Marlene Lenthang
December 08, 2016 05:30 PM

Andy Grammer is slowing down the beat in his latest single “Fresh Eyes.” The song’s music video sheds light on an issue that hits home for the 33-year-old singer, who started out as a street performer on the Santa Monica Promenade in Los Angeles.

“I was a street performer where nobody gave a crap,” Grammer tells PEOPLE of his early days. “I slowly built it up from there. I’m lucky I got a little bit success from radio and the snowball kind of picked up more steam.”

In the clip, Grammer heads to the Union Rescue Mission in L.A.’s Skid Row, which houses over 1,000 people each night. Shelter-seekers hold poignant signs that say “Over 45,000 in Los Angeles” are homeless.

The star then invites interested individuals at the Rescue Mission into a trailer for a makeover, complete with a new wardrobe and haircut.

After each makeover, the stylist swivels the chair for each person to catch their reflection. Their jaws drop and their eyes open. There is joy and there are many, many tears.

For more on Andy Grammer’s new music, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

“When I was singing the song ‘Fresh Eyes’ to the homeless people that we had just given makeovers, I couldn’t even finish the song. I was a ball of tears.”

For the songwriter, words are the key to his music, and that concept fits perfectly into this project.

“Homelessness is an issue close to my heart and I know a lot of homeless people out there that are street performers,” says Grammer. “This song had such a special meaning when I was singing it to them.”

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