Singer-songwriter Joan Osborne is just like “One of us”

Joan Osborne will perform on Sun., April 10 at District Live
Joan Osborne will perform on Sun., April 10 at District Live

With a versatile group of records and a music career spanning over three decades, singer-songwriter Joan Osborne is the epitome of a seasoned performer. 

Most famously known for her 1995 hit “One of Us,” Osborne became a household name when her song steadily climbed into the top five of Billboard’s pop charts and her debut album “Relish” hit the top 10 and garnered seven Grammy nominations. But Osborne’s musical journey started long before her breakthrough on radio. 

According to Osborne, she moved to New York to attend NYU film school and thought she was going to become a documentary filmmaker before realizing that music was her true calling. She said everything changed for her one evening when a guy who lived in her building invited her to go out for drinks with him at a local Blue’s bar. 

“My friend dared me to go up and sing a song and told me that he would buy the drinks if I did that,” Osborne said chuckling. “Being the broke college student that I was, I agreed. So, I went up and talked to the piano player and figured out that we both knew the Billie Holiday Song ‘God Bless the Child.’ It’s not like there was a big producer in the audience who said, ‘I’m going to make you a star,’ but it was an introduction to this musical milieu.”

Osborne says she continued to attend open mic nights and after a short period of time, found herself fully immersed into the NYC music scene.

“Little by little I found that there was really this amazing vibrant scene going on. I started going to all of the open mic nights that I could and meeting all the musicians that I could. I put my own band together from the people that I met and eventually started playing myself in some of these clubs. Ultimately, I just felt like I had to see where it was going to take me so I dropped out of school and here I am still doing music today.”

Since then, Osborne has explored a number of genres, from performing with the Funk Brothers in the documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” and even performing live at the Grand Ole Opry in 2007. This past February, she released her newest album “Radio Waves,” which was collaborated over 2020.

“Covid forced me to postpone all of my tour dates so I spent a lot of time at home cleaning my house from top to bottom,” she said. “I cleaned out closets that I hadn’t seen the back of in maybe ten years and found hundreds and hundreds of CDs and cassettes and files of music that I forgot that I had and a lot of it was from radio performances that I had done over the years.”

“Because of COVID I had the time to really listen to all of this stuff and it was kind of a goldmine. We have hundreds of hundreds of songs and for ‘Radio Waves’ we kinda narrowed it down to just an album length release but there’s still a lot more material I hope will see the light of day someday.” 

Osborne says that after three decades of performing, she’s extremely grateful for her fans who have supported her along the way.

“I’ve been able to do music for my job and my career for so long and not everybody gets to do that. It’s all because of the fans that I have and I’ll always have gratitude for that.”

Osborne will perform on Sun., April 10 at District Live at 8 p.m. To purchase tickets or for more information visit livenation.com and search for the artist.

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