He transformed his home studio into a multifaceted performance station, including a “message board” area in front of his piano where Mraz directly addressed his global fanbase from Brazil to Madagascar. But the green screen turned into Mraz’s best instrument, as he went from a miniature stage with his Raining Jane bandmate Chaska Potter to perform the titular track of his upcoming album Look For The Good in front of its artwork (the rainbow border encasing the whole video as well) to his piano set-up in front of the galaxy.
During livestream concerts, it’s common for artists to intentionally look into the camera to connect with the online audience. But in his graphic stunt, Mraz appears to break the fourth wall ahead of “Look For The Good” when he exclaims, “I see it! I see the good. It’s right there… it’s in you” while pointing at the lens.
But the 42-year-old singer-songwriter didn’t just jam for his fans who need enlightenment during this pandemic. He dedicated his half-hour set to another audience who might not have access to the devices needed to watch Billboard‘s livestream: the homeless.
Mraz expressed the privilege of having a home while introducing his second song “93 Million Miles,” an ode of gratitude for his parents who “let me off the hook at an early age” to follow his dreams as a starving artist who now has two Grammy awards under his belt. “It’s a song about always being able to come back home,” he said. “And that’s a really privileged place to be.”
The shimmering stars floating in the background couldn’t be a more perfect backdrop for his last song, “I Won’t Give Up,” when he sings the first verse, “When I look into your eyes/ It’s like watching the night sky/ Or a beautiful sunrise/ So much they hold/ And just like them old stars/ I see that you’ve come so far/ To be right where you are/ How old is your soul?”
Watch Mraz’s whole Billboard Live At-Home performance below, and donate to the National Coalition for the Homeless here.