Josh Groban speaks on his musical tribute to Kanye West's tweets: The Music Mix Q&A

groban-kanyeIt’s the viral hit of the week: Josh Groban crooning selected bons mots from Kanye West’s Twitter account in his most sonorous tones. Since airing on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! and being posted on YouTube, the hilarious skit has racked up more than 1.2 million views.

“I’ve been blown away by the response,” Groban tells the Music Mix. We spoke with him today to find out how “Josh Groban’s The Best Tweets of Kanye West” came to be. Hit the jump to see the clip again and read our Q&A.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Whose idea was this skit? Is this something Jimmy came to you with?

JOSH GROBAN: Any talk show host can have you on to sing your song of the moment, but from day one, when nobody else was giving me couch time, Jimmy was finding me fun things to do — whether it was buying pot brownies from Snoop Dogg at the AMAs or giving me such a glorious moment in the ‘F—ing Ben Affleck’ video. He always let me express the funny bone a little bit…So his team basically said, “If you’re coming on again, would you be open to doing another skit?” I said, “Sure.” They came back with about five different ideas. The most obscure was, I think it said, “Something musical with Kanye’s tweets.” In theory it sounded funny just because his tweets are so funny. So they set up a piano and a mic and a little white backdrop. I dressed in my Sunday best. [Kimmel’s] amazing production team put together this hilarious infomercial around what was essentially just me sitting there and improvising these things. We would pick our favorites and I would just play the first melody that came to mind. That’s basically what you’re seeing.

How did you pick which tweets to immortalize this way?
When it comes to Kanye’s tweets, it’s like, how do you pick the prettiest child? They’re all gems. In the end, I think probably it was the ones that created the best melodies. There were a few that we did that didn’t make the edit. But we’ve recorded all 783 of them. You’re just going to have to buy all 48 CDs.

No, I’m just kidding.

I figured.
That would be awesome.

Had you been following Kanye’s tweets on Twitter before this?
Yeah, I had read all of these before. I’ve followed him for almost the whole year.

What’s the response to the skit been like?
It’s cool. Even Kanye retweeted it. Hopefully he gets the joke. Nothing about it in my mind was meant to be mean-spirited. I never like to make less of others, especially in the entertainment industry. I know how it feels, and it’s not cool. Whenever you want to jest about someone or something, you want to make sure that it’s in a way where they should be in on the joke. Really, we wanted to make it more a celebration of how entertaining he is. More, “Isn’t this wonderful? And if I can lend my voice to them, great,” kind of thing, rather than anything negative. But I expected it to get, like, 20,000 views. I expected it to just be a funny little thing and move on to my next song. I’ve gotten more texts from my friends than I normally do on my birthday!

You mentioned that Kanye retweeted it. Has he reached out to you beyond that?
No. I’m sure he’s probably asking around to figure out just who the hell I am. So no reach-outs yet.

If he ever does get in touch, would you be interested in making music with him?
Oh, absolutely. I would never do something like this if it wasn’t for somebody that I completely respect. He’s an unbelievably brilliant musician. It’s fun for me to see, not only with Kanye, but in hip-hop in general and the way music is right now, genres are melding like never before. Jay-Z’s performing with a rock band, Kanye’s experimenting with classical music and ballet dancers. It’s amazing to see how art and culture and pop culture are becoming intertwined. To even think about a record store having the words “rock” and “pop” and “easy listening” — it doesn’t mean anything anymore. Everybody’s doing everything. So I’m always open, and it’s always been fun for me to collaborate with people that have been unexpected.

Given the response to the skit, do you think there’s any possibility you’ll ever pursue this project further?
I think sometimes when you’ve done something that people connect with, sometimes it’s better to leave it as the thing it is and let it live in infamy rather than gild the lily. We’ll see. If something really funny comes up in the idea room and we think of something else, we’ll follow it up. Otherwise we’ll just let it have its life.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (38 total) Add your comment
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  • Tg

    Such a cool, funny guy and a bit sexy too.

    • Melody

      More than a bit! I’m super proud to be a fan of his. Amazing singer, performer and seems like a great guy and a funny one at that.

    • Razor

      My GOD I cannot stand Josh Grobin, and if I have to hear one more godd—mned wailing excuse for a song of his in Barnes & Noble or at the mall, I shall kill Santa.

  • Cheryl Lajoie

    Thats Josh! What a fruitcake but a nice one.I have met him twice and to say Im a Grobie is an understatement!High Five Josh.I laughed so hard,It was just great!<3

    • matty

      That Cheryl. What a woman but a nice one.

  • Julian P

    Found about that video by some post by a friend on tumblr and it just made my day. Funniest thing I’ve seen on the internet in a long time. If I had a tweeter account I’d start following Kanye West right now.

  • Brenda Barrett

    Loved me some Groban on Glee, too.

  • M

    There’s something very sexy about Josh Groban…

    • sasha

      He is the total package and I’ve loved him for years. its annoying that he doesn’t get as much recognition as he deserves. He’s talented,funny,sweet,sexy,incredibly humble and AMAZING to the fans. He’s one of the biggest gems in the entertainment industry hands down.

  • Adwina Lambert

    Your corny attempts at being funny is a failure! Just come out of the closet so that it’ll be more fun :) tee-hee!

    • jared4ever

      You’re an idiot.

  • jared4ever

    He’s so articulate. I wish more musicians were as grounded and adorable as he is.

    • Kat

      No kidding. I can’t even think how long it’s been since I actually heard someone use the phrase “gild the lily”, and his point in that sentence is one that many comedians and viral video stars need to learn. This dude keeps impressing me, and I’m not even particularly a fan.

      • hen

        i know! “gild the lilly”- just fantastic.
        i honestly am not in love with him as a singer but i love him in all the skits he does. he comes off sexier because he’s willing to poke fun at himself.

    • SEC

      His interviews are amazing. He is sincere and thoughtful even with the most mundane questions.And funny! As the mother of 3 boys I wish I could sit down with his parents!

  • Marianne

    He should do a follow up where he sings excerpts from Snooki’s book.

    • tootles


    • steph

      HA! Seconded.

    • Narda

      Comcast is all about the Google, and the “web two-point-oh” buzz. They even have a that’s rllreaugy updated.If you hadn’t heard about it, had a run-in with Comcast on Twitter and has some interesting observations.

    • Yury

      Hi Carmen,If you are looikng for the Italpasta Oven Ready Lasagne, yes we do! They are actually on in-store feature right now for 1.99 Each!Let me know if there is anything further,Brian

  • JayK

    I love that Josh Groban is so frickin funny! It makes me love him even more.

  • Slimer

    Will never, ever be able to listen to a Groban song the same way again!

    I’ll be laughing for days at motherf*cking D’bags…!

  • CMU

    I love that he’s so talented yet so eager and willing to be silly and to poke fun at himself. What a fantastic guy.

  • Cat

    It’s great that people are finally seeing the funny side of Josh!

  • biggles

    Although I have reservations about WHY Yeezy is getting all this negative press, I have to concede that this was funny…

    • TXDave13

      I don’t think that it is necessarily negative. Just poking fun at his tweets. You gotta admit, they are pretty bizarre. The one about the marble conference table is awesome.

  • Maureen

    Another reason why I love this man!! :D

  • Hans M.

    This was hi-larious! Good for them both!

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