Singer Jason Mraz has pledged to donate all earnings from sales and streams of his reggae album Look for the Good, including his $250,000 advance, to Black Lives Matter and other social justice groups.
“This is bigger than me,” Mraz said in an interview with the Associated Press. “Now the CD itself has a purpose. The record itself actually can go out and serve.”
Recipients of his donation will include Black Lives Matter, San Diego Young Artists Music Academy, RISE San Diego, Grassroots Law Project, Center on Policy Initiatives, and Equal Justice Initiative. “For me, this is my cardboard sign up at the march,” Mraz said of his donation. “This is me putting my body and my music and my name on the line to say ‘I stand with this movement and I want to help move this down the field towards a more equal and just world.'”
Look for the Good was released on Friday on Juneteenth, a day some use to celebrate the abolition of slavery in the United States. Jason Mraz now plans to make donations to progressive groups annually on that day.
“I’ve made plenty of quiet donations and that’s great,” said the two-time Grammy-winner. “But I also want to inspire other leaders in business and other leaders in music to do the same.”
A vocal supporter of failed presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. In January Mraz released his “Vote Louder” music video, which saw him declare President Trump a “Twitter tyrant” and urge people to “vote to overthrow the Electoral College.”
Mraz told the AP that the initiative was part of his effort to be a good socialist like Sanders.
“What good socialist would I be if I didn’t share my earnings to some degree?” he said. “I’ve been very blessed. I’ve had a lot of great albums. I’ve had a lot of success. I’m in a privileged position where I can do this and I can help. So it feels good. Feels like the right thing to do.”
The album is said to be inspired by President Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency, which Mraz vehemently opposed, and includes lines on songs such as “We gonna march until our voices get heard” and “We were born to love not hate/We can decide our fate.”
“For me, it started with the 2016 election and feeling like such a shift and a loss of power and a rise of a sort of ugliness that still exists in the U.S.,” he said. “2020 is election year, so that’s really what prompted us to be like, ’Hey, 2020 is going to be an engaged year. There’s going to be debate. Things are going to happen. Who knows what. But what we need is to be prepared with some positive music.”