Jason Mraz Goes Acoustic for “Butterfly,” Talks Record-Busting Hit “I'm Yours” - Rolling Stone
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Jason Mraz Goes Acoustic for “Butterfly,” Talks Record-Busting Hit “I’m Yours”

Jason Mraz set a Billboard Hot 100 record this week with his hit single “I’m Yours” (which he calls his “happy little hippie song”), but confesses he can’t explain the song’s success: “I don’t know what’s behind it — if I knew, I would write more of it!”

Adds Mraz, “The song is about generosity — giving yourself or your time to someone else. What moves me about seeing the world take to ‘I’m Yours’ makes me think the world wants to give its time to other people. I’m really inspired thinking that this is the kind of song people want to hear.”

He tells RS he drew inspiration from elsewhere for the sensual “Butterfly,” also off last year’s We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. (Watch a special acoustic performance of the song, above.) “When I took a break to make this record, I joined my roommate Bushwalla’s band — I was the guitarist and background vocalist,” Mraz explains. “There was young woman in the band who would also do a burlesque show and invited us to go see her. And I was watching this burlesque show thinking, ‘Man, I wonder if my music is played in any exotic clubs anywhere in the world? I sincerely doubt it.’ That challenged me: I went home, and I thought, ‘I’m going to see if I can’t write a song that a young woman would want to model her shoes to.’ I don’t know if the girl ever found out, but it’s definitely one of the more fun songs in the live show.”

“Butterfly” and the rest of Mraz’s current live set were captured for an upcoming DVD last week in Chicago and Colbie Caillat showed up to duet with Mraz on “Lucky.” Mraz says he wanted to write a classic duet, and had had the melody in his head before reaching out to Caillat via MySpace and working with her to craft the tune (which he calls “the sister song” to “I’m Yours”) via e-mail.

The DVD is being directed by Darren Doane, who helmed Mraz’s recent music videos and has an arsenal of extra footage to include. Unfortunately, the So You Think You Can Dance routine set to Mraz’s “Even If It Kills Me” didn’t make the Chicago show (Mraz told us he wanted it to happen), but he promises,”if you’re a fan of this record, or saw one show in the last two years, I think this will be a film that will be a memory of where we are now in our lives.”

After finishing his Café Gratitude tour at the Hollywood Bowl in October, Mraz continues his live dates in South America and has hopes to begin work on his next album after that. “I want to write optimistic material, and upbeat stuff — but I don’t want to leave out the beauty this time around,” Mraz says. “I want it to be lush, but it’s early in the process. Who knows? I could come out with some robotic hip-hop record.”


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