Jason Mraz Biography
Review The Artist (44)
jasonmraz is a southern california wanna-be born in virginia to a brief stint in new york studying the ancient art of musical theatre. jason began playing guitar late in life, 18, at strawberry fields and on the streets of manhattan. during that period of experimentation and transformation, jason was inspired by a psychic in central park to dream the way he does today. the lesson offered to him was "to avoid the questioner and go with what you know. get experience youth, he said" and following this new rule as well as his instincts to sing he eventually made his way out west where he has spent the last two years in san diego learning from the best about sleep, peace, and poetry in song.
jason has always had a vision to see how songs could be interpreted if left only to the listener to decide. what began as "songs to sleep to", a collection of songs for an album fit to play during one's dreamlife, has now evolved into a moving wide awake exploration for jason. since his ridiculous move out west (according to his virginia native family), he has shared venues with bob dylan, paula cole, jewel, and david gray to name a few.
in 2002 jason set up camp in los angeles and partnered with percussionist toca rivera playing weekly there and still in san diego at the world famous java joe's in ocean beach. (check local listings) together they are traveling the coasts this summer and are moving to make the album jason once heard in a dream.
the following is an excerpt of an interview i never had with jason earlier this year. it is 2001, the year of the snake, jason's birth year. he is excited, optimistic, and encouragably humble.
what inspires jasonmraz?
"robots. i admire the old ones man predicted would evolve that look a lot like humans in aluminum foil costumes. it says something about how we envision the future. at least, how our forefathers saw it"
"god. understanding that there is god in everything. especially us. and god sees fit that we do and say whatever we need to to play our part in this life. knowing there is no right or wrong answer.. and stuff."
"breakdancing. i never learned to do it when it came around the first time. but i once saw a man of 60 plus years throw down. i knew it was never too late to begin anything."
"smoking. it's religious. something about seeing your breath, breathing fire, feeling like a dragon or sinatra. i think sometimes i'll smoke myself new octaves." "..and dreams."
what about musical inspirations?
"oh those. the last few years i've submerged myself in anything i could get my hands on. there's so much out there. i love instrumentalists like AIR, or name any DJ. i'm more into dancing than understanding someone's story. if i listen to too many words at once i get my own out of order. but if i have to answer i'd tell you belle and sebastian, beck, bjork, john coltrane, miles davis, nick drake, bob dylan, michael jackson, dave matthews, greg page, toca rivera, sade, ..sir mix-a-lot to be alphabetical. that's a tough question. i could name hundreds i keep in rotation."
how do you meet toca rivera and convince him to join you?
"it wasn't hard. he was one of the first people i met when i moved to san diego. i joined he and his brother carlos olmeda and we did some touring together and a commercial for spike lee, thanks to carlos. that was an amazing experience. after awhile we all went our own way to write and make sure we didn't kill each other before the ride was over. i asked toca if he wanted to keep playing with me. i dug the groove toca laid down with his drum. he says he digs the songs and i like delicate touch on the harmonies he finds. he's like every member of the dave matthews band and boys to men rolled up in one prized wind-up teddy bear designed to beat drum. and the ladies love some toca rivera. he was once on the love connection in the eighties. grand champion i think."
"just toca.. no, not anymore. times were tough once. we got hungry."
any loves in your life?
"just the pursuit of happiness right now. that's love to me. but whatever or whoever gets in the way i'll ask to dance usually."
how many times a day does someone like you look at his tongue in the mirror?
"twenty, at least. that's four times an hour during the five i'm awake at home working. and usually those are during the midnight hours."
so where are the rest of your hours spent?
"searching. be it hidden within the grip of l.a.'s tit, or tucked safely somewhere in my head that i lean to in my bed. i love dreams. i can't get enough of them. everyday i wake up asking myself, who came up with that? oh, you did."
