Jason Mraz on new album Know and its message of love


Jason Mraz chats with us about his upcoming album Know, and the positively good vibes it can offer to us all.

Grammy-award winning singer and songwriter Jason Mraz has a new album Know, out August 10, and it offers a refreshingly positive message for us all. Mraz spoke with Culturess about the new album as well as his upcoming film, Jason Mraz: Have It All The Movie, which will be in theaters nationwide for a special one-night event on August 7.

With Mraz’s sixth album coming four years after his 2015 hit Yes, the singer has shared he wanted to call the album “No” — but with today’s political climate, why not offer a positive spin to it? Thus, the album plays on phonetics with “Know”.

“There’s a big heart on the cover of the album,” Mraz points out. “I think love is what there is to know, and I think we’re only ever saying two things: I want love or I am love.”

“The story is always love and how can I dress up a song so that it celebrates love and represents love so that we’re always tuned into it,” Mraz adds. “I think if we’re tuned into that and we’re vibrating on a higher vibe, which is the Good Vibes tour, then we’re more likely to do service out of love and we’re more likely to help others and speak in a manner of love.”

The singer has also shared that the album, and each of its songs, are essentially love letters to both his wife and himself, and overall, are intent on expressing that love is a word and action we all need more of in life.

Mraz is acutely aware of how this message is necessary more than ever. In a time when many artists are belting out anti-Trump anthems and putting out songs that celebrate love over hate, Mraz says Know will do the same, but the lyrics may not be as blatant.

“It might look like I’m not thinking about the issues or being a protest writer, but the Dalai Lama doesn’t look like a protestor or either. But he is.” Mraz adds.

Not to say Mraz hasn’t had his share of rebellious songs, belting out “Undone” during his 40th birthday celebration last year at the Hollywood Bowl and telling the audience then, “Any order has to go through disorder to reorder” and to “be love in the face of hate.”

Now, when you listen to “Have It All” (or better yet, watch the inspirational music video), you can easily see why that track and the rest off Know can offer us a refreshing way to feel good during moodier times in art and reality.

Lyrics like “may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows” and “Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you” encourage us to celebrate the good times as they come, and remember to love ourselves in the process.

Mraz says his focus on this album wasn’t to “be cool” or put out something shockingly different than his past work. Instead, his focus is to create music that is for people’s special moments. “Have It All” in particular feels like “a step in a new direction in life, whether it’s a high school graduation or a retirement or a wedding. It’s a song that can be shared or celebrated or given to someone else as a gift.”

Mraz has gifted his talent and purpose not just to the new album, but to SPARC, a performing arts school in Richmond, Virginia. The “Have It All” music video features SPARC students in a dance sequence, filmed at Binford Middle School. Mraz says he is fulfilling his purpose helping these students. After the music video was filmed, while looking over behind-the-scenes footage, Mraz says he realized “we had a much bigger story to tell — that the inclusion and the collaboration and the Richmond community created something worth seeing.”

And that is what audiences will get to see when they watch Jason Mraz: Have It All The Movie. Directed by Emmy Award-winner Martin Montgomery, the film features behind-the-scenes footage from Mraz’s music videos plus a special performance from the “Mranch,” the singer’s avocado farm in Oceanside.

In the film, Mraz says we not only will see “a story about a community collaborating for a good thing” but “a case for arts education and why it matters.” He adds that the film will express to both youth and adults how the arts can inspire and encourage us, to remind “young people to always use your brain and find creative solutions to get out of problems or to solve problems, and ways we can accept each other and collaborate.”

Mraz’s pride in the music video and film overall is evident by how much he praised the students who participated in it, saying “we wanted to preserve the memory and honor these young artists and show them that school isn’t just a place where you have to go to be institutionalized to learn how to work in society.”

The singer did touch on one harsh reality of today: going to school can be terrifying, and it shouldn’t be.

“[School is] not a place that’s just about metal detectors and security and fear, but… school can be — and especially if arts are involved — it can be a really, really fun place that sets you up for success and friendships for the rest of your life.”

Mraz is understandably not keen with our country’s current lack of funding for arts education (and arguably, education as a whole).

“The fact that our nation does not put education on the high school level or the college level as a priority, but they see it as a for-profit business really sucks. And it means leaves a lot of people out.”

Mraz calls out the government on this issue, plus the escalation of school shootings, all adding to hardship youth deal with now.

“Our blind government cares to not be upset and I think that’s really f—d up and sad,” Mraz says. It’s easy to see why Mraz has been so passionate to go back to his own home state of Virginia to do good where he can. The “Have It All” music video and special film of the same name will celebrate that.

“I thought it was important to me to go back into schools as an advisor and be like, you know what? People do care about you and it should be celebrated. Your age, your school, your creative mind, your intellect, your potential should be celebrated.”

Jason Mraz is currently on his Good Vibes tour. You can see him and his Super Band with special guest Brett Dennen at a concert near you. Catch Have It All The Movie in theaters tonight by finding a local showing here. Know comes out August 10.