Singer and songwriter Joshua Radin likes being ‘Here, Right Now’
What: Park City Institute presents the Sirius XM Coffeehouse Tour with Joshua Radin and The Weepies
When: 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18
Where: The Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd.
Cost: $25 and $45
Joshua Radin, who will perform with The Weepies on Saturday at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, said the title of his new album, “Here, Right Now,” came from a bout with stress.
“I’ve had so much anxiety my whole life when it comes to the future and what I’m going to do next or what will happen to my friends and family,” the singer and songwriter said. “I just had a moment last year where I thought I have to stop doing that, because I’m living the luckiest, most fortunate life, and I’m not taking the time to appreciate it.”
“Here, Right Now,” Radin’s first for Nettwerk Music Group and his eighth release overall, is also a culmination of what he has experienced professionally and personally over the past 15 years, he said.
“There’s a line in the title track where I say, ‘Everything I’ve done has brought me to you,’” he said. “That resonates with me because when I try to write a song, go into the studio or play live, everything I’ve gone through, every experience, every person I’ve met, every conversation I’ve ever had was what I needed to learn or go through in order to be who I am to make the album.”
Radin, who, at 30, began his music career later than other singer-songwriters, said he did struggle with writing personal songs in the early days.
“It was very difficult, because when you first start, all you’re thinking about when you’re writing a lyric is whether or not you will offend someone,” he said. “Over time, you start to realize when you’re a songwriter that anyone who comes into your life personally knows you’re a songwriter. So they know whatever happens between you could end up in a song.”
Radin considers one song, “You Got Growing Up to Do,” from his second album “Simple Terms,” as his most lyrically scathing to date.
“I wrote it 15 minutes after my ex at the time and I broke up, and I was very wounded at the time,” he said. “But I’ll tell you that’s always been one of my most favorite songs I have written, and it’s probably because I was the most honest than I have been in many other songs.”
In addition to the seven original songs on the “Here, Right Now,” Radin chose to cover Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” and the Rolling Stones’ “She Smiled Sweetly.”
“These are two songs that I love so much,” he explained. “I just wanted to try to make different versions because, obviously, the originals are perfect.”
One of the most difficult challenges of his career is putting a setlist together for his live shows.
“I’m not someone who will just play a bunch of songs from a new album and just a few older ones,” he said. “I find it self-indulgent when an artist does that.”
So, he takes a few carefully planned steps.
“I will reach out to my fans through social media and tell them I’m putting together a setlist and ask what they want to hear,” he said.
Radin also tries to play most of the songs that have been downloaded the most on iTunes or streamed the most on Spotify.
“Then I try to do a couple of songs from each album, but you can’t please all the people all the time,” he said. “But my fans are the best. They are very forgiving if they don’t hear a song they wanted me to play.”
When Radin isn’t writing songs or touring, he supports Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit that brings music education to kids. Other notable Little Kids Rock include Carlos Santana, Metallica’s James Hetfield and Lady Gaga.
“Doing this is very personal to me, because I’ve been gifted this amazing life,” he said. “I get to play for a living. I roll around all over the world and people show up and clap. So how can I not wake up every day and try to make the world a little better, because I’ve been given so much?”
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