| 10.5°C Dublin

Fighting darkness Singer Josh Groban reveals how love got him through the lockdown


Josh Groban

Josh Groban

Josh Groban

AMERICAN superstar singer and actor Josh Groban reveals that being in love has helped him cope with lockdown in the Coronavirus pandemic.

Groban (39), who had a smash hit in the U.S. with Irish songwriter Brendan Graham's gem, You Raise Me Up, has been in a relationship with actress Schuyler Helford (29) for the last three years.

Back with a new album, Harmony, Josh tells Shuffle that the couple have spent the time "watching lot of Netflix, and there was a lot of communication, a lot of walks. You have to find ways to keep yourself entertained."

Songwriter and performer Groban, who once dated Katy Perry (she admitted that her song The One That Got Away was about him), is delighted that his relationship with Helford - best known for her roles in Anger Management as Sateen and The Middle as Chloe - has stood the test of lockdown.

"This is definitely a good test for sure," Josh tells me. I think a lot of family and relationship dynamics are certainly being tested, but we're good. It's a blessing to have companionship and love, and to be able to have that ability to always keep yourself entertained."

Groban, who has sold more than 30 million albums since his debut in 2001, has spoken openly about his mental health issues in the past, and he says he was very conscious of managing it through Covid-19.

"I knew going into it that this had the potential to be a perfect storm for some real dark days for me," Josh tells me. "Depression likes to live and breathe in isolation, and it's important for me to express myself through music to stay vital.

I kind of told myself, when this all started, to really be mindful of the fact that once I start to feel the cloud, before it starts to settle in, be proactive about doing something healthy for yourself, and set really realistic goals for yourself that you can accomplish.

"Cooking has been really helpful, just being useful making something delicious. Finding new skills, anything you can do to make yourself feel useful is how I have tried to do this.

"That goes for altruism as well. The best depression and anxiety killer is to help others, to take yourself outside of yourself and do philanthropic work, checking in on a friend, diving into raising money for a charity or pandemic relief, or sending a message to nurses.

"I've been trying to find innovate new ways to boost up my own charity. That's been a big help for me as well."

With his latest album, Harmony, Groban performs a collection of timeless songs along with two originals, including The Impossible Dream, I Can't Make You Love Me, She and the Robbie Williams classic, Angels.

"So many people requested Angels. For so many years I got it yelled at me a lot in concert to sing. I love that song, I adore the message of it and I love Robbie Williams to death, so I was so happy to finally do a recording of it," he says.

There are no Irish songs on Harmony, but Groban is a fan of Irish music - he also recorded Declan O'Rourke's Galileo - and says it goes back to his youth when he fell in love with a recording of Davy Spillane playing the uilleann pipes.

He adds: "When I was in junior high school I was listening to the uilleann pipes. I was wearing out the Davy Spillane record when I was in seventh grade. I found myself buying a lot of Irish albums and traditional music.

"My first trip out of America was to Ireland. When I was in seventh grade in junior high school my parents let me choose…and I chose Ireland

"Ever since that one trip I have been just absolutely in love with the country."

H JOSH Groban's new album, Harmony, is out now.


Sunday World