What Gavin DeGraw thinks about ‘I Don’t Want to Be’

Have you ever wondered what does Gavin think of the song ‘I don’t want to be’ himself?


I have written about this song several times, some thoughts of it can be found HERE, and I have told about the change this song started in me HERE, but this time, it’s time to let Gavin get his say on the subject. What does him think of the song?

He talks about the song in several interviews, probably because it’s the song, you know. The one that made a huge difference for him (and for me, too, if you may), and the one that people know him for the most. I have found lately a couple of people in Finland as well, who don’t know the name ‘Gavin DeGraw’, but when told that ‘I don’t want to be’ is his song, they immediately know the song, though.

So, the song it is.

Gavin says that when he wrote the song, he felt like it was the thing he wanted to do. He had heard some other artists doing something similar, telling about themselves and where did they come from. Gavin says he found it to be a ‘cool concept’ and wanted to try it out himself.

The song is about making a statement, showing his personality. Letting people see what is this guy about.

At first when I heard this, I kinda wondered if it was about him, or not. (Back when I did know nothing about G, that is.) Because, you know, when it comes to art, you can’t expect everything that is said to concern the person who is saying it.

But after that I have heard Gavin saying like countless of times that it is indeed a biographical song, and it is about his personality and his surroundings, and his exact feelings and thoughts. Which makes it even more cool, if you get me. He said that even if people wouldn’t like the song that much,  he hopes that they would like where he is coming from, and could relate to it somehow. That he wants to share perspectives with this one.

Gavin also said that this song focuses on identity, and I can agree with that statement. I mean, I did found my identity when listening this song on replay, so I guess it has something to do with it. This song has  literally changed my life, just as Gavin says it has changed his.

Though, at first, he was a bit hesitating to be associated with anything. Gavin said in the AOL interview (a blog post of it and the interview can be found HERE), that his first instant reaction to the suggestion of ‘I don’t want to be’ to be as the theme song of the TV-series ‘One Tree Hill’, was ‘nahh’. He told that he had been growing up in a social surroundings where anything considered ‘corporate’ was not a cool thing to do, and it might have affected his first reaction. Gavin changed his mind, though, and he now says that it was the best choice he ever did, and this decision has helped him in his career tremendously.

With his songs, Gavin says, he wants to make people to think ‘a little bit’. And when talking about this particular song he says that he wants people to go ‘oh, wow, that’s just like me’. And you know, that is exactly what this song made to me. I mean, ha, I’m not a prisonguard’s son or anything, but the thought behind it all. It really hit home with me.

“Honesty is the reason for the long time success.” – Gavin DeGraw

Gavin said he wanted to be as honest as he could with this one.  He has said that sometimes he needs to adjust the lyrics a little bit, so that they aren’t too revealing. He said, that at first he writes the lyrics, and then checks them out can he actually say it, and according to some interviews, he then ends up clearing a lot of them thinking that he can’t say this, or that, or even this.

The reason Gavin is writing this personal things is that he wants to give people something they can relate with. Something they can say is ‘real’, not just some nice words, but something real. And if I think myself as a listener, I do appreciate more those kinds of songs I can really believe in, you know. Or relate. But it’s a fine line to balance on, when you try to find something people can relate, and feel familiar, and still not saying too much of yourself, but leaving space for the listeners own thoughts, too.

But ‘I don’t want to be’ manages to do all that, don’t you agree?



2 thoughts on “What Gavin DeGraw thinks about ‘I Don’t Want to Be’

  1. Wow, so cool. I loved song as soon as I heard it all those years back. I love how it impacted you so much. That’s awesome. Music and honesty is amazing!!!

    • Thank you for reading and for your kind comment! Yeah, this song started something good in my life and for that i’m always grateful of. And I agree, Gavin’s music is pretty amazing! 🙂

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