Pop crooner Gavin DeGraw has found a niche in producing songs about a girl, and with a recent album release and a Monday show at 6:30 p.m. at Newport Music Hall, DeGraw may be making Columbus just a little sweeter.
DeGraw is coming off the release of his new album, “Sweeter.” He will co-headline the concert with “American Idol” season seven winner David Cook and special guest, Carolina Liar.
DeGraw rose to fame in 2003 with his hit “I Don’t Want To Be,” which is also the theme song for the TV show, “One Tree Hill.” He went on to create more hits such as “Follow Through,” “In Love with a Girl” and “We Belong Together.”
This is the fourth release for the singer and is the most sensual album he has done to date, DeGraw said.
“In some ways I think it’s the most mature record, but at the same time, somehow, it’s also the sexiest record I’ve made,” he told The Lantern.
Songs like the title track “Sweeter” and “Radiation” are what help to break the album up and to stop the album from getting too repetitive, he said.
“When you’re making an album, something that’s really important is to try to diversify the album, to keep people listening,” DeGraw said.
For the first time on an album, DeGraw collaborated with co-writers, including OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder. Working with Tedder coaxed the sensual side out of DeGraw and helped create more lyrical risks, DeGraw said.
Writing with Tedder has helped to “step out away from that introspective angle that I’ve been writing from for so long and to jump into something where you can take a few more risks lyrically that I wouldn’t have taken initially on my own writing,” DeGraw said. “It’s that kind of approach that makes an album more fun.”
DeGraw said he is excited for the tour with Cook and Carolina Liar, and to get a chance to play songs both familiar and new to the crowd.
“I’m excited to see how it goes over live and how it translates for (Cook’s) audiences well as my audience,” he said. “If (the reaction) is similar to what we were having on the tour that I just did with Maroon 5 and Train, then I think it’s going to be incredible.”
After the months of writing and recording, DeGraw said the biggest payoff of the whole process is seeing the reactions of the audiences during the live performances.
Though not going to the show, one student was excited to hear DeGraw is coming to campus.
“He was the soundtrack to my summer,” said Ann Moffett, a first-year in business. “I really like him. I have his songs on replay.”
Another student describes herself as a casual listener, listening mainly to the songs of DeGraw’s that are played on the radio.
“I’ve only heard a few of Gavin DeGraw’s songs. I haven’t really gone to find more out … it’s not exactly my style,” said Caileigh Long, a first-year in international studies and Japanese.
It’s those hits, mixed with tracks from the new album, that makes DeGraw enthusiastic about the tour and about entertaining the audiences.
“That’s what the show’s going to be all about … keeping people listening and keeping them excited,” DeGraw said.