“I’ve turned into somewhat of a hippy in my old age.”
Jason Mraz is on the phone in Austin, Texas preparing for the second night of his tour with Christina Perri, calling me before he goes to mulch and plant to help turn around a nearby park with his crew.
“When I’m at home, digging in the dirt… it actually gives me a clearer understanding of ‘home’ than I’ve ever had before; caring for my own backyard, my own patch of earth to take responsibility for.”
He’s got much more than a patch now. The Grammy-winner-turned farmer has owned a full-blown avocado farm outside San Diego for eight years.
“I owned this cool spot in the woods but once I got there I realized all the trees were avocado trees,” he says. Now it’s grown to far more than avocados: “We’ve expanded now to a variety of tropical fruits and your standard row crops like tomatoes and cucumbers and kale and corns and stuff like that.”
Farm is a four-letter word. But for the next few months, Mraz leaves the crops behind for “Tour is a Four-Letter Word” with Christina Perri.
I asked him how he first “hooked up” with the “Jar of Hearts” singer. Maybe I should have phrased it differently.
“Depends on what you mean by that… (laughs). We met a couple years ago, same management, same label, had a chance to be in many different studios together writing and recording, and I just love what she does.”
Though Perri is opening on the tour, the two will probably team up on stage at some point for their duet, Distance. Check out the video:
Mraz tells me the recent hit single, “I Won’t Give Up” has become one of his favorites to perform live.
“Songs like Beautiful Mess and I Won’t Give Up, when they really touch your heart it ignites an audience. And the audience sings and just takes it away, it becomes theirs. And that’s probably the greatest feeling that any songwriter or performer can experience.”
One song you probably won’t hear on the tour is about a girl named Crystal: the first girl who broke Jason’s heart and inspired one of his first songs, penned in 8th grade physics class.
“We could only meet at the skating rink. So we were Friday night friends. It was actually a roller-skating jam, it wasn’t a slow song. It was like yeah, all discoteque.”
Who knows, maybe he’ll pull it out Sunday at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion!
“So far it’s been tucked away in my history but I wouldn’t put it past me to pull it out!”
Download my full chat with Mr A-Z here: