It takes a real man to wear pink, but it takes a real geek to be proud of it.
Just ask Jason Mraz.
The easygoing 28-year-old “geek in the pink” was inspired to pen a song after an incident during an impromptu recording session in Miami with beatmaker Scott Storch, who has helmed tracks for Beyoncé, Sean Paul and Paris Hilton (see “Scott Storch Says He And Paris Are Making ’Amazing Music’ “ ).
“I showed up at the studio and we don’t even know what we’re gonna do,” Mraz recalled. “Then Scott came up with this crazy loop and the room just became filled with MCs that just started flowing. And here I am, this skinny little white kid wearing this pink polo shirt, just feeling totally awkward. I probably looked like the biggest nerd in there.”
So the Mraz man sucked it up and started spitting out beats with the best of them, garnering the attention of the females in the room and the respect of his fellow MCs, showing that yes, even geeks have game.
“I said, ’Let the geek in the pink take a stab at it. If you like the way I’m thinking, baby, wink at it,’ ” the singer recalled, grinning. ” ’I may be skinny at times, but I’m fat full of rhymes.’ ”
After leaving the studio that night with a good amount of lyrics for Storch’s loop, Mraz left it up to his band to turn the work in progress into a bona fide song. “We just turned it into this funky rock tune versus a straight-up hip-hop sound,” he explained.
“Geek in the Pink” is the crooner’s second single off his sophomore LP, Mr. A-Z (see “Jason Mraz Says New Album Could ’Cause The Next World War’ “ ). And as a self-professed, reformed geek himself, Mraz hopes the song will strike a chord with young people still struggling to come into their own.
“I get to meet a lot of awkward teenagers, and right now they’re kind of feeling like they’re not cool, but it’s usually the geeks that are the cool people, and the people that think they’re really cool are usually the geeks,” he said. “But the bottom line is we’re all the same people. We’re all just a bunch of geeks trying to make it up as we go along.”
Take it from a guy who knows: Mraz admits that while he was in high school he was that “annoying guy” who took part in all the choir and drama productions, befriended his teachers (yes, even the principal) and spent his Friday nights partying at, well, Skate America.
But all that pales in comparison to his geekiest moment thus far: cheerleading camp. Screaming into a megaphone during rallies may up your geek factor tenfold, but Mraz says he milked every second of the opportunity.
“There were three guys and like 400 beautiful cheerleaders practically begging for you to look up their skirts,” the singer joked. “It’s like, ’Are you kidding me?’ I don’t know why guys get flack for being a cheerleader, because it’s the best gig you could ask for.”
While those glory days are long gone, Mraz is still making the rounds on the college circuit, playing packed gigs at intimate nightclubs and campuses nationwide for his fall U.S. trek to promote Mr. A-Z.. Once that wraps on November 27 in Glendale, Arizona, the singer will take a couple of months off before commencing the European leg of his tour in February.
Jason Mraz tour dates, according to his label:
- 10/11 – Durham, NC @ University of New Hampshire
- 10/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
- 10/14 – Charlottesville, VA @ University of Virginia
- 10/16 – New York, NY @ Avery Fisher Hall
- 10/17 – New York, NY @ Avery Fisher Hall
- 10/19 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
- 10/20 – Cincinnati, OH @ Xavier University/Cintas Center
- 10/21 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
- 10/22 – Minneapolis, MN @ Northrop Auditorium
- 10/24 – Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
- 10/26 – San Diego, CA @ Soma
- 10/29 – Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
- 11/5 – Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern LG
- 11/6 – Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern LG
- 11/7 – San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore
- 11/8 – San Francisco, CA @ Warfield Theatre
- 11/10 – Eugene, OR @ Hult Center for Performing Arts
- 11/11 – Spokane, WA @ Big Easy
- 11/12 – Portland, OR @ Roseland
- 11/13 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
- 11/16 – Boise, ID @ Big Easy
- 11/18 – Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
- 11/20 – Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center
- 11/22 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Delta Center
- 11/24 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
- 11/26 – San Diego, CA @ Copley Symphony Hall
- 11/27 – Glendale, AZ @ Glendale Arena