The Star Malaysia - Star2

The I’m Yours hitmaker just wants to give the world a hug with his music.

- By MICHAEL CHEANG entertainm­

LOVE, peace, happiness, success ... Jason Mraz wants you to have it all.

The 41-year-old singer-songwriter recently released a new single called Have It All, which was inspired by a Buddhist blessing he received back in 2012.

Although he finished the song with fellow songwriter­s David Hodges and Jkash the following year, it would take another five years before he felt the song was ready to see the light of day.

“The world had changed a lot since 2012. More people are marching for their freedom and equality; to be seen and heard. Activism is back in style,” Mraz said in a press release.

“Have It All stood out as a song with a hopeful message; a song with a message of generosity. It’s a blessing disguised as a rap song and it’s meant to be paid-forward and shared.”

During a recent phone interview from the United States, Mraz elaborated further on the inspiratio­n behind that song, and also gave us more details about his upcoming new album, Know, which will be released on Aug 10.

Best known for hits like I’m Yours, I Won’t Give Up, Lucky, You And I Both ,and

The Remedy, Mraz recently made his debut on Broadway in hit musical Waitress.

He is now embarking on a concert tour, and having previously performed in Malaysia in 2009 and 2012, he is keen to return for another show.

“I don’t have the dates yet but we are working to try and get there in the first half of 2019,” he said.

1. What can you tell us about your upcoming new album, Know?

It is a, err, great album! It is in alignment with everything else I’ve produced. I don’t bend rules, I don’t change my style.

So there’ll just be more love songs and more good nuggets of wisdom to keep us happy and healthy!

2. The first single from the album, Have It All, was inspired by a Buddhist blessing you received in Myanmar. What did that blessing say?

It was more of a salutation – “Tashi delek”. Someone translated it as “May you have auspicious­ness and causes of success”.

I loved that and wrote it down in my journal, and I kept writing more phrases like that.

What I hope Have It All can do is to cheer people on and help them remember the good that’s inside and the great things we’re still able to do here.

3. There has always been a very positive vibe to your music. Is that the way you always want it to be?

I use my music as a way to practise what I am thinking and doing in life.

Being human is hard and we need every tool and resource we can get to ease our fears and concerns; music is a very powerful medicine that can help us do that.

So in the music that I make, I put into it the ingredient­s and the thoughts and wisdom and knowledge that I have acquired or heard in my life.

I put it together in a song so that when I sing it, I can always drink that medicine of love, forgivenes­s, hope, patience and peace.

The positivity (in my music) really does

extend from my own seeking.

4. With so much negativity in the world, other artistes tend to channel angst in the music. What made you decide to go the other way?

Because everybody needs a hug, and I want my music to be a hug!

The world is so competitiv­e and the news can show us so many bad things. I want to use media as a positive tool.

5. You just turned 40 last year. Has that changed your outlook in life in any way?

A little bit! But not on life in a general way, but more in little things about my own life.

I do think that by the time you reach 40, you’re satisfied with your own identity. I feel I’m less competitiv­e than I was a few years ago, because I am who I am and I’m never going to be anybody else.

At some point you just have to choose yourself and go, “I am me and this is just who I am meant to be”.

This is what my body is like, this is what my shoe size is, and it’s never going to get bigger! So, the older you get, the more comfortabl­e you get with yourself.

 ?? Photo: Warner Music ??
Photo: Warner Music

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