He is Here
by Abraham Kuranga
Joshua Radin – a native of Shaker Heights, Ohio – was the born under a lucky star. He is an avid painter and was working towards a career as a screenwriter, but he virtually hit the jackpot early last year with a completely different art form.
He was never on a musical quest to be a rock star. He wasn’t even trying to get a record deal. As a matter of fact, he was quite content being a writer. Although it wasn’t making him much money, Radin was happy living in New York City and doing what he loved.
Then the proverbial light bulb went off in his head. He decided to parlay his writing talent into composing songs. “I have always been a music junkie,” says Radin, who is a fan of Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith and Paul Simon – to name a few. “I was barely getting by, because it’s expensive to live in New York City.”
He decided to hook with a friend to write and record some songs. Armed with a guitar, his trusty pen, and a pal’s bedroom, Radin recorded a slew of songs in a few months. Using his connections from screenwriting, Radin sent off a few songs to some Hollywood producers.
The rest is literally a fairytale.
“We sent the song ‘Winter’ in to some producers and in a few weeks it was on the show Scrubs.” The Zach Braff-anchored sitcom spawned Radin a huge fan base. “The response was crazy,” explains Radin. “We had to put a website together that night. The next day, it was shut down with too much traffic.” Braff (who went to college with Radin, but never really knew him) became a huge fan, making sure to get more of Radin’s songs on the soundtrack to his film The Last Kiss.
The mania really set off for Radin after another boudoir recording wound up on one of television’s most popular shows, Grey’s Anatomy. When the song “Closer” aired on the ratings juggernaut labels starting calling and mailing boxes of money to Radin’s apartment. Well, not really – but the bidding war had begun. “After Grey’s, my music got an unbelievable response,” says Radin. “People from all over the world were emailing, and asking where they could get my music.”
If Radin’s rise to the major label ranks sounds meteoric, that’s because it was. “If you would have told me five years ago that I would be here, I would have told you that you were crazy,” says Radin.
After the dust had settled from the major label scuffle, Radin landed in Columbia Records’ corner. “I told Columbia that if they could get me an opening slot on [Bob] Dylan’s tour, I would sign with them.”
Even though that particular perk of the deal has yet to come through, Radin is happy with his new musical home. “Columbia let me make the record how I wanted to,” confesses Radin. “I got to pick the producer and create the sound I wanted.”
The result is Radin’s debut album, We Were Here. The disk, riddled with songs of love and heartbreak in the big city, looks like Radin’s golden ticket to stardom – or at least a Bob Dylan tour.
“The album is just about falling in and out of love,” explains Radin. “I had just had a bad breakup and picking up the guitar and writing songs was the best therapy.”
The album will remind listeners of a diverse set of influences, including the Beatles, Cat Stevens and Nick Drake – arguably Radin’s biggest influence. The minimalist production, coupled with Radin’s smoky-yet-not-overpowering voice, makes this album an easy, stimulating listen. Radin’s gentle folk guitar is one of the main ingredients that makes his songs the ideal soundtrack fodder. It’s not the most traditional road to stardom in the world, but it’s a role that Radin is more than willing to play.
“As long as I can pay the bills doing music, then I’ll be happy,” says Radin. “Just as long as I don’t have to go back to waiting tables…”
Surely, with more music to come from Radin, We Were Here is only the appetizer.
Copyright ©2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.Posted: October 20, 2006.
#1 © 2008 Jim Rinaldi. All rights reserved.
#2 © 2008 Jim Rinaldi. All rights reserved.