Josh Groban burst on to the international music scene in 2001 with the release of his self-titled debut album featuring the hit single, "To Where You Are." His follow up CD "Closer" with the smash hit "You Raise Me Up" brought enormous success to the young singing sensation. He has made scores of television appearances beginning with Ally McBeal and continuing with countless performances on Oprah Winfrey, Good Morning America, The Today Show, two PBS specials, the Superbowl, the Oscars and the closing ceremonies of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics with an audience of over 2 billion people. His first PBS Special went on to become the No. 1 selling DVD of 2002. On the touring front, Groban started out his now legendary 40-city concert tour (which sold out in a record breaking 20 minutes) and then went straight forward to a two-year arena tour across the US.
"I learned from touring that my fans are really open-minded, musical, intelligent people and I feel like they want to come on this new journey with me. The music still sounds like it's coming from my heart and my soul and my voice. That is always the most important thing to me. My goal on "Awake" was to create the music and find the best people to help me create it," commented Groban.
"Awake's" 13 new songs including the just released first single, "You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)" show the Grammy nominated Groban's tremendous growth as a vocalist, producer and songwriter since he first appeared on the musical landscape.
With a lineup of stellar producers including Marius DeVries, Guy Sigsworth, Glen Ballard and David Foster, the album contains songs in Italian, Spanish and of course English. An early stand-out, "February Song" with Josh on keyboards came to the 25-year-old Los Angeles native on a sleepless night. “I wanted to write a song that melodically and lyrically represented the craziness I felt in that moment in the dark dark space. I walked over to the piano and it just came to me in a half hour in the most magical way."
Additionally, Groban recorded a suite of two stunningly haunting songs where he harmonizes with longtime idols Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The first song, the Groban/Dave Mattthews penned "Lullaby" is sung a cappella and the follow up, the South African song, "Weeping" which Josh first heard on a trip to South Africa. "The musical tapestry of the country and their heated history, the honor of meeting Nelson Mandela and visiting schools in Soweto was totally inspiring. And, it was a dream of a lifetime for me to sing with Ladysmith in the studio. I've loved them from the moment I heard Paul Simon's Graceland."
Groban's 'hands on' approach in the creative process of "Awake" is reflected in several Groban penned and produced songs along with musical contributions from Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dave Matthews, Glen Ballard, Eric Mouquet, John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting) Marius DeVries, David Foster, Imogen Heap and Herbie Hancock.