"like this one dream i had. i was visiting a high school where i guess i was working for this new telephone company. i was with my partner and we were installing a new phone booth into one of the halls. before we were even done programming the thousands of numbers needed to program, there was a line through the whole school waiting to use this phone. it wasn't your average phone. you could dial up old conversations you'd had with someone years ago, like a loved one or former schoolmate. you just sat there and listened to the two of you talk. the phonebook was printed to give you letters you had written or once received that needed to be found and rediscovered. i woke up laughing and wishing i could get to one of those phones. i tried to get some investors and get the prototype rolling but it was a lot harder to do that was presented in my dream. but you see what i mean? i never would have come up with that in my state of awake."
"i think there is so much life to be lived and learned, especially when you are asleep. and the things you can do are boundless compared to this simple life. i'm sure everyone flies from time to time and it's always enough to leave an impression and create a memory of doing so. and that's what a life is really. a collection of memories."
are you into finding what's symbolic of your dreams?
"always. but according to freud i'm a pervert. i find peace of mind where i need to and complete awe in others. i think of them as movies i've seen and come up with my own interpretations. often in my music. it's how i've gotten so far i believe."
like the saying, follow your dreams.
"exactly. eventually you find the fine line between when you are awake and when you are knocked out. and then you're really collecting and creating. it's important that i try to make a life rather than a living."
you seem to be doing just that. and folks are catching on. it seems you are gaining new followers day by day who just love what you do.
"i think maybe they laugh at what i do. but as long as i can take them away from any stress for a couple of hours, i'll be anyone's clown. i love to see the world smile. and while the world's got it's mouth open grinning, i'll sing right down their throats hoping they'll find their own way of regurgitating it later spreading the sickness of simple life. like a global vomiting of wisdom, purity, and enlightenment. good things."
so what's next for jasonmraz?
"i think just that. i've had a lot of luck finding those who share my dream and wish to pursue this as a career. we're taking the steps now to advance to a more major market and turn more on lives to the madness. there are still many secrets i wish to unveil and many places in this world i wish to see and feel. i hope to just keep moving, writing, singing and sleeping until there is nothing left to be said and done. and by the looks of our current boundaries, we've only just begun."
one more question. if this were a perfect world. where would you be and what would you be doing?
"i've had this one before. i'd be right here doing this. it is a perfect world somewhat and we all have the power to be and do what we choose. there is nowhere i'd rather be and no name i'd rather call myself."
great. now if anyone asks, you never saw me and this never happened.
"i never knew you."
Thanks to dchg for submitting the biography.
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how much i love you | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/27/13
Jason I love you to the moon and back...I too have a gift of singing and I love you so much when I get sad which is a lot I listen to your music and it helps me I wish one day you could be my manager for singing... stay inspirational baby<3
just a fans | Reviewer: mahardika shandy | 8/27/12
I guess I do not need to tell my name, not as arrogant but I have written above it
I was very impressed with 133 songs (which I know from the internet): D
I really like your song "I won't give up", it's very inspiring one for me
I take my hat off to all the songs you sing and create, keep your work brother
oh one more, I hope you know I am one of your fan
Seriously people | Reviewer: Lauren's Boyfriend | 10/20/11
When you go on about being in love with him, don't you think that's a bit obsessive. His genre isn't necessarily mine, but i appreciatte his voice and how much joy he finds in his music. And i might be posting just because it's helping my loving girlfriend who's going through a lot, but i do like his voice. Lauren has a special talent for music playing and she can play it right back on her trumpet. Or she can even be given a name of a song and she can name it and sing it by memory without correction. And i think it's because mraz's music was a challenge because there is so much going on, that she developed these talents. Lauren may be emo, but she can be just as sweet as she is good at being herself. She's very impressive and has been an inspiration to me. But jason inspired her. Lauren uses her talents to empower herself. She sends messages through music. She may not always write it, but knowing as much music as her allows her a variety. A variety that taught me what music really was to her. She does all she can to share her thoughts and feelings with the world. She tells me she's always wanted to be a critic. She wants a life of music. Working at a radio station, playing trumpet, singing, hoping to go to julliard, and now hoping to be a critic. I think lauren does too much for others through her music. But doing that benefits her, and in her eyes it works both ways. For the audience and herself, she does her best. She always wants opinions because and i'm quoting her, "to be a critic and to give opinions, i have to be able to take them. No matter how negative.I need an inner and outer view." All she does in life, is try to improve her habits she plans to use in life. And i think she should calm down. And her mom is convinced i'm making it worse. So lauren's doing everything to keep me in her life as she can. And maybe music is helping her, i don't know. But i have to say thanks. So thank you.
