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Josh 'The Voice' Kaufman returns to Indy for his victory lap

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Tuesday, after winning the finals on NBC’s “The Voice,” Indy resident Josh Kaufman was awarded $100,000 and a record contract. Afterwards, he flew immediately to New York City for Wednesday appearances on “The Today Show,” and later “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

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Examiner.com caught up by phone Thursday with Kaufman, prior to his departure for home where he was to be welcomed by family, friends and fans at the Indianapolis International Airport. The icing on the cake was an announcement on that same day that "The Voice," had been named the Grand Marshal of the IPL 500 Mile Festival Parade.

What were your activities today in New York?

Mostly a lot of press stuff. I talked to a lot of NBC affiliates across the country on television and did some satellite radio. I have also just been doing some phone calls interview like this one.

You have been doing press since “The Voice” began. Is it getting any easier?

You just kind of get used to it. You get a number of similar questions so you know what your answers are to a lot of them. It becomes more and more comfortable.

How was it playing with the Roots?

Oh man, that was so much fun. I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time. They are such incredible musicians so it was an honor to be up there with them.

Are you aware that there is going to be a big welcome for you at the Indy airport tonight?

Yes I am. That’s really fun. It is so nice that people are willing to do that.

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get home?

When I get there, I will meet everybody and enjoy that a little bit. After that, I just want to get home and spend some time with my family. It’s been awhile since I got to do that.

Those who have been in your position of new found fame, often refer to it being “surreal.” Do you now know what that means?

Yes. It seems like a dream. It seem like it’s not really happening. It’s hard to really put yourself in it and take it all in and see it for what it is. I definitely understand it.

Since you studied Philosophy, what is your philosophical view of what you are experiencing?

I don’t know if I can exactly put a philosophical spin on it. I think that study and the way I think about things informs everything that I do, how I make decisions and what I think about life in general.

You seem to be taking it all in stride.

Well, I try to and that is kind of the approach I’ve taken. It comes natural to just stay calm and laid back about it and take whatever comes.

You seem grounded but the nature of fame being what it is, do you think you’ll be able to handle it?

Yes. Obviously being older and having a family. That’s not usually how people start into this industry but I feel like, in a way, it makes it the perfect time for me because I feel like I am equipped to handle that and those kind of pressures and take whatever comes my way.

How do you feel about the loss of privacy you will no doubt experience?

It’s different. I am a pretty reserved, introverted person. My wife is the same way so it takes some getting used to but it’s just a change. I just have to figure out works best for you in the situation and adapt to it.

How did the coaching you received on “The Voice,” help you?

Usher was so helpful. He taught me how to approach the performance, how to use the stage, use my body, use my eyes and how to make the best connection. He helped me to think about the performance as a whole

Did you use everything he taught you in the competition?

I definitely took those things to heart. I liked the help and a lot of people said ‘Oh, I loved your performances. I could see how you progressed and got more comfortable on stage,'

How was it working with all those world class musicians on “The Voice?”

It was phenomenal. The Voice band was incredible. It made it so easy to get up there and perform. They had your back and they were going to be flawless. They always are.

Tell me about the tour you are going on.

The tour starts on the 21st of June in San Antonio and lasts through the beginning of August. 21 cities I believe. They just put out the full information on the tour. Information about it is on NBCTheVoiceTour.com.

Is Indianapolis on the tour?

Sadly, I don’t think it is. I am really disappointed about that. I think the closest it is coming to Indianapolis is Chicago. I would love it if they added Indy, thought.

Have you been in touch with any of your old band mates from New Etiquette?

Yes, I did keep in contact with them throughout this, especially Ryan the drummer. We worked a lot musically together with the band, and in his recording studio. The members of the band are just really excited for this opportunity for me and wanted it to turn out as well as it possibly could.

Any chance you’ll perform again with them anytime soon?

There is a lot of figuring out things I have to do right now. At this point, I am under contract. I am a Republic Records UMG artist so I have to figure what all the ins and outs are and what I can and cannot do. I’ll start working with management and figuring everything out.

Any plans to show up at the Chatterbox?

I would love to. I am just going to have to figure all of that out. It’s all up in the air right now. I just need to get it all worked out.

In terms of your music, what kinds of dreams do you have that will be easier to achieve now that you have this opportunity?

I am going to have more resources at my disposal as far as what I can do when I make music. I’ll have access to big studios, and musicians and producers. There are just more options and more options there are just more things you can do musically so I am looking forward to that.

Do you have any evidence at all as to whether being from a metropolitan area helped take you over the top?

Yes, I think it did. It’s hard to quantify how much it made a difference but I am fairly confident that I wouldn’t be where I am without the support that I got. It was huge, the number of people voting for me and buying the songs and just supporting me. I appreciate it so much and I was surprised at how much people were behind me.

Thanks for taking the time to do this and the other two interviews during “The Voice” competition. It’s been a pleasure.

Thank you.

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