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Singer Takes Circuitous Music Path

Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Joshua Radin’s route into the music biz has been circuitous.

The Cleveland native, who won critical raves for his lofi 2006 sophomore album, “We Were Here,” started as a prodigy doing local theater and singing jingles in TV commercials. But he stopped that when he was in seventh grade.

“I just wanted to be, like, a normal kid and played sports and all that stuff, says Radin, who’s now 32.

He was an art major at Northwestern University, where he befriended actor/director Zach Braff, then went to South Africa to teach an American film class and to New York to pursue screenwriting. Frustrated, he picked up his guitar and “started learning covers as a hobby in the living room, (Bob) Dylan songs and Beatles songs.”

That, however, stirred something in Radin’s soul.

“I felt there was something that needed to come out of me, and (writing songs) was the only way I could do it,” he says. “I didn’t set out to be a rock star or a touring musician or a recording artist. I was writing songs, and eventually when enough people wanted to buy them, I had enough money to go in and record some.”

Ex-classmate Braff proved to be a strong supporter, getting Radin’s songs into his TV sitcom “Scrubs” and into his fi lm “The Last Kiss.” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Brothers & Sisters” and “One Tree Hill” also have used Radin’s music, while Columbia Records picked up “We Were Here” for a major label push.

“It just fell into my lap, I guess, the music thing,” Radin says with a chuckle. “Sometimes I feel a little guilty, ’cause there’s so many musicians out there who have been plugging away at it for so long. I did that starving artist thing when I was painting and screenwriting, but with the music thing I caught a break early.

“But this did teach me that if you feel like you have to express yourself in many different creative outlets, sometimes it’s not the fi rst you try that’s the best.”

Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk (actress Sissy Spacek’s daughter) perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 30) at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $13.50. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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