11 July, 2011

From Yothu Yindi to Nelson Mandela: A singer's journey...

I'm not sure how I missed posting this back in December, but when Josh was in Australia he did an audio interview with the ABC in Sydney at the Eugene Goossens Hall. It's a nice long interview where Josh talks about "Illuminations", his foundation and then treats the listeners to a couple of tracks including "Hidden Away" and "Higher Window".
Eugene Goossens Hall
Click here to get to the ABC webpage for the audio link.
The multi-talented Josh Groban has been described as having the voice of an angel and shares that with us as well as some insights into his passions.

A singer, songwriter, pianist, percussionist, actor, producer, and philanthropist with four multi-platinum solo albums and a tick of approval from none less than Oprah Winfrey, it's easy to be a little jealous of this man.

Despite all that, he is still a little nervous about his Carols in the Domain concert, and reasons, "anytime you're performing for tens of thousands of people and quite a bit more than that on TV, you get a bit nervous."

He seems rather destined for a performer's life, though, with his parents taking him and his music video producing brother to lots of concerts and theatre as children.

" I walked away from that getting the bug for acting and theatre and viewed singing as the thing I needed to do to be a better actor [but] the music took over and I realised I was a better singer than actor."

He proves that with renditions of the songs Hidden Away and Higher Window that he plays live for us in the Eugene Goossens Hall at the ABC in Ultimo, Sydney.

"It's a very personal record for me," he says of the album those songs come from, Illuminations.

The task was to write personal messages for this long player and they stemmed from "people and situations in my life that hopefully can have a universal message," Groban reflects.

"You hope if you've been there, someone else will have been too..."

In a variation on that thought, the concept of 'there but the grace of God...' seems to resonate for Groban, as he has committed himself to helping those less fortunate.

The Josh Groban Foundation was kick-started with a cheque from fans who had auctioned some of his autographs online and given the money back to him.

He matched the donated $50,000 dollars and now has over $2 million, which has gone to places like the Nelson Mandela's 46664 foundation and to a scholars fund in South Central Los Angeles, although he wants to shift the focus to education and, specifically, arts education.

Meanwhile, Groban admits to an Australian connection to his formative musical years, after a Christmas present from his parents of a Yothu Yindi album sparked his interest in more traditional instruments mixing with modern ones.

"The song Treaty was amazing," he adds.

And, to continue the connection with this country, he promises a tour on the back of the current album soon...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a thought? Let me know what you think...