Shoes off, hat on, a mug (the same one that travels the world with him) in his hand. That’s all we saw when we first walked into the room. The journey into the city was a stressful one but all of that? It evaporated the moment we set eyes on international star Jason Mraz.
Some of you might already know his music by heart, others might’ve only heard him once or twice over the radio airwaves – but one thing’s for sure (and anyone who has heard his upbeat and poetic songs can do nothing more than just agree), Jason renders his fans completely speechless.
And that pretty much sums up our interview with him yesterday – hard to get words out and speechless in the presence of Jason Mraz. But we managed.
That mug, is that the first thing you pack when you travel?
“Do you like it? It’s been with me for about five years. I got it from a grocery store! I don’t even think about it anymore. It just goes everywhere. I’m learning how to pack less and less. I usually pack a hat or two and then I pack everything around it (laughs). I also pack my underwear in my hats so (points to his hat) there are a few in there right now.”
How has your music changed over the years?
“You know, when I first started Java Joe’s, a lot of my songs on that album are kinda abstract. I first started writing them as poetry. When I go back now I don’t even know what they’re about but they sound pretty! Because that was my goal in the beginning – to just have them to sound pretty and not worry about the language. Then as the years went on, I wanted them to continue to sound pretty but also add humour or meaning or depth. That’s really what I’ve gotten into these days. But also, I try not to overthink it. There’s still that depth but also that abstract openness that’ll allow you to just leave the planet for awhile.”
What’s your songwriting process like?
“How about being bored while being miserable? Seriously! Any time I get bored, I then realize that there’s just a lack of creativity in my life. So that’s when I turn to music or collages or paintings or gardening or something. And music is just about channeling so I just let go, open up, and see what comes out. Then suddenly I’m surprised by a melody or word or some idea that suddenly reveals itself. I’m addicted to that feeling of creating something out of nothing. I love that! It’s like a little magic trick and I love magic.”
Are you still the geek from “Geek In The Pink”?
“Always. I love being on stage but I don’t always feel ‘cool’. I’m still somewhat awkward and dorky. I have a cool job but it doesn’t mean I’m cool.”
You’ve come a long and far way since we last saw you in 2009. You launched the Jason Mraz Foundation in December 2011. What inspired you to start that up?
“For years I’ve been leading my music or playing in concerts for various foundations. Music by itself can heal and change a situation but also music is a powerful fundraising tool. And then add that to worldwide success and accumulating lots of money and fame, to then traveling around and learning about incredible organizations. Behind every organization are extraordinary people and volunteers. I looked at my career and when I first started, I had friends and family who gave me a rich quality of life and made sure that I continued to be uplifted on my path. So now I’ve got this opportunity to basically set up this bank account that I can only use to help people. It was being able to make sense of fame and fortune that inspired me. It has been a real highlight. It gives me purpose and it keeps me going.”
Five words, people, five words. Jason Mraz is a sweetheart.
For more information, visit his official website.