great minds think alike. Haha.
    You have had some beautiful moments with him! I’m happy for you!

    I’m glad also that our guy is so special, and I’m proud to be part of his crazy screaming family of fans.

  7. yes! im kind of in awe whenever i think about how accessible he makes himself to us. at my last show like i said i had the m&g but i also had front row so i had another chance after the show at the stage to tell him thank you for singing “you got me’ because he sang it for the first time for us and when i thanked him he locked eyes with me and held my hand and said thank you so much and then after we walked out of the venue there he was at the buses signing things and taking pictures with more fans..i didnt get a chance to talk with him again there because he told everyone he had to go shower but still..its amazing to me that even though he does m&g’s he still takes so much extra time to meet everyone. he seems to genuinely enjoy it. there was a couple at that show who got engaged in front of him at the m&g and they got to hang with him at the bar that night. he definitely treats everyone like they are friends more so than just fans (and so does his family!)and so i totally am with you about being proud to have chosen him as my favorite. and even though he’s been my favorite since chariot came out i didnt know anything but the music until maybe 2 years ago. around the sweeter period he played some morning show on christmas morning and i thought to myself “why the hell havent i ever youtubed gavin??” so i did and then i got sucked into youtube interviews..performances..etc. i never knew he was so charming, funny, etc.. or JUST how incredible of a live performer he was until probably around the same time as you! but it was definitely the BEST discovery and im happy i took the time to pay more attention to him. not to mention getting on twitter and getting to know so many other fans. it really is a special fanbase and im definitely happy to be part of it and incredibly proud of my little 12 yr old self that i unknowingly decided on gavin to have him turn out better than i already thought he was..gavins definitely good people and im super excited for you to meet him! cant wait to hear all about it!!

  8. I agree again with you, about the special fanbase especially. I have never encountered something similar when liking somebody else. I feel like he is bringing people together, I’m very happy getting to know so many beautiful people through him. The only thing I’m not that satisfied is that in Finland he is like ‘neverheard’, when ever I tell somebody that I love Gavin DeGraw, they go all like ‘umm, who’s that?’. One of my longest time friends said to me just a week ago when I told her I was going to Gavin’s concert, that ‘oh, is he Finnish?’. I mean, seriously???? Ahh. But I’m doing my best to spread the gavinlove 🙂
    Oh, I just wrote somewhere that Gavin doesn’t feel like a superfamous rockstar to me, but rather a long lost friend. I don’t know really why, but he gives me such a good feeling. And if you’re super excited for me, I’m gazillion times more, and I most likely will babble about it endlessly afterwards. 😉

  9. is he finnish haha…no he’s just getting started -_- so sorry..terrible joke..haha but honestly its really the same thing in the US when you say his name. although if you start singing one of his more popular songs theyll be like “oh okay yeah i know that” ..but yeah, he’s just the best..it’s addicting!!

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