Jason Mraz updated fans on his blog at MySpace (@jasonmraz) on Thursday (June 17), sounding off on children being exploited for cheap labor or as soldiers and offering some details on his trip to Ghana. The singer songwriter tells readers:
This morning I read a story in the paper about a 9 year-old soldier in Somalia – one of thousands on the front lines in a war supported by the United States. Having seen what I saw in Ghana I totally believe it. The only difference between my trip and this one is kids wielding guns rather than fishing nets. (Well not really. I don’t think the boys on the lake in Ghana are purposely trained to kill you with a knife.) I got present to how poverty stricken nations see children as cheap labor. They’re easy to manipulate and abundant. They’re also cheap to use, if not disposable.
Jason Mraz checked in with fans on his blog at MySpace (@jasonmraz) on Monday (June 7), discussing his tour of the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream factory in Middlebury, Vermont. The singer songwriter tells readers:
Before arriving I’m envisioning the place to be a Wonkaian wonderland, complete with lick-able wallpaper, glass elevators, and a psychedelic steamboat ride on a river of chocolate, all run of course by talented individuals of the shortest stature. With Ben & Jerry – Peace, Love, and Ice Cream is the mantra. So of course I’m anticipating an audio tour read by Trey Anastasio, guided by glowsticks, followed by an Ultimate Frisbee game and some Noodle Dancing to the tune of #41 by DMB, all to shed the weight after all the free samples are said and melted. (I speak from experience btw. When I was 20, I weighed 20 pounds more than I do today thanks to my diet of Chubby Hubby and Cherry Garcia. Were it not for Dave Matthews’ concerts, I doubt I would have exercised at all.)
The ice cream factory tour was everything I’d thought it would be – A peek into the production center and a seven minute video about the history of two fat kids who split the cost of a $5 correspondence course, earning them a degree in ice cream making. From the start the two friends had social consciousness and community in mind. On their first anniversary, they created free-cone day. To this day on their anniversary, every store participates, giving away more than a million cones – roughly 280 million calories heard around the world.
Jason Mraz checked in with fans on his blog at MySpace (@jasonmraz) on Saturday (June 5), talking about the Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego Chapter awarding him their prestigious Clean Water Award and offering his suggestions on how to take action regarding the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The singer songwriter tells readers:
Supporting an organization that protects our coastlines isn’t limited to those who live near the beach. No matter where you live, the ocean has an impact on your life and you have an impact on it. The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is proof that everyone is responsible and there IS something that EVERYONE can do.
Don’t just sit there slack jawed and wait for a lawsuit to plug the hole in the earth. Take action. Allow this horrific event to be that which woke us up enough to notice our materialistic habits wreaking havoc on our home.
Jason Mraz updated fans on his blog at MySpace (@jasonmraz) on Thursday (June 3), discussing his baseball game on Wednesday and participating in the Music Matters conference in Hong Kong. The singer songwriter tells readers:
Last week I saddled over to Hong Kong to participate in the “Music Matters” conference. Much like South by Southwest meets TED, it’s the only conference of its kind in Asia – a place for anyone in the music industry to share ideas. Everyone from musicians to the most influential movers and shakers speak about their experiences for the purpose of sustaining the ever-evolving business of musical art.
It’s rare that I get the opportunity to share about my process and my intentions while on stage. Those opportunities are generally reserved for Blogs and interviews, so I was moved when Music Matters asked that I come and share my perspective while integrating songs into the set. Usually the story-to-song-ratio is reversed. But here there would be no “shut-up-and-sing” comments from the crowd. Here I would strut my conversation skills and tell stories about how I don’t really know what I’m doing.
A new video narrated by Jason Mraz featuring never before seen footage with the singer songwriter. “When I first started touring, I spent so many nights alone,” Jason says in the video. “I’d so many things around the world by myself. I can’t believe I’m seeing this. I made a point, as soon as I can I want to bring more people. They just gotta see this, they gotta feel this. This is crazy good, you gotta get in on this. On this tour I got to bring everybody from my home and everyone from my community out for different places or the whole run.” Watch the feature via his YouTube channel below.
Jason Mraz checked in with fans on his blog at MySpace (@jasonmraz) on Saturday (May 15), sharing the details of his first experience using LSD. The San Diego singer songwriter tells readers:
I was 18 and living on the upper west side in New York City when I first tried LSD. I was meant to be in safe company with a whole troop of journeymen but while on a quick trip to the grocery store to fetch some orange juice, the tab kicked in. I knew Bushwalla back then and I remember crossing the street with he and his girlfriend. He looked different back then, like a nice Christian boy and not having what I was having. It was only 6 or 7 pm and still light out. I asked him if I was walking in slow motion.