Lauren..... | Reviewer: Lauren's Boyfriend | 10/16/11
Lauren and i went through a little issue where i didn't know if she really cared for me... or someone else. And i'm admitting i was stupid to think that. But we're passed that. But a lot of the other stuff is still going on. I wouldn't say lauren is emo from first sight (and trust me, i REALLY looked. Maybe even too much), but when you get to know her you see it. Her opinions can be based on her being emo. She almost fell over laughing when i asked her if she was going to be a cheerleader. She said they were low, overly dramatic, gossips that should go lay down somewhere and die. She used to be one though, which really gets me. But apparently she was in a little emo group at the time and their "leader" said to see things from other points of life. This was before she was found kissing the "leader". Then the rest of the group disbanded her and the "leader" was under close watch. And no, that's not me. I could never be an emo. I can't pull off all the dark colors like lauren can. None the less, i couldn't make it at such an intellectual level. Not smart enough. Lauren's considered a nerd in every aspect possible. She admits it too. Anyways, jason mraz music is making a lot of things easier on her. She listens to way too much alternative music. And the calmest alternative band she knows is pearl jam. But her mom won't let her listen to them. And i can't get her away from a sterio or ipod. I'd prefer not to go through that fight again. Lasted 2 weeks. So i had to really dig through her music collection. Jason's music is the best i've got. She wanted bethoven and mozart but her mom got annoyed with it after a bit. So this is better than my chemical romance or asking alexandria.
Jason Mraz's music..... | Reviewer: Lauren | 10/11/11
Mr. Mraz's music is helping me through a rough time. I'm only11 but i'm having issues with my parents, my boyfriend, my health, and it's all going down the drain. But i've been listening to Jason's music since i can remember. And i might be an alternative girl, but sometimes i need a break from chevelle and such. Jason's music got me into a select choir that helps kids make their way in the world through music. I'm most likely going for nothing, but music means something to me. I play trumpet, sing, write music, and listen to music. My mom isn't happy because she thinks i'm going to live in my room. That's not even all my issues with her. She can't except the fact that i'm emo. She doesn't believe it because i live off more than screamo music. For one, i am not really a complete emo. I don't cut myself and i don't have a group. I have ONE emo friend. For two, emo stands for emotion so don't you think we need to calm down sometimes. I mean seriously, we're more than we look.
wow | Reviewer: kurapika | 9/19/11
nice interview, i love to hear your music almost everyday because it is very relaxing and it is very rare to find an artist that could write songs in a very different way. ... i will try to buy ticket for your concert this October in manila. i like to see you live i will save money for it. ...
I don't know what to name my review... O.O | Reviewer: YO MAMMA! (Mel) | 7/21/11
Yo man! You are crazy! Yeah... I am also a big fan, bla bla bla, but OBVIOUSLY you'll know that if I'm reading this interview and leaving a Review. I agree with you on when it comes to dreams, they DO have meaning. Mine are always... OUT there and I have about 3 that I can swear I remember every night but I forget in a matter of minutes after I wake up (except those really good ones).And hey, there IS much in life to live and learn. How will you lear if you do not live?! Yeah, even those bad experiences, but it is up to you if you actually want to learn from it just so you won't fall AGAIN.
