At the end of night two of blind auditions on The Voice, a singer named Angel Taylor captivated the judges, audience and internet with her rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You.” Gavin DeGraw didn’t see the audition, as he is currently on tour in Germany, but the singer-songwriter isn’t shocked at all by Taylor’s impact on the show.
“It doesn’t surprise me that if she was on it, she would kill it. She’s amazing, she was on tour with me and she was the opening act for me a few years ago,” DeGraw tells Rolling Stone. “I met her out in Portland, Oregon, really fucking cool. Some people you say hi to and it’s okay, but she’s legitimately cool the way you want a star to be cool. I love her, she’s fantastic, great singer.”
Taylor and the other aspiring vocalists of The Voice are trying to get to the level of DeGraw, who is about to kick off another round of U.S. tour dates next month on the strength of the smash single “Not Over You.” But DeGraw has his own artists he hopes to one day emulate. His career role model – Kid Rock.
“I think Kid Rock has the most amazing fucking career. He says anything he fucking wants on stage, anything at all, he doesn’t care. He celebrates freedom of speech like none other. He does anything he wants musically, he’s not bound to any style, he’s not bound to anything,” DeGraw says. “I went and saw him play this show in Nashville at the Ryman, maybe 1,800 people, maybe less, and I thought to myself, ‘He has the perfect career. He can do anything he wants on stage.’”
The question then for DeGraw is how does he get to that point himself? For him, the key is the follow up to “Not Over You.” “Pop art is shock art and the next thing I need to do is shock something, I need to do something different than what just worked,” he says. “You drop a single that they would never expect you to drop. Next song to drop I think would be ‘Sweeter,’ the title track. If you drop ‘Sweeter’ next, that’s 180 degrees from that, that’s just sexy, but it’s masculine and sexy, it’s totally different, that’s Black Keys meets Sly and The Family Stone.”
And if the song takes off the same way that “Not Over You” has? “If that works now I’m sitting in a good place and I can say, ‘Cool, this shit is working. People want you to change it up.’ And if they don’t then people really don’t want you to change it up,” he says laughing.