Josh Goldberg: The Jewish Sam Smith
Introducing Josh Goldberg
My name is Josh Goldberg. I am a Jewish singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles. I am currently working on my first full length Jewish album, titled “ONE.” I have been dreaming of recording all these Jewish songs I’ve been writing and teaching all over the country over the last 7 or so years, and in November I finally decided to do a crowd funding campaign to raise the money I needed to produce the album. At first I was hesitant about asking people for money…it’s something I hate doing. But I found that people in the Jewish community are actually really willing to help artists realize their creative projects. There is a need for great Jewish music out there.
In addition to recording, I have also been touring the country this year with Craig Taubman. So far we’ve gone to London, Chicago, San Francisco, Berkeley, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Las Vegas and we are gearing up to go to Palo Alto, Milwuake, and D.C. I play keys, guitar, and sing in the band. It’s always a thrill to play with Craig. He always keeps the band on our toes. We never know what song we’re gonna play next! Playing with Craig and watching him do what he does has taught me a lot about performing. Being a great musician alone does not make you a great performer. That’s just the first step. The next step is figuring out how to connect with your audience. Craig is a master of that. While he does play the guitar, the audience is really his instrument. He gets everyone involved and invested in what he’s doing and creates more than a concert: it’s an experience. He weaves everyone into a tapestry. In the end, more than any lyrics or guitar riffs, people will remember how you made them feel.
Someone told me I’m like “the Jewish Sam Smith” which I’m totally cool with!
I have a pretty eclectic musical taste, but some of my biggest musical idols/influences are Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Elton John, Ben Folds, Amos Lee, Norah Jones, Zac Brown, Paul Simon, and Gavin DeGraw, and I think my sound reflects that. I also grew up doing musical theatre, so I think some of that theatrical style found its way into my writing.
I think something that makes me unique is my willingness to be vulnerable. Some of my songs on this album talk about really painful experiences I have been through that have made me stronger in the end. I used to be afraid to really bare my soul on stage, and talk about intimate details of my life, but after having tried it a few times, I’ve realized that people really respond well to it. By talking about things I’ve gone through like depression, addiction, and loss, I allow other people who have gone through similar things to realize that they’re not alone.
JRR is an amazing tool that allows Jewish music to be shared with new audiences all around the world. This year I performed at URJ Biennial, and after my show, a woman I had never met before came up to me and said “I recognized your voice from Jewish Rock Radio!” Jewish artists have a lot to say and JRR allows these messages to be spread.
Never stop learning and never stop practicing! Music is an endless well that you can keep drawing from your entire life and still barely scratch the surface. Also, surround yourself with people who have more experience than you. That’s the only way you will grow!