Somehow that evening I met people I didn’t know, rode the subway downtown and opened myself up completely to the experience because by midnight I was at a cast party of an Off-Broadway play somewhere down in Greenwich Village. It would be the first place I’d connect with Jazz music on a deep level as the hosts were playing Blue Train by John Coltrane – a record I hadn’t heard until that moment. I sat close to the stereo and literally watched as the notes oozed from the speakers. When the partygoers figured out what frequency I was on, they gave me a drum and sat me safely out on the fire escape overlooking the sweaty streets of New York. Psychedelic medicine has a pulse that is best dealt with when fully expressed. Otherwise you can go mad. I played that drum like it was the heartbeat of the city – keeping the concrete organism alive while all the lost Yankees slept. I had barely begun to play guitar at that time in my life, but after that night, I knew my path would be a life sustained by music. And, I knew it would be profound.
Jason Mraz checked in with fans on his blog at MySpace (@jasonmraz) on Monday (April 19), talking about how his years of touring haven’t always gone very smoothly and his belief that people should “take ownership of the situation” and then “smile and wave”. The singer songwriter tells readers:
After 25 years of public performance, I’m quite comfortable onstage. To audiences big and small I’ve seen it all and on myriad occasion I’ve screwed it up big time.
There are countless shows archived where you’ll find lyrics flubbed and chords forgotten. I’ve missed cues and entire scenes leaving other cast members to create new content to tell the story. I’ve been sh** on by a bird right before going onstage. I’ve farted during songs, fired a snot-rocket or two, and performed with my fly open. I’ve also said things that made me want to eat my words. For instance, performing in a Children’s Hospital I once asked, “Is there anything you guys are dying to hear?” …Yikes.
Jason Mraz updated fans on his blog at MySpace (@jasonmraz) on Saturday (April 17), taking alternative measures to get from city to city on tour thanks to the volcanic ash cloud covering much of Europe and grounding most flights. The San Diego singer songwriter tells readers:
On a bus, somewhere between London and Zurmatt, Switzerland – somewhere between the hours of too hot to sleep and too swervy to think straight – I am upright and up writing, excited to be back on a tour bus. With all flights grounded throughout most of upper and Western Europe, we hired a bus to get us off the British Isle and safely to our gig on time. It’s times like this drive across the surface that I fall deeper in love with Mother Earth. Her gentle and devastating eruptions remind us that our being here is both precious and miraculous and that our schedules are miniscule compared to hers. While we communicate with each other and seek to waste our time wisely, she is in constant communication with the rest of the galaxy, and at that scale, we’re but an accessory added to her earthen apparel that at any moment could become decidedly out of fashion.
Jason Mraz checked in with fans on his blog at MySpace (@jasonmraz) on Sunday (April 11), discussing his life on the road and what he did upon arrival at his hotel, apparently in London. The San Diego singer songwriter tells readers:
In my career, traveling has been frequent. Hotels are my many mini-homes and they are a luxury. No matter what brand or state they’re in. All it takes is a one night lease on a room and a do not disturb sign and voila! I’ve got my own spa, writing cabin, observatory, sanctuary, or bat cave for batty casual encounters.
While some tours would suggest I’m a hotel aficionado (like in Taiwan where I was given the entire top floor,) I’m not picky about where I sleep. I’m grateful to make a bed anywhere. Not knowing the hotel or where it’s located in the city before I get there adds to the unfolding and keeps my senses aligned with those of the kid who 11 years ago sailed across the silted States to the California shores in pursuit of a dream. I never knew what to expect, nor did I ever anticipate earning a living. If anything, I knew I’d stockpile a library of journals, jaunty songs and Polaroids and that I would be proud of having lived the life of a poet, road warrior, and medicine man.
Jason Mraz checked in with fans on his blog at MySpace (@jasonmraz) on Wednesday (April 7), talking about the reasons behind his activism and his suggestions on how to create peace in the world. The singer songwriter tells readers:
If you would like to contribute to World Peace, I invite you to:
-Start at home. Get complete with ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends. Clean up the rough edges with your siblings.
-Own up to the lies you told your parents. If you believe anyone has ever lied to you. Forgive! Forgive! Forgive! (Forget who’s right and who’s wrong. That conversation never leaves people feeling empowered and whole anyway.)
-Take full responsibility of peace in your immediate surroundings and be love for your family, for my family, and for your kind Humankind family.
– Be committed to big things and free yourself of any attachment you have to being accepted by your peers. Besides, when you remain committed, you will inspire and others WILL come around.