Svierge Radio P4 Extra
Swedish Radio Interview
September 28, 2006
(Thanks to Eliza and Camilla for transcribing the Swedish parts of this.)
* Played ďYou Raise Me UpĒ *
Introduction: This melting baritone voice is about to take the world by storm. It belongs to American Josh Groban who is about to go on his first big world tour. Soon he will release his third album, and today he was in Sweden to talk to the press including P4 Extraís reporter.
Reporter: The record company likes to call him a mega-star and of course 13 million records sold from his first two albums is a great achievement, but itís a modest young man that meets me in the luxury suite at the Hotel Rival in Stockholm.
JOSH: My name is Josh Groban. Iím 5í 11Ē. I weigh 160 pounds. I sing. I make music.
Reporter: They call you a mega-star. Are you a mega-star?
JOSH: Well, it depends on where I am, and I think it depends on whoís calling me that. To me, no. To myself, absolutely not. Iím just me. Iím just Josh. And if I happen to be in a part of the world where I sell records if someone wants to say that, they can say that.
Reporter: If they want to, sure they can call me a mega-star, says 25-year-old Josh who was born and raised in Los Angeles, was discovered when he was 17 years old by producer David Foster and got his break in an episode of Ally McBeal five years ago. Heís been busy since then, and now he is ready for his first big world tour.
JOSH: I think Iím in a very lucky position where Iíve been able to make the kind of music that I want to make and have fans that want to listen to it. And they have given me the opportunity to continue to do that every day, and itís a great gift. And all I can do is not question it, just be thankful for it and try to keep my head down and work as hard as I can to live up to that every day.
Itís very easy in this business to go off and have a big ego and be an idiot, you know. So I try very, very hard to just focus on making great work because, when it comes down to it, itís only great work that will allow that to continue for you.
Reporter: Of course itís easy to lose oneís head in this business says Josh Groban, but I work hard and stay focused and I donít let my ego take control. Josh Groban with his sweet ballads fills a need with the audience say those within the pop industry. But is he really pop?
JOSH: Every time I read a different newspaper, thereís a different name for me. I have kind of a classically-trained voice, but my instincts are very much in the pop and rock genre which are the kind of styles that I like to experiment with. So I would say because of that that this is pop music but with classical influences, with world music influences, with rock influences, with many other different influences.
Reporter: Iíd probably call my music melodic pop, says Josh. And the new album "Awake" -- which will be released in November and is the purpose of Josh's visit to Stockholm -- is no exception. This time he has written more songs himself and stretches his well trained voice even further.
JOSH: Itís not real. I just press a button. No. The big secret about my voice? See to me thereís no big secret. Itís just hard work, you know, discipline, lots of sleep which I did not have last night unfortunately but when you can lots of sleep. And I think when youíre given a gift, when youíre given the gift of singing, you have to really treasure it and take care of it. And itís not like a musical instrument where you can just put it away and walk away and then come back and play it. Itís in you all the time. And so my big secret is that my life is probably not as exciting as people might think because I have to be very careful about my voice.
Reporter: Hard work and a healthy lifestyle is the boring secret behind my voice says Josh Groban who is in Sweden for the fourth time. The TV show Bingolotto and Jussi BjŲrling are two big things he remembers and his Mother is from Norway plus he has a lot of fans here.
JOSH: I think that my fans first and foremost are a very energetic, very intelligent, open-minded group of people. It started with an older demographic, like four or five years ago it was an older demographic, mostly women. And as Iíve gone on, like when I did the concert in Stockholm, so many young people, male, female. I mean, it was incredible. It was like a rock concert. And it was really a lot of fun to see that throughout the years I havenít changed much but the demographicsí willingness to listen to new music and listen to new styles has changed, and so thatís very exciting for me.
Reporter: In the beginning it was mostly older women who liked my music, but the demographics are getting younger and younger says Josh. But he hasnít got time for a girlfriend at the moment.
JOSH: I could say that I could make it work and have somebody travel with me and things like that, but any way you cut it itís very hard. And I think that for me it wouldnít be fair to a girlfriend to have that going on in my life at the moment. Maybe, I mean one day Iíll make it work. But you know, like I said 180 shows, Iím kind of married to my job at the moment.
Reporter: Josh Groban is ready to conquer the world, but first he has to promote his new album. After me there is a huge number of reporters waiting to do interviews in the luxury suite at the Hotel Rival.
JOSH: You are the first of about 25 interviews today, and then I go to sleep and repeat tomorrow and then go home and rest for a minute and then go back and do the same thing. (laughs) Itís very repetitive, but itís good.
Reporter: Can you do that without drugs?
JOSH: Yes, actually Iíve been able to. Thatís why I have coffee and fruit. No, I can certainly see why many artists in this business wind up doing drugs just because I think that theyíre so bored they need something to escape, you know? (laughs) But no, Iím drug-free and I think that for me this music is stuff that Iím really so proud of that I donít mind talking about it all day long. You know, to me talking about it is a natural high for me.
Reporter: No, drugs are not for me. Music is my drug, and Iím very blessed. I have to pinch myself every day to realize what a fantastic job I have says Josh Groban with a smile.
JOSH: For me, honestly, every single day I pinch myself and I wonder why me, why me, why me? But, like I said, you canít really ask why. You just have to be thankful for it and just keep working.
* Played ďYou Are Loved (Donít Give Up)Ē *