Andrew Watt dishes about his incredible fan relationships

Image courtesy of Andrew Watt

Every musician can thank their fans for their successes. Because without them, their purpose would be pretty obsolete. And while modern technology has helped artists become closer to fans they can't see while on the road, there's no comparison to meeting people in real life.

Singer/songwriter Andrew Watt knows just how special that face-to-face connection is. To him, playing live shows is like "sharing communication on the grandest scale," where the relationship and sometimes unspoken conversations that take place between him and concert goers trump any other experience. Because of that, Watt knows that his fans come first and foremost, period.

Ahead, we spoke exclusively to Watt about how he perceives the dynamic between him and his fans, what he believes the biggest misconception people have about artists, and more!

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, including more Andrew Watt exclusives, click here. And head over to iTunes where you can download Andrew Watt's new EP, "Ghost in my Head" now!

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New York, New York // photo by the one and only @austyn

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What has it been like for you to strip away the computer or the phone screens and get to meet your fans in real life?
It's amazing! Without them, there's no us. They're the ones that buy or stream the record and come to the shows, buy T-shirts, or post something online. There used to be stuff back in the day called Street Teams. It's almost at this point dead because of Twitter. Twitter or Facebook is your Street Team. Anytime I'm able to make a personal connection with a fan at a show or meet a new fan, or really touch someone through my music, it reinforces why I do this in the first place. I was emotionally driven to other people's music and that's drove me to start spreading that for myself.

Someone once said to me that playing music live is like sharing communication on the grandest scale. You're one person on stage talking to hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people. You're giving something to them, they're taking what you gave to them and throwing it back to you. You thrive on each other, push each other, and end up building a relationship through the arc of the show. Whether you're playing to people who don't know your music and you're winning them over by the end, or playing to a crowd of 100,000 people who know every word to word of your songs, you can always push and pull with them. And if you pull away for a moment from the mic, they know that they should sing along. You never said, "Now it's your turn to sing." They just feed off of your energy.

If I was walking down the street, saw a crowd, got up on a table higher than them and then jumped into them, they would drop me and I would break my head. But if I'm in the middle of a concert and my crowd is engaged with me and run back to the drums, then towards the stage and jump out onto them with everything I have, they're going to carry me. That's something that can't be explained. When that person said that to me, it clicked with me forever. So anytime I'm able to meet with them face-to-face is extremely special to me.

What is the biggest misconception people have about musicians?
People will come to a live show and really think that it's all glamorous. Even for someone on the level of Justin Bieber, it's not all glamorous. He's still in a bus or a plane, driving around the country sleeping on those vehicles everyday trying to get to the next city. That's at the highest level. At a much earlier level, you go to the van after you've played and drive ten hours to get to the next city and get a little bit of sleep and then get back in the van and do the same thing. It's grueling and taxing and takes a lot out of you. I think a lot of people that are in a crowd aren't thinking about how that artist got to them. It puts your body through a lot to be able to do that and get there. You have to be crazy to do it and addicted to music. Obviously as you get to a higher level, the conditions get better and it's a bit easier, but everyone starts in a grueling way and I don't think people really understand that. I don't get paid to do the show, I get paid to get to the show. The show is best part for me. You put me in front of a crowd that's enthusiastic and hungry for music -- and I'd pay you for that.

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here.

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