Joshua Radin (USA) on songwriting, creativity and musical expression

Acoustic singer-songwriter, Joshua Radin has undeniably got a burning passion for music. Since releasing his sixth studio album, Onwards and Sideways his raw honesty in his lyrics displays signs of love towards his art, showcasing things that he has felt in his life. From a personal perspective, this album wasn’t just your average release – it was a catalogue of songs that proclaimed his love for someone; a deep love nobody could understand except for him and him only. The way he just spoke his mind with confidence – where he wasn’t afraid to take a courageous risk.

In 2004, before his music career kicked off, he had the help of his actor friend, Zach Braff showcase his tunes to the creator of Scrubs and this in return exposed his music to a wide audience, with “Winter” being one of the first songs engrained into the show. As a musician, Radin wasn’t afraid to use his resources carefully and when it came to songwriting, his honest expression was something that captivated his fans, with the occasional metaphors that left everything open to interpretation. “I’d say they’re pretty straight forward,” He says as he talks about his lyrical content in his songs. “I made this song called “Old Friend” and on the album it sounds like I’m talking about an actual old friend. I wanted it to sound that way but it’s actually a metaphor for love; remembering the time when that feeling of love – that was the old friend. But you wouldn’t know that by listening to the song.”

As he spoke about his music, it was clear that Radin was very resourceful with what he had. He explained that there were different things that he took from as inspiration – words that reflected his thought processes when it came to writing his music, giving him the opportunity to have purpose in his songs. As a courtship of love, Onwards and Sideways was an album with an ultimate goal – one where the woman that he fell in love with was someone he wanted to ultimately spend the rest of his life with. It took guts and bravery to get to that stage but Radin realised that inspiration was taken from various things. “I’ll see a passage and I’ll write it down and then maybe a lyric will come out of that,” He says with an enthusiastic tone. “Sometimes I’m watching a movie on mute while I’m playing guitar and I’ll be watching the visuals and in my mind, I’ll come up with something not on purpose. Something will flip in my head thinking about what these characters might be going through and sometimes I come up with a lyric that way.”

In all angles with his music, Radin explained that going to certain places kept his inspiration intact. It was there and then, he began to draw on the influence one makes when it comes to choosing the actions we take in life. For the musician, he took it on a simpler level by going to places which made him feel creatively energised, putting together the best music possible. Whether it was speaking to a confidant or going to a place with aesthetics, Radin had an open mind when it came to the free expression of the lyrics that he wrote – anywhere at anytime. “I could be walking through a museum and see a painting that inspires something or it’s really just a conversation with a friend,” He continues. “A lot of times though, my lyrics come out of pain and in the middle of the night, I’ll have to grab my phone and then go and write something down. I guess I’ll be thinking about it over and over again and then I’ll realise I should put that in a song.”

Radin had sincere views on how music has helped him cope with things. For instance, his first ever record, We Were Here was inspired by a bad break-up. He found music as a solace; one that could comfort him in his darkest days with the audience illuminating a light on him as he took the stage with pride and dignity. Surely enough, he felt comfortable showcasing his vulnerability to hundreds of people. “There’s something about taking pain and making something beautiful out of it. It makes me feel really good so I guess that’s my therapy,” Radin speaks on the release music provides him. “A lot of times the audience acts as my therapist, you know. Sometimes when I just look out in the dark – audience in the spotlight – that’s what I’m thinking. I’m opening myself up and bleeding on stage, and I think that’s why people respond to it because they can tell that it’s honest.”

Creativity to an individual is personal. With Radin working previously as an art teacher, screen writer and gallery worker, combining all these day jobs eventuated on his full-time gig as a musician. For that, it provided him a passion for the spontaneity life had to offer. “It’s just about being creative, you know. It doesn’t matter to me, whether it’s a guitar or a paintbrush or a typewriter. There’s inspiration that hits and I feel like I have to act like a lightning rod. I just live my life and every now and again, if I feel like I need to express something, it comes out.”


Catch Joshua Radin in these tour dates below!

Sunday 6th September: PERTH – Rosemount Hotel
Tuesday 8th September: ADELAIDE – The Gov
Wednesday 9th September: MELBOURNE – Corner Hotel
Thursday 10th September: SYDNEY – Metro Theatre
Friday 11th September: BRISBANE – Max Watts

Tickets can be purchased through HERE


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