Jason Mraz‘s new album, Mystical Magical Rhythmical Radical Ride, marks his return to pop music — and he says his mom inspired him to go in that direction.
After Jason started working on the album with his musical collaborators, he decided to change direction. He tells ABC Audio, “We thought, ‘Let’s do something different … why can’t we ramp it up a little bit?'”
“And my mom chimed in and said, ‘Yeah, you guys should make a pop album. You can totally do it, I believe in you. And you’re not getting any younger, so you should do it soon.'”
Then, out of the blue, Jason got a call from Martin Terefe [tuh REH fay], who produced his hit 2008 pop album, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. When Terefe mentioned he’d just built a studio in New York City, Jason said he was all in.
“To me that just seemed very exciting: to take our ideas to New York and have a brand new experience influenced by the city, the pace of the city, the energy, the rhythms of the city,” Jason says. “And also, with Martin’s guidance, he could really challenge us to try new things and help our songs get to that more dancey, more pop place.”
Some of the album’s “dancey” songs have a 1970s disco flavor, which Jason says is because of a hobby he took up during the pandemic.
“I got some roller skates, [and] luckily in SoCal, we have some outdoor rinks,” he tells ABC Audio. “And so thanks to skating, I got turned back on to sort of the disco culture, and I was able to bring some of that skate energy into this album. I would occasionally land on something and thought, ‘Ooh, this would be good to skate to.'”