Jason Mraz has just announced that his next album, YES!, will drop July 15 — and the I’m Yours singer-songwriter recently dropped by TIME’s office to discuss the album and treat us to a solo acoustic performance of the lead-off single “Love Someone,” which is available today.
But what exactly is Mraz saying “yes” to?
The New Age-minded musician does believe that saying “yes” to other things can open an internal door to creativity, and he tries to say “yes” about things in his own life — but he tells TIME that the album title is mostly a reference to the other people who have said “yes” to him. The most important among those are the four musicians known as Raining Jane, a long-time backing band for Mraz who are his full-fledged collaborators on YES! Mraz says he maintained veto power, but it was a refreshing change to shift the focus on the album away from just himself.
Take “Love Someone,” for example: the song isn’t about a specific personal relationship; instead, the love in question is a more general feeling of being lucky, especially as relates to music. “When I let go in a song I feel like the mental chatter, anything that might show up as doubt or fear, that tends to fall away,” he says. “You just lock into one beautiful thing, which I feel is love, and when I sing to someone or with someone I feel that’s giving the love away. You get it back in return with how amazing you feel.”
Mraz — whose arm bears a “BE LOVE” tattoo — says that he believes that all of us “are” love, and that as soon as one recognizes that it’s easy to be open and giving.
That humble side isn’t just an act, at least in one area: though Mraz is known for his fedoras and is often seen sporting a baseball or trucker cap, he’ll readily admit that he doesn’t have the best hat collection in the music business. “I think Pharrell’s hat collection would win,” he says. “He’s got some pretty awesome hats.”
Watch the full acoustic performance of “Love Someone” here: