Jason Mraz Says Hunter Hayes Duet Came Out of Chance Meeting
By Erin Duvall
The GRAMMYs are known for recognizing exceptional talent, but in the case of Jason Mraz’s latest collaboration with Hunter Hayes, the organization also fostered it. Hayes’ current single “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me” was born from a meeting at an event hosted by the GRAMMYs’ charitable arm MusiCares.
“I met Hunter at the MusiCares dinner about a year ago,” Mraz told Radio.com earlier this week. “We talked about collaborating, he emailed me a song he was in the process of working on, I lent my two cents, all by email. Then a couple of months later, we found ourselves appearing on each other’s stages, because we had a reason. Then it flowed from that session to more jam sessions. We’ve recorded a number of videos for the song already.”
The ‘official’ music video for the song features Mraz using his best moves on a senior citizen, all for the sake of comedy. Despite his many attempts to woo the elderly woman, she exits with her husband, leaving him without ‘somebody.’ (Hayes, in his paralleling storyline, suffers the same fate.) Mraz admits, though, that he didn’t have to act too much in that particular scene. “I enjoyed that,” said Mraz. “I haven’t seen the final cut, but I’m glad it made it. She was a sweetie pie and it wasn’t that difficult. She was quite attractive.”
Hayes isn’t the only country artists Mraz has worked with, by the way. He also co-wrote the Zac Brown Band’s recent Top 5 hit “Jump Right In,” and recently performed during Brown’s Southern Ground festivals.
In addition to recording and shooting videos with Hayes, Mraz is also finishing up a new album, which he hopes to release early next year. For the album, the singer-songwriter worked with the all-female rock/folk group Raining Jane.
“I enlisted the help of four amazing women musicians, and it’s mostly traditional instruments, no drums,” he explained. “You don’t get that pop sound, you don’t get the splashy cymbals. It’s just myself and the girls and all the harmonies of their voices. The album is a little more tender. The song styles are the same. It’s very heart-centered, spirit-based, positive, upbeat. This is a collaboration that has been in the works for about five years, so we’re finally going to bring it together.”
Mraz has been giving fans a taste of what’s to come in 2014 via his YouTube channel, where he’s been posting behind-the-scenes videos from the studio.
The project is currently untitled, but the alliteration of the collaborators’ names promises a special moniker. “We don’t have a name just yet,” Mraz said. “It will come out as a Jason Mraz album. They’re called Raining Jane. So we’re thinking Jason and the Janes or something.”
Whether or not you’ll hear this album on the radio doesn’t concern Mraz. “When I don’t have to think about writing for radio, I enjoy myself and I write better songs,” he said. “If radio were to be attracted to any of those songs, great, but I’m not thinking about it.”