Jason Mraz on performing lessons of the coffeehouse, 2010
"I remember going to coffee shops and open mics and songwriter nights, and admittedly there’d be a good number of songwriters where I’d just be bored. I felt like a lot of people were trying to write the perfect song or a hit song, and there’s nothing wrong with that—I’m not making anyone wrong for me being bored. But there’d be a wall between me and that person. I decided, when I do this, my goal, the first thing, is to try not to be boring—whatever it takes....
"If you find that the song you just played didn’t really do it and everyone’s yakking, then make up for it somehow in the story you’re going to tell, and just basically create a relationship with your audience that isn’t all about 'look at me.' It’s all about 'look at us': we’re all here in this moment, and it’s never going to happen this way again. So it was always a matter of staying present and having a sense of relatedness. I used humor and the awkward and embarrassing moments of my life to create that safe place for an audience to be comfortable and participate in these songs."
From my Jason Mraz cover story for the October 2010 issue of Acoustic Guitar. Read the full story here.