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Artist Spotlight: Gavin DeGraw [Video]

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It’s been a long 10 years since Gavin DeGraw entered the public eye with his hit song, “Chariot.”

Since then, Gavin has not been in the public eye as much as with his previous hits, including “I Don’t Want To Be,” which was picked up by The WB television show “One Tree Hill.”

After his first album was released, no new material was heard from DeGraw for another four years.

Though DeGraw’s songs made brief appearances, such as “We Belong Together,” which was featured on the 2006 film “Tristan & Isolde,” his subsequent albums never had quite the success as his first.

His recently-released album, “Make A Move,” though still recognizable as Gavin DeGraw’s work, is unique in that every song is co-written with a major musical collaborator. Gavin went as far as to mix soul, classic rock, and even the occasional Europop. He worked with musicians such as Tedder, Benny Blanch, Busbee, Kevin Rudolf and a host of others.

It’s a mix that could have resulted in disorganized mess, but some how emerges as a smoothly connected, eclectic creation. Since its release in October, the album’s opening song, “Not Over You,” has remained high on the charts.

DeGraw has been busy touring, as well as making publicity and entertainment appearances on late night television and DirecTV’s “Guitar Center” sessions to promote his new work.

He has also found time to work with Colbie Caillat on a duet, “We Both Know,” for the motion picture “Safe Haven.” The song has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the “Best Song Written for Visual Media” category.

The risky co-collaborations were DeGraw’s own idea, and something he wanted to do simply, he says, to make his newest work as diverse and interesting as possible. His success with blending is likely because of his varied musical influences, which range from Billy Joel, to classic country music, gospel music, opera and musical theater.

Gavin recently told MusicRadar: “I grew up listening to so much music and got into all kinds of things; there’s a load of stuff from the ‘60s and ‘70s. My parents were from New York state, from the Catskills; I grew up about 20 minutes from Yasgur’s Farm, so there was still a lot of that culture from the hippie area. I knew a lot of the rock and folk and psychedelic music that came from those parts.”

Gavin has made up for any lost time, he says.

“By the time I put the second record out, I had lost pretty much all my momentum,” he said. “It was sort of like starting all over again,” he said.

The popularity of “Make A Move” has brought DeGraw back, and it seems doubtful that he will disappear again anytime soon.

— Kate Voss

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