'I'm going shark-cage diving!' Josh Groban has some big plans for his SA trip

By Lindsay de Freitas
12 April 2016

This is not the music superstar's first time in the country, but he still has plenty to tick off the SA bucket list!

This is not the music superstar's first time in the country, but he still has plenty to tick off the SA bucket list! Josh Groban, who's just landed in the Mother City, took time out from his busy tour schedule to chat to YOU about what he plans to do on the Cape Town leg of his stint in South Africa -- and just how much his local fans mean to him. Are you happy to be in Cape Town? Absolutely! I feel really jet-lagged and tired because we’ve been travelling for a while but as soon as I landed and saw Table Mountain I felt better – I feel awake suddenly.

A photo posted by Josh Groban (@joshgroban) on

Did you or are you planning on doing anything different in South Africa this time around?

I definitely want to go shark cage diving… you only live once right? Other than that I’d love to visit Stellenbosch, I love wine and I’ve heard that it’s a beautiful place. Who knows, I might do both - get some wine and then hop into the shark cage. They call that liquid courage I think! You have visited South Africa before. What are your best memories? For a kid from Los Angeles to even get the opportunity to visit a place like South Africa which is on the opposite side of the world is mind-blowing for me. Then to have the people of SA show me such loves as a musician and just support my music they way have has been amazing, and I love being able to return the love. My best thing about my first trip to South Africa was really just taking in the culture and the music of the country. I visited Soweto,  got to meet Nelson Mandela,  got involved with his 46664 initiative and got see first-hand the great work that the Nelson Mandela Foundation does.  Also, musically I found the country very inspiring and South African musical influences were present on the album I recorded after my visit, Awake.

Have you managed to pick up any Afrikaans during your visit?

No, I haven’t but I’d love to learn some so that I can use it on stage. Have you tried any local food that you enjoyed? I really love the fresh seafood that you get here! I also had some springbok which was wonderful (I felt bad for eating your national animal but it really was) and I also ate some ostrich, which I enjoyed.

21 hours flying and 12 years later, so glad to be back. See you tomorrow night. #stages #southafricatour

A photo posted by Josh Groban (@joshgroban) on

If you weren’t a singer, what do you think you’d be?

It’s interesting for me because I’ve been immersed in music all my life and I feel like I have my blinders on. But I love animals, even though I said I ate springbok, and I have always been fascinated by medicine and science so I thing I would have been a veterinarian. I also loved the James Herriot (British author who wrote about his work as a veterinarian) books as a child and if a pet was acting funny I’d always be the first to go and inspect it and see what was wrong.

Who were your biggest musical influences when you were growing up?

I was lucky that my parents loved music and introduced me to a lot of older, soulful, artists like Tony Bennet, Peter Gabriel and Blood Sweat and Tears. I also remember listening to Paul Simon whose music was also influenced by South African culture.

Which current artists are in rotation on your iPod? Is there any embarrassing pop music lurking in your playlists?

*Laughs* I don’t have the latest Justin Bieber single on my iPod, I swear! Seriously though, I am really enjoying acts like Alabama Shakes and Lukas Graham. I try to pick up new music in the different places I travel to. At the moment I am very into vocal groups like a Room Full of Tears. I find their music very calming and enjoy listening to it before I go on stage as a sort of meditation.

What have been the highlights, or best moments, from your Stages tour?

I think, the full circle aspect of this tour has been truly amazing for me. I grew up singing these songs in my bedroom as an eight-year-old boy and now I am performing them for people around the world. I feel like my eight-year-old self again and it’s a very rare and beautiful thing for which I am ever grateful.

Have you ever had any weird, scary or funny fan encounters?

What I love is that you actually end up having real connection with your fan base - away from the music. For example they become interested in your philanthropic causes and they’ll tweet you and engage with you about things other than your music. But the weirdest for me is when a fan gets a tattoo! Tattoos are permanent so if someone a tattoo for me I feel immense pressure to stay famous forever – just for that person!

The US crooner is set to perform at Grand West Arena in Cape Town on 12 and 13 April, after wowing two sold-out crowds in Joburg and Durban last week.

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