Jason Mraz Looks for the Good In a Life of Music
Jason Mraz’s new album begins and ends with the same phrase: “Look for the good.” Those four words are not just a lyric or the title of his seventh studio album, but also an all-encompassing world philosophy for the musician, who believes that in dark and challenging times we should search for something positive.
Look For The Good, written and recorded in Jason’s home studio in Southern California, is a continuation of his career-long love for reggae music. It’s a genre he’s always returned to, inspired both by its rhythms and its revolutionary lyrics, and after making 2018’s Know. the singer found himself ready to further explore how he could participate in the style. Jason connected with producer Michael Goldwasser (founder of indie reggae label Easy Star Records and producer for Matisyahu, Steel Pulse, Toots and the Maytals and his own band, Easy Star All-Stars), who had remixed Jason’s single “Have It All,” and the pair began sending ideas back and forth. Initially, Jason didn’t realize their collaboration would yield an actual album.
“I honestly thought it was going to end up as a little experimental side project that sat on my merch table,” he says. “But it really blossomed into something quite beautiful and universal, both in its lyrics as well as its world beat. Everyone can dance to reggae. It was a long maturation process from the love of reggae as a fan to meeting the right influencers on the way who steered me in this direction.”
Uh, one, two, three, four…
Jason Mraz popped his way into the music consciousness of the world with his 2002 hit single “The Remedy (I Won’t Worry)” (from his album Waiting for My Rocket to Come, reaching number 4 on the US Billboard chart. His second album, Mr. A-Z,reached number 5 on the Billboard 200. In 2008 Mraz released his third studio album, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. It debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 with the track “I’m Yours” making Mraz an global sensation. The song peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving him his first top ten single. It stayed on the charts for a then-record 76 weeks, and was certified Diamond (10x Platinum) by the RIAA in 2019. His fourth album, Love Is a Four Letter Word, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200, his highest-charting album to date.
With two Grammy Awards undeer his belt, Mraz also received two additional nominations, and has also won two Teen Choice Awards, a People’s Choice Award and the Hal David Songwriters Hall of Fame Award. He has earned Platinum and multi-Platinum certifications in over 20 countries, and has toured in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and parts of Africa.
Striving for Good Things
JASON MRAZ FOUNDATION AWARDS GRANTS TO 25 US NON-PROFITS
The musician also runs the Jason Mraz Foundation, which has donated over $1 million to organizations supporting inclusive arts education and equality. The foundation recently put on an event in San Diego, “SHINE,” to celebrate all-inclusive arts education and become more fully immersed in the community using Jason’s music as a backbone. In many ways, Jason, a two-time Grammy winner, Songwriters Hall of Fame Honoree and board member of the ASCAP Foundation, aims to use his position to empower others and inspire real-world change and positivity. Everything he does and every song he writes comes back to the idea of love. Look For The Good is not just an album – it’s a refreshing way of seeing and experiencing the world we live in.
Jason Mraz announced through a video on his site that his Foundation would award 25 grants of $2000 each to non-profits within the US that align themselves with the Foundation’s mission “to shine for inclusive arts education and the advancement of equality.”
“I feel my calling in life is people experiencing freedom and joy,” Jason says. “I want that for my friends, for people who work for me and for my fans. I want that for the audience and the listener so when they get something from the music they feel completely free and they’re left with these vibrations of joy and inspiration. With this album, I feel renewed and excited. I look at myself as a new artist. I’m constantly looking for new experiences and new ideas, and I hope I can bring that feeling to those around me.”
Mraz is a social activist whose philanthropic efforts span wide-ranging issues, including the environment, human rights and LGBT equality. In 2009, he participated in a rescue mission to Ghana with members of Free the Slaves, a global nonprofit working to liberate children sold into slavery. In 2012, he was featured as the first-ever straight man on the cover of Instinct magazine in recognition of his efforts in support of LGBT rights.
The Jason Mraz Foundation was established in 2011, with a mission to support charities in the areas of human equality, environment preservation and education. Organizations supported by the foundation include VH1‘s Save The Music Foundation, MusiCares, Surfrider Foundation, Free the Children, Life Rolls On, the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the True Colors Fund, which promotes LGBT equality.
Mraz was named the 2010 Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Humanitarian of the Year. He also received the Clean Water Award in 2010 from the Surfrider Foundation, for helping to preserve the world’s oceans and beaches. That same year, he teamed up with The Nature Conservancy and created a PSA using his song “I’m Yours” to raise awareness about the nonprofit organization’s efforts to protect the earth.
In 2012, Mraz headlined the Milestone Concert in Myanmar to raise awareness about human trafficking, making him the first foreign artist to play an open-air concert in Myanmar. The concert was organized by MTV EXIT and held in the People’s Square in Yangon, with over 70,000 people in attendance, as part of an initiative to raise awareness about human trafficking in Myanmar.
Mraz is a continued supporter of WhyHunger, a grassroots support organization dedicated to fighting hunger and poverty in the United States. The organization was founded by late musician Harry Chapin and Radio DJ Bill Ayres in 1975.
Jason Mraz Videos
The Remedy (I Won’t Worry)
I Won’t Give Up
Jason Mraz Talks Songwriting Riding on Wave of Success
Jason Mraz Foundation to Award Grants to 25 US Non-Profits
Peter Sprague on Jazz Guitar, Surf & Breaking Even
Own Your Tone! For Electric Guitarists