Wow, you want to make the world smile?! Sa-WEET! Me too... but you got a heck load of advantage. AHAHAHA! Your good at what you do, this interview made my day, seriously. And one last thing, I would say that you and I would get along shearing our ideals but like... I bet a million other people will agree and have said the same so... IDK! And OMG I wonder how funny it is to have so much girls say "I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!" but like, I wouldn't 'cause I don't really know you by YOU, just by what I've read on the internet and such but by that I could say your "Your cool like that" but anyways, have a good day, rainy or not (lol, 'cause it's raining over here and I disagree with anyone who calls it an ugly day).
and one more thing! | Reviewer: YO MAMMA! (Mel) | 7/21/11
It is great that you appreciate where you are and name your life perfect. I'd say the same even if I'm not where your standing! Good luck with your music and-a... name one of your songs "Rainy or not"... it sounds catchy! (lol, I'm kidding... but feel free to use it)
im jason mraz's cuzzin | Reviewer: sarah branzelle | 11/19/10
hi jason. i know you think im some crazy fan. but trust me im not. you know angela byus? mary holsapple? im marys grandchild. i love your music and i wish that one day we could get to catch up and hangout. LOL my sister abby says "HI CUZ".
happiness | Reviewer: Becky | 9/21/10
I took my grandaughter to see you in Charleston, WV last night. You were wonderful. I was a voice major in college, taught HS music and chorus for 34 yrs.-loved every minute of it! Watching you interact with your audience, I could have sworn you were a music teacher. You remind me of ME. You love your craft and you obviously love people. Just curious-why do you smoke? I started smoking in the 60's when it was cool. I lost 5 steps of my vocal range in my 40's, a few more in my 50's. Now my voice sucks! If you truly love to sing, as I can tell you do, you need to quit before it affects your gorgeous voice and your amazing vocal range. Just some advice from a Mamaw from West Virginia. Keep making everyone smile. Love ya!
U R AWESOME!!! | Reviewer: Kathryn | 5/7/10
Hi im Kathryn, n i looooove ur songs! especially Geek in the pink :) thats so hilarious. i know people probably badger u all the time about this, but why do u smoke? u should try to keep the body God gave u healthy n strong. i luv ur songs n God Bless You! Romans 10:13 Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. please take God's advice. God Bless!
ohhhh I love u Jason you're the best!!!!! | Reviewer: Erika | 4/13/10
I never thought that i could feel something like this for a man that i've not ever seen... but this is so special and i'm waiting for the day i can meet him... go ahead JASON you will always be the number one for your followers (specially for me) I LOVE YOU and you cannot imagine how much....
What's up | Reviewer: Sommer | 3/8/10
Right now I'm looking at ur biography for an assignment at school. I wish u would put ur whole bio on your website. It's so hard to find out who u actually are. Anyway, I do like your songs, my fav is "I'm yours".
Bye now and just so u know, im Canadian!!!!!
Jason Mraz U rock!!!! | Reviewer: Lloyd | 2/20/10
I fell in love when i listened to his songs, especially 'I 'm Your's ' its really touching ... especially the tune .... By the Way i like the way he has kept it simple (the music)...
Jason Mraz u rock!!!
about him | Reviewer: Ruby | 1/10/10
Hey! I am a big fan of yours. If ever you come to our country, the Philippines, i will buy your concert ticket no matter how much it costs. I love your wit, i love your music-its style and message. I love the way you perform and how you take life by its smooth handle. But, I was disappointed a bit by your smoking. I didn't know you smoke. I thought you were a christian. I don't mean you become an anti-christ by doing so. What I mean is, you should take care of your health. don't you? just worried. ^^
Anyway, I so love you. I love the geek in the pink, beauty and ugly, beautiful mess, i'm yours of course, bella luna, God rests in reason. everything, all of yours songs.
For me, you're a singing novelist. not just a poet. because in every song, you make stories. ^^
Keep on writing, playing, singing....and please come to the Philippines. ^^
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