Chinese herbal syrup Pei Pa Koa goes to Jason Mraz's rescue

Chinese herbal syrup Pei Pa Koa goes to Jason Mraz's rescue

To help with his singing, American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, 37, turns to a remedy familiar to many Singaporeans - a bottle of Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa.

Describing his pre-show rituals, the two-time Grammy winner says: "I always eat a healthy meal. Then I warm up my body with a short yoga routine and I warm up my voice with music - I sing.

"I make myself a strong cup of mint tea with a very delicious syrup in it - it's called Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa."

He will have no problems stocking up on the Chinese herbal syrup when he comes to Singapore to perform at The Star Theatre on Nov 17 and 18.

These may be among his last shows. In recent interviews, he has announced that he wants to retire before turning 40. "Nothing will make me change my mind. I'm looking forward to it," he says of his plans to bow out of the music industry and focus on tending his farm in California and doing charity work.

The two gigs in Singapore come 21/2 years after his last performance here at Gardens by the Bay.

While that show was a full-on concert - and part of the garden's opening celebrations - his new shows will see him go acoustic for a more intimate feel.

He adds: "This time I'm bringing with me Raining Jane - they are the collaborators in my new album, Yes!. And it's their first time in Singapore so it's a brand new show."

Yes!, released in July, is Mraz's fifth full-length release and his first acoustic album.

Since 2007, he has been working with the four women who make up folk-rock band Raining Jane, comprising Mai Bloomfield, Becky Gebhardt, Chaska Potter and Mona Tavakoli.

He describes the tunes on the album, which peaked at No. 2 in the Billboard charts, as "songs of hope".

He says: "If I need help remembering forgiveness and if I need help remembering acceptance and compassion, then the songs that I am writing will help me remember that. They are going to be my mantras to remind me of these needs in life and in our humanity."

Indeed, songs such as You Can Rely On Me (There's so much you wanna try that you haven't tried yet/Ooh, I've got your back through all of it, yes I do/ Yeah, you can rely on me, yes you can) and 3 Things (I go where I know the love is and let it fill me up inside/Gathering new strength from sorrow/I'm glad to be alive) convey optimism.

He adds: "The physical world can sometimes be full of conflict and I go more to a more peaceful world which is a lot more calm. Music is my spiritual practice and optimism helps us to calm ourselves from the conflict of the world, conflicts of the mind."

Born and raised in Virginia, he started out singing in coffee houses in San Diego and released his major label debut album, Waiting For My Rocket To Come, in 2002.

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