U.S. singer-songwriter Jason Mraz has chosen Korea to kick off his world tour this year, joining a growing number of world stars including Lady Gaga, who launch their concert tours or world premieres here. Indeed, Korea has long been considered a test-bed for foreign artists and companies making inroads into Asia.
Yet, Mraz says he’s coming to Korea first because he found something very special about the audience.
“Every time I played in Korea, I was always blown away by this amazing fan reaction. The epic audience bouncing and singing along which made me feel like I was Rage Against the Machine!” Mraz told The Korea Herald in an email interview.
“There is definitely something special about the Korean audience and as a performer you can’t ask more passionate fans. I’m really thankful and it’s always a pleasure going back to those places where the audience truly enjoy and appreciate your music,” he said.
The 35-year-old artist who recently released his fourth album “Love is a Four Letter Word” is coming to Korea to perform in two cities ― Busan on June 8 and Nami Island near Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, on June 9-10.
Inspired by an artwork, Mraz said his latest album is about love and how love is a choice for everyone.
“Every song I write is about love or comes from love, inspired by love, the loss of love. And this album was more of an in-depth look at that. I really wanted to find out what is it about love that is so compelling for me to keep my eyes on and believe in it,” he said.
|Jason Mraz (Warner Music)|
“I hope that it will give the audience yet another look at love and the music will land itself and create its own magic with the listeners,” he added.
Mraz is one of the best-selling foreign artists in the Korean music market dominated by K-pop stars. More than 110,000 copies of his third album “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things” have been sold since its release four years ago. His latest album has sold more than 20,000 copies so far in the market where album sales of more than 10,000 copies are considered a great success. Tickets for his concert in Busan, sponsored by Hyundai Card, were sold out in less than 15 minutes.
“I still get very excited and surprised when people tell me that my shows were sold out and that my albums are selling well globally. I think this is something that I could never get over,” he said.
It was his “pure joy and love towards music” that led him to become one of the most influential artists in the world. However, he said he wants to share the love and attention for him with people in need.
Mraz, also an environmental and human rights activist, has launched The Jason Mraz Foundation. The organization aims to benefit human equality organizations, as well as those that are involved in arts, education and environmental preservation. Funds raised by the foundation will go towards charities including Free The Slaves, True Colors Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The artist has been selling 20 tickets of each concert for the foundation.
“The reason I started this was because I wanted to share the attention and light focused on me as a musician to help and raise the awareness of other issues that surely deserve our attention. It was my way of sharing the light with others,” he said.
By Cho Chung-un (firstname.lastname@example.org)