Spread­ing the love

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Eguide Music -

ABOUT a year ago, Ja­son Mraz wasn’t sure if he was go­ing to be fin­ish­ing a record.

He had re­cently bro­ken up with his long- term part­ner, af­ter be­com­ing en­gaged only the year be­fore. He was at home, alone on his farm, north of San Diego, and in an un­happy place.

Then some­thing in­side him told him to go and help oth­ers. He lis­tened.

‘‘ I packed up my stuff and I found a room for rent in Los An­ge­les,’’ he says.

‘‘ I reached out to fam­ily and friends and I made my­self avail­able to the com­mu­nity. Whereas prior to that I was liv­ing on the farm, I was on my own, I was out in the woods and I was kind of wal­low­ing in my own fail­ures. And when you do that it’s harder to see love in the world and to see your­self as be­ing loved.

‘‘ So I lis­tened to that voice in my head that said ‘ get out’. ‘ Get out of the house, go help some­body’.’’

Around that time he got asked by a neigh­bour to help in a soup kitchen. For Ja­son, that was a very sim­ple thing to do.

‘‘ It gets you out of your head,’’ he says. ‘‘ I would en­cour­age peo­ple to take time to help be­cause there’s plenty of peo­ple in this world who could use a lit­tle as­sis­tance.’’

And the man who gave the world the hit love an­them, I’m Yours, is a big be­liever in love, spread­ing the word through his al­bum Love is a Four Let­ter Word, out this month.

‘‘ Oh my gosh, more than ever. Ab­so­lutely,’’ he says wind­ing up a re­hearsal with his band­mates in the stu­dio in LA.

‘‘ That’s what this project was for me. To learn more about it [ love] and fig­ure it out. But not just fig­ure it out, but fig­ure me out, and my ca­pac­ity to love, to love oth­ers and help oth­ers. This al­bum is re­ally just a side project to the soul jour­ney that I’ve been en­joy­ing.’’

There are busy weeks ahead for Mraz.

The 34- year- old singer has plenty of TV ap­pear­ances booked – sev­eral a week – and a world tour sched­uled to kick off on June 1.

And while there may have been ex­pec­ta­tions to fol­low up mega- hit I’m Yours, he’s al­ready achieved that feat with the song I Won’t Give Up, which has been clock­ing up Youtube hits in the mil­lions.

The al­bum cov­ers love in all its shapes and forms. But things re­ally clicked for Mraz when work­ing on the cover art. The cover fea­tures four shapes: a rec­tan­gle, cir­cle, tri­an­gle and square, which spell ‘‘ love’’.

‘‘ I recog­nised how it said the word love but at the same time it re­ally didn’t. I thought if I can see love in this im­age then I should also be able to see love in the world around me.’’

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