Today’s Feature, June 2-3, 2007: Joshua Radin

January 18, 2008 at 6:24 pm (Today's Feature)

When I first heard Joshua Radin’s hit song “Everything’ll Be Alright
(Will’s Lullaby),” I had to stop for a second and make sure I had the
right artist. Immediately I was blown away by Radin’s voice and poetry
but couldn’t help thinking that I was listening to recording of a
younger Nick Drake, Paul Simon or Bob Dylan…and I don’t throw those
names around loosely. After further investigation, I was pleased to
find out I am not the only one to make those comparisons. Just Google
his name and close to 300,000 references pop up; anything from
praising his music (like his latest release, We Were Here) to
fan-built dedication sites.

I was even more surprised to find out it was only two years ago that
Radin was living in New York and trying to make his way as a painter
and screenwriter when the opportunity for the open mic night came up.
He says it best when talking about that night, “I wanted to write an
original song for the show…so I wrote ‘Winter’.” Oh, that’s right,
“Winter”, you know that song that he just put together; that song that
appeared (and became an instant hit) on Scrubs, available as a ring
tone, holds a top spot as one of the most downloaded “indie” artists.
You know…that song. Radin makes it sound so natural when he talks
about “Winter”, “Everything’ll Be Alright” or any other song on “We
Were Here,” because Radin is a natural. With that natural ability
comes the sign of a true artist in every sense of the word. Radin will
tell you he doesn’t write just to fill an album; he records what comes
out. It may be one song, one day or none at all. It is that mind set
and approach that makes him so different from many other artists out
there today, who create one or two hits and waste the rest of our time
with over-produced fillers, just to make “label-suits” happy. Radin is
quite content to go at his own pace and right now, that pace is moving
rather rapidly on airways. Joshua Radin is the buried treasure
beneath the rubble and wreckage of over indulgent young artists set
only on making an album, rather than focusing on making music. As for
Radin’s future; to steal his words, I know everything is going to be
alright. Read his XXQs to find out more.

XXQ: Joshua Radin

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How and when did you first decide to become a musician?

Joshua Radin (JR): I was going through a bad breakup with a woman in
New York and I couldn’t figure out any other way to express what I was
going through, so I picked up the acoustic guitar, learned a few
chords and started writing songs, like a diary I guess.

PEV: Do you find your early work as a screenwriter helps with your
writing style?

JR: Definitely. It got me used to telling a story visually.

PEV: What kind of environment do you surround yourself in when you write?

JR: I have to be alone. That’s the only requirement.

PEV: What was it like the first time you stepped into a studio to
record your own music?

JR: Quite surreal. Having people there to work on my songs was bananas. Ha.

PEV: You have traveled all over but which city do you think offers the
best environment for music?

JR: New York. No question.

PEV: What do all your friends and family think about your success?

JR: They love it. They get so excited by the smallest thing, but I
really dig that about them.

PEV: You played “Winter” for the first time at an open mic night. What
was the reaction from the crowd and how did it feel to finally play
your music to a live audience?

JR: Well, the only people there were other musicians, but they seemed
to like it. They clapped afterwards. Ha.

PEV: What can someone expect from a live Joshua Radin show? What is
the best part about playing live?

JR: People can expect that I will sound like I do on the record, which
I think is rare these days. The best part about playing live is
looking into people’s eyes while pouring out your soul to them and
watching how they react.

PEV: How does it feel when people call you a “modern day Nick Drake
and Simon & Garfunkel”?

JR: Feels good…real good. Hopefully one day someone will tell a
young artist that they’re a modern day Joshua Radin. That’d be cool.

PEV: What can people expect from the re-release of “We Were Here”?

JR: An intimate journey.

PEV: How was the writing process different in “First Between 3rd And
4th” and “We Were Here”?

JR: Not really different at all, just me being honest about my
experiences and feelings.

PEV: If you could collaborate with one artist, alive or passed, who
would it be and why?

JR: Bob Dylan. Or maybe Paul Simon because they are the two best
songwriters to ever live, in my humble opinion.

PEV: How has life on the road been for you?

JR: Amazing. It’s what I was meant to do…be a troubadour.

PEV: Having lived in both New York and LA, what is your take on the
east coast/west coast music scene?

JR: New York’s scene isn’t as strong in my opinion. L.A. has more of a
community of songwriters, at least that’s what I’ve found. Once all of
us realized we could pay our rent by selling our songs to TV shows and
films, we all moved out to L.A. where those type of projects are made.

PEV: Do you find one topic in your music you keep going back to?

JR: Eyes. I dunno why though.

PEV: Is there one artist now that you think people should be looking out for?

JR: A few: Schuyler Fisk, Brett Dennen, Ingrid Michaelson and William
Fitzsimmons.

PEV: What is currently in your CD player or on your iPod?

JR: A lot of Elliott Smith. Love it. Every single song.

PEV: If I were to walk into your house right now, what is one thing I
would be surprised to find?

JR: You’d be surprised that I don’t have a house. I have a storage
unit in L.A. and crash with people when I’m in L.A. for an extended
period of time. I live on the road for right now.

PEV: When you are not working, what do you like to do?

JR: Sleep, eat, have sex.

PEV: So, what is next for Joshua Radin?

JR: I’m working on the next record. Who knows when it’ll be done, but
I’m working on it…

For more information on Joshua Radin, check out: http://www.JoshuaRadin.com

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