“It takes no time to fall in love, but it takes you years to know what love is.” – Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz – The New Kid on the Block
Jason Mraz has carved out a niche for himself in the music business by his simple arrangements and acoustic blend of pop, hip-hop and folk. Jason Mraz deliberate Dylanseque vibe has given him positive critical reception and success at the charts. It is his tenor voice that gives both the power and subtleness in his music. Mraz also has his signature holiday hat on while he performs giving him the “boy next door” image.
His albums have sold nearly 5 million copies world wide and the touring has helped him form a cult following. From playing at coffees houses to being nominated for Song of the Year at the 2009 Grammy, Mr. Mraz has certainly come a long way. The video for the song “I’m Yours” was viewed 50 million times on YoutTube. Many of his fans consider him a genius and next bright hope of the alternative rock music.
Jason Mraz hails from West Virginia and moved to New York to pursue acting but after realizing that his true talent lies in music, he moved back to Virginia and began focusing on his music career. He even took singing classes just to hone his tenor voice. Mraz then moved to San Diego where he started playing in small clubs and more importantly as coffee houses. One of the coffee places of choice was Java Joes! In fact the Java Joes was the starting point of singer Jewel before she made it big. After performing in local areas and coffee shops for nearly two years, Jason finally started to see a rise in his popularity. He even played a few gigs in Los Angeles.
His first official album was a non-major label release – entitled “Live at Java Joes” An acoustic set taken from his time at the coffee shops. The record and his shows got noticed by Elektra records and he signed on in 2002. Elektra recruited John Alagia who had helmed the albums for Dave Matthews Band to produce Jason Mraz debut.
His first major label album “Waiting for the Rockets to Arrive” sounded like an early Dave Matthews recording. It is the simple arrangement and the compelling voice which stands out. The album does not try to do too many things and it is songs like “The Remedy (I Won’t Worry)” that got instant attention for Mraz. The song cracked the Top 20 on US singles chart and the album peaked at 55.
The Rockets has Arrived
This was a strong start to the career. And he opened for Tracy Chapman at the Royal Albert Hall in London. His second album “Mr. A-Z” was a hit and received mostly positive reviews. The videos for “Geek in the Pink” and “Wordplay” received heavy rotation on MTV and VH1. A bonus track from the album saw Mraz do an acoustic version of Elton John classic “Rocket Man”. Even though the album was not a smash hit, it gave Jason Mraz a solid footing and he was being appreciated for his simple music and intricate videos. Jason endorsed GAP in a commercial which featured other artists as well.
In 2006, Jason was opening to new markets and even played a sold out show in Singapore for the Mosaic Music festival. Jason then went on an acoustic tour of UK with alt rockers P.O.D and Live that culminated in an online-only album titled “Selection of Friends”.
Most 2007 were spent in shows and recording process and by mid 2008; he released his new album “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things”. Prior to the release of the album, he released a set of 3 EPs each titled with the album name. The album was his best ever chart performance and it peaked at No.3 in the US eventually being certified platinum. The album will be forever known by his love ballad “I’m Yours”. The song is a beautiful pop tune and the video received heavy airtime on MTV. The song was one of the best single for 2008 which prompted a “Record of the Year” Grammy nomination. It also is listed as the third biggest downloaded single of all time – 4.4 million downloads. It is easily his biggest hit yet and even got world wide fame by reaching no.1 in several European countries.
Jason Mraz has built a strong reputation based on his relentless touring and acoustic songs yet he has produced some good alt rock songs. His songwriting which is often criticized as a bit clich? is constantly evolving. He won two Grammies at the 2010 awards creating enough interest in his music to a wider audience.
Did you know that...
- ...Jason Mraz hired producer Steve Lillywhite to helm his second album. Lillywhite has produced almost all U2 albums
- ...Jason Mraz was one of the opening acts for the Rolling Stones world tour in 2005 and 2006.
- ...Jason Mraz is also a photographer and released a book of Polaroid called “A Thousand Things”