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josh groban (interview from 2001)

Best known for his Ally McBeal appearances and beautiful voice, twenty-year-old Josh is a legend in the making. Just listen to his voice and you'll understand why we're staking such a serious claim. He got his big break singing with Celine Dion and has gone on to accomplish so much more since. Keep reading to learn more about this upcoming superstar.

Lindzi.com: When did you get into singing?

Josh Groban: I sang all my life. My parents had me singing around the house when I was younger. I'm not from a showbiz family or anything. It's just something I enjoyed doing. When I started getting into seventh or eighth grade, I became part of the theatre program. I went to LA County High School for the Arts and did more singing there. It's really something I did on the side and then I met David Foster.

Lindzi.com: That's huge! David has produced a number of legendary singers. How did you come in contact with him?

Josh Groban: I was working with a voice teacher who was a friend of the family's. David Foster called him and told him he needed a singer for an event he was doing. That's how that started. I sang for him and, three weeks later, he called again. He said he needed someone to come into the Shrine Auditorium and fill in for Andrea Bocelli for the Grammy rehearsal. It was like, "Woah."

Lindzi.com: Woah is right! Are you ever intimidated by the big names that you've worked with?

Josh Groban: Completely. I turned that particular opportunity down initially. I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of Celine Dion who was doing the duet with Andrea. I told David, "I really appreciate it, but, perhaps, you should get someone who's been doing this a little longer." He told me, "No. It'll be great. She'll love you." He pushed me to do it and it's a day that changed my life and I have him to thank for it.

Lindzi.com: What was your first thought when you found out you'd be working with David?

Josh Groban: It's funny... I never read the notes in the CD booklets. I never paid attention to who wrote or produced. I didn't know who David Foster was. When we got to the first event that we did, all these big performers kept coming up and saying, "Hey David." I thought, "Wow. This guy has to be pretty important." You find out pretty quickly who this guy is and what he has done. Every time I meet with him, I'm more impressed.

Lindzi.com: How did your duet with Charlotte Church come about?

Josh Groban: We were talking about people who would be great to sing with and I admire Charlotte tremendously. We wanted to record The Prayer for my CD as well because it was such a personal song for me. That's what I sang with Celine. Charlotte was more than willing to do it and so we did.

Lindzi.com: Have the two of you become good friends?

Josh Groban: She lives in Wales so it's hard for us to hang out. Whenever she's in LA, we hang out. I didn't know what to expect because when you're told you're a star as an 11-year-old that can mess with your head. But she's really nice. We're pretty good friends.

Lindzi.com: Charlotte is known for having an operatic voice. How would you describe your own?

Josh Groban: I could describe it as a lot of things. I wouldn't specifically put it down as opera. I would describe it as a Pop CD with heavy classical influence. I'm not going to do a whole lot of opera until I'm older and feel that my voice is more mature. I could see why people would classify it that way.

Lindzi.com: What type of music are you into?

Josh Groban: I listen to everything -- Paul Simon, Sting, Bjork, Linkin Park, System of a Down. I play drums too. I like to buy rock CD's and play along to those. It's good exercise and it's a lot of fun. I like Limp Bizkit a lot. Of course. It was funny. I was at the Grammy's and saw Fred Durst backstage. I was so embarrassed to go up to him, but I did, and then one of the Backstreet Boys came up to him and they hung out. I thought that was pretty funny.

Lindzi.com: Weird mix, huh? We're so quick to categorize people and things -- as though they can't interact or collaborate.

Josh Groban: Definitely! One of the things that we're excited about for the future is more collaborations. There are some great ones coming out these days mixing different genres of music. I hope that a band like Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park decides they need a voice like mine. We did that with the band The Corrs. They're an Irish pop group. We got an electronica producer and mixed it up. It turned out great. Who would've thought it'd sound good together?

Lindzi.com: Who else would you like to collaborate with?

Josh Groban: I would love to team up with Celine Dion again. That day was so great. Now that I'm working with David, I'd love to have another song written and work with her. Bjork would be cool to work with as well. We're also thinking about doing something with Enya.

Lindzi.com: Who do you consider your target audience?

Josh Groban: Being young and full of ideals, I'd like to think that I can reach lots of age groups. We've tried to figure out what demographic to shoot for, but the people who are writing in are ranging from 14 to 70. We still haven't figured out the age group. It's important to me that I reach my peers. After appearing on Ally McBeal, we reached a younger crowd.

Lindzi.com: Speaking of which, how did your Ally McBeal appearance come about?

Josh Groban: I did a charity event in Los Angeles called the family celebration. It was hosted by Bill Clinton and Carson Daly. A lot of big names. I was sandwiched between 'N Sync and Ray Charles. I thought, "This better be good." David E. Kelly and the cast of Ally McBeal was there because they were being honored for something. I sang and they said they wanted to use one of my songs in their shows. I thought, "Wow. What a tremendous honor." Then, I got a script to be on the show. I had done some acting in high school, but nothing on this level. The fact that he trusted me was really cool. I was so happy that they asked me back for the second episode.

Lindzi.com: In your first episode, you took Ally to the prom... not too bad, huh?

Josh Groban: {laughs} No, not too shabby. That's probably my best prom experience. My real prom wasn't quite as nice as that.

Lindzi.com: What were your own high school years like?

Josh Groban: The last two years were pretty good. Everybody from seventh grade to ninth grade is always feeling like, "What am I doing? Where am I? What should I be doing?" It's a sucky time for most people. Towards the end of my high school years, I look back on them fondly. I learned a great deal. That's when things started happening for me.

Lindzi.com: Your song, To Where You Are, has been a huge inspiration to many since the September 11th incident. How does that feel?

Josh Groban: Music heals in a lot of ways. Music has healed me. That's where you turn a lot of times when something like that happens. If people find comfort in that song, I'm deeply touched that I had some minute part of that. Richard Marx and Linda Thompson wrote it. We weren't sure if we were going to put the song on the CD. We thought it was a little too pop. Then, everything happened and we thought, "It's the right song." The song took on a different meaning.

Lindzi.com: How would you describe yourself?

Josh Groban: I'm a normal guy. {laughs} Some of my friends would not agree. Who am I? Still trying to figure that out. I'm someone who loves music and singing and works hard at that. I'm terrible at this. I would describe myself as very eclectic. I like lots of different things. I've become a computer geek in the last year because I've had no time to go out. Geez, I'm so bad at self analysis. I'll give you the number to one of my friends... they can sum me up. They keep me grounded. It's nice to have that around you because they still see you as "Silly Josh."

Lindzi.com: So, what does "Silly Josh" like to do in his free time when he has some?

Josh Groban: Silly Josh likes to watch irreverent films. I'm into humor. I love Monty Python and Saturday Night Live. When I was younger, I started a comedy troop. Music is taking up so much of my life right now it's hard to think of myself as anything but that. My brother has definitely gotten me into video games. I used to be against it. There is something relaxing about sitting down and solving something for an hour. I try to have my vegge out time.

Lindzi.com: Does Silly Josh have any celebrity crushes?

Josh Groban: Oh, man. My girlfriend would kill me. We've been friends for a few years. We went to high school together. She's been a great companion. That aside... crushes... I think everybody has a crush on Natalie Portman since Star Wars. She's pretty. I like talented people. Obviously, Hollywood is filled with extremely attractive, extremely talented people so take your pick.

>> Check out JoshGroban.com >>

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