We were introduced to John Mason after his latest single ‘Time To Think’ appeared on MusoSoup. We were gutted that it was uploaded after the release date as otherwise, we would definitely be featuring it as one of the best songs released that the week.
However, now we had a chance to talk to John about his adventures, music, the album he released while travelling and performing all over the world. When so many people are at home, John is still travelling. Nothing can stop him and hopefully, nothing will. We need more people who would be sharing stories and experiences while laughing and living the life to the fullest.
When it comes to John Mason’s music, it speaks for itself. I was listening to songs on repeat and it forms a perfect road trip soundtrack as you can literally take a trip not only down your memory lane but as well look into your heart and dig a little deeper. John’s honest and well-crafted lyrics combined with a soothing voice is a killer combo.
When asked how he would describe his music in three words, John said: “Honest dynamic heartfelt”. We got to agree with that. Thrilled to introduce you to John Mason.
Congratulations looks like 2020 apart from all the madness has been a blessing for you. Your album ‘Chasing My Grace’ was released earlier in the year and now you just dropped a brand new single ‘Time To Think’.
What does it mean for you to be releasing music in this historic time?
Honestly, I am not really sure. Releasing music is the easy bit. It would have been amazing to tour with the album and the forthcoming EP but instead, I have to give a huge thanks to my friend and producer who has refused to let me go unheard. Strange times indeed with a lot of time to think. Cheeky pun.
Music to me is the purpose and ultimate freedomJOHN MASON
Where do ideas for songs come from? Tell us more about your creative process.
The short answer is life. Without experience, it’s hard to have anything to write about. I enjoy the idea of ancient Greece. They would celebrate the muse rather than the musician. Granting the praise to the inspiration and understanding that the artist is more of a vessel to channel rather than the source of the music. The best songs feel like that. They come from nowhere and seem to write themselves. The job of any artist really is to develop their skills enough to be able to do the inspiration justice. Other times it’s just because I’ve had too many glasses of wine!
You released ‘Time To Think’ a few weeks ago. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the song and what does the song mean to you?
I was staying in a basement near Ottawa mid-tour and it fell out whilst I was mid-way through writing Chasing My Grace. Originally I heard a roots reggae vibe in my head which was intentional because I had woken up to a rainy overcast day and I think it was an attempt to change the mood. ‘Time To Think’ is about the grandness of the small things. Looking past the superficial in people or the mundane on a rainy morning to see something beautiful. To question the way we are individually and as a society. The lyrics even make reference to the alleged shortest novel ever by Ernest Hemmingway. ” For sale: Baby shoes, never worn”.
I turn off the news and I ask / If there is a God?JOHN MASON ‘TIME TO THINK’
You spent several years travelling with Grace (your guitar) and she took you places around the world. Do you remember the moment you decided to start the journey?
I was hitching through the north coast of Scotland in the early days I remember wondering if I could get all the way around the world like this? I think that idea lay in the back of mind and when my band had become too much to manage and (very cliché) with a muddled heart I left Sardinia where my band CAB Collective had spent two weeks recording in a makeshift studio next to the sea. I had enough money to buy a one-way plane ticket to New York from Naples and it overwhelmingly felt like the right thing to do.
What was the best lesson you learned while travelling?
I’m still learning and still travelling. I would say the best lesson is to trust myself. Have to learn that one almost every day.
Close your eyes, what is the first memory you remember from the trip?
The sun setting through the plane window over the fjords of Greenland.
Do you remember the feeling when the album was finished and you were able to listen to it from beginning to end?
So vividly. Overwhelmed because the experience was like nothing I could have predicted. It felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be and the album almost made itself. It felt magical and probably the only time I have made something I have been completely satisfied with.
What are your musical influences?
Incubus, Dave Matthews Band, Ben Harper, Ben Howard, John Butler, Stevie Wonder
What is one thing you would change in the music industry?
No more “Pay To Play” gigs and the recognition that it’s a craft that deserves to be paid like any other job.
What would you say to those who want to take that first step in creating and sharing music but are battling with their inner voices and delaying it?
Just be honest about why you want to do it. Even if it is just to be famous! As long as you are honest with yourself you can manage your expectations and be who you need to be.
If we’d hack your Spotify, what artists would we find?
Do you have a song, that when you hear it, you’d say, “I wish I’d written that”?
‘We Watch the Stars’ (Berlin Session) by Fink.
It’s a beautifully simple song that says so much with so little. Real mastery of words, melody and structure.
What makes you happy in life?
Performing, living big and being in love. Watching the waves and then jumping in. Anytime shared with good friends, cheesy as it sounds it’s just always better with friends.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Well that’s up to you.
Just be you.JOHN MASON
What have you got planned for the rest of 2020?
I’m either becoming a gardener or I will set to work on my next album if I can find the space and funds to stay in one place long enough to do so. So much new music is ready to go and my concept for this one is really exciting me.