By Scott T. Sterling
As the frontman of Gym Class Heroes as well as on his own, vocalist Travie McCoy has always been a champion of diversity, moving fluidly between genres to incorporate elements of pop, punk, R&B and more into his evolving sound.
With such hit singles as 2005’s “Cupid’s Chokehold” (with the Gym Class Heroes) and 2010 solo smash “Billionaire” featuring Bruno Mars under his belt, McCoy is working towards his second solo album (still TBA), which is preceded by his current single “Rough Water” featuring Jason Mraz.
Before any of the hits, McCoy grew up in the small town of Geneva, New York, where he was a burgeoning young athlete with an early fandom for the New York Giants, who’ve endured a tough 2013 season and won’t reach the playoffs.
“When I was playing junior football when I was a kid, we were the Geneva Giants, so it was kind of embedded in me to be a Giants fan,” McCoy recently told Radio.com.
McCoy showed his Giants love by creating a new anthem for the team last year, titled “All In,” as part of a joint campaign with the NFL and Pepsi. The track references the four Super Bowl titles earned by the Giants franchise over the years and that “the thumb’s gettin’ anxious” for a fifth championship ring.
“’All In’ is like the Giants motto, so I kind of took that, and I kind of used New York as the backdrop — how diehard New Yorkers are for their team,” he explained. “Me being a New Yorker, I just had to show my love for the city as well as my love for the New York Giants.”
Travie debuted the track with a live halftime performance at the Giants’ 2012 kickoff gala against the Dallas Cowboys, which also commemorated the team winning the Super Bowl at the end of the previous season and included appearances from Queen Latifah and Naughty By Nature.
“It felt so good to perform that song, just the love that was coming from the stands,” he said. “Then having the players come out after it was like, ‘Wow, that was another moment when I had to pinch my cheek.’”
When asked what he would choose as his own theme music if he was a professional athlete, McCoy reached back to the mid-‘80s for a true hair-metal classic.
“Probably ‘The Final Countdown,’” McCoy said, singing Europe‘s instantly recognizable opening riff that’s become a staple at sporting events around the world. “I don’t know, there’s something about that song that’s so triumphant.”
Despite McCoy’s love for the Giants and football in general, he is not a fan of fantasy football, admitting that he doesn’t fully understand the concept.
“I don’t really understand it,” he said. “I have a friend, Emily, who’s a diehard Packers fan, and she does fantasy football and she’s super into it, so I’m going to ask her to kind of put me up on it. It sounds like fun. She has so much fun doing it.”