Spreading the love
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.’’