Andy Grammer's new song for his mom and daughter is so sweet—as is the story behind it

Tissue warning.

Andy Grammer, the pop singer and songwriter behind feel-good tunes like "Keep Your Head Up," "Back Home," and "Don't Give Up on Me," has a new album out—and it is seriously fabulous. Titled simply "Naive," Grammer says it's "all about how seeing the good in todays world can feel like a rebellious act."

"I wrote this album for the light bringers," Grammer shared on Facebook. "The people who choose to see the good even in the overwhelming chaos of the bad. The smilers who fight brick by brick to build an authentic smile everyday, even when it seems like an impossible thing to do. For those who have been marginalized as 'sweet' or 'cute' or 'less powerful' for being overly positive. To me optimism is a war to be fought, possibly the most important one. If I am speaking to you and you are relating to it then know I made this album for you. You are my tribe. I love you and I hope it serves you. Don't let the world turn down your shine, we all so badly need it."

Reading that, it's easy to think maybe he really is naive, but Grammer's positivity isn't due to nothing difficult ever happening in his life. His mom, Kathy, died of breast cancer when Grammer was 25. He and his mother were very close, and her life and death had a huge impact on him.


Grammer has written about his mom in his music before. But a new song that he wrote for his mom and his 2-year-old daughter, Louie, called "She'd Say," comes with an incredible story. The song is all about what Grammer's mom would say to his daughter if she were alive, and OH MY HEART. First, check out some of the lyrics:

You never got to meet your grandma, did ya?
Every night, I got you kissing on her picture
Cuts me up that you will never listen
To the sweet, sweet sound of her voice
I could tell you she was quite the mixture
Of a mama and a shaman and a fiery pistol
Truth is, she's right there in you
She's a part of you, you don't have a choice

My dear, you will feel her
In your mind, you will hear her
And if she could use words, use words

She'd say "You're beautiful, but don't you overplay that card"
She'd say "You're spiritual, so don't ever forget that part"
She'd say "You are so much stronger than you even think you are
Let your heart, let your heart lead the way"
That's what she'd say

Then grab a tissue, watch the video, and read what Andy wrote about how the song came about.


"I know I might lose some people with this story but sometimes life is unexplainable. This song is by far the strangest most mystical artistic experience I have EVER had. My wife got me a phone call with a medium as a gift. Quickly into the call he said "your mother is coming through and she wants you to write a song to your daughter, she wants it to be from her about everything she'd say but can't be there to say." Honestly whether I'm fully in on this or not that's just a great idea. Also my mom was a huge Paul Simon fan, especially the Graceland album he did with the South African male choir LadySmith Black Mambazo. So when I heard they just happened to be performing in Los Angeles the week I wrote the song it started to get downright eerie. I chased them down, blew up her photo, put it up in the studio, and tearfully explained myself to the choir. They huddled together and just started singing "I miss my mom" in ZULU, it was otherworldly. For the rest of my daughters life she will have this love letter from her grandma that she never got to meet. If my mom were here, this is definitely what She'd Say."


Related: A ridiculous dad transformed Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' into a 3-minute long musical dad joke

Chills, right?

If you loved that (I mean, how could you not?) you'll also love this poem Grammer wrote for his dad called "My Father Does Not Care." He performed the spoken word piece onstage between songs on his last tour, and decided to make it into a video as well.

Clearly, Andy Grammer was raised by wonderful parents. In a world of people chasing all the wrong things, it's wonderful to see someone using their talents to spread light and goodness.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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