Why John Mayer is a gift to us all
By Nasia Ballas
As I sat down to write, I tried to decide how to best express all of the ways that John Mayer is, in fact, the coolest person on the planet. I grappled with how Mayer has influenced the worlds of music, fashion and comedy. I recalled the eight albums he brilliantly crafted and generously gifted us. I thought about how his creativity shines, even through his clothing choices.
I chuckled when replaying bits of his IGTV show, “Current Mood,” in my head. What I quickly realized was that my job is actually quite easy because Mayer speaks for himself. All you have to do to understand his impact is observe the emotion he provokes in others. I’m just here to lead you down the path of appreciation.
Our world is upside down. We are in a struggle for normalcy, constantly longing to be granted greater freedom and less ambiguity. Thankfully, humanity always finds outlets to cope with inconvenience, and there is hardly a better way to connect with another human being than to turn on a mutually-appreciated anthem and belt it out together.
Human connection is invaluable and potentially infrequent, so we must exploit what allows for such meaningful interactions. We have never needed this more than we do now, and Mayer knows how to play that role for us.
Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change” could not be more appropriate for our current state. The anthem is 14 years old, yet its effects make it feel as though it was released this morning. In this work of art, Mayer sings about how he patiently waits on the world to alter its ways; however, we must realize that his brilliance is playing a role in changing it for us. His work is always relevant. Mayer is timeless.
In addition to his ear for musical construction, Mayer has a sharp eye for fashion. He is a knowledgeable sneakerhead and a proud streetwear connoisseur. Currently, Mayer has specific interest in Japanese brands and is close friends with multiple designers of such lines.
In a video for GQ, Mayer explains his perspective on fashion, describing that he wants to keep audiences guessing about his choices without being perceived as overly radical. He walks that tightrope with ease, as he proves over and over again with his bold-yet-pleasing style.
Mayer’s talents don’t stop at world-class musicianship or extraordinary fashion sense; he is also creatively hilarious. “Current Mood” is Mayer’s way of bringing together his audience to create a community. The material that Mayer implements throughout the program is as wide-ranging and multifaceted as the artist himself.
In addition to being a comedy platform, “Current Mood” is authentic and emotional. Mayer brings guests onto the show, such as Finneas, Khalid, Maggie Rogers and more, ultimately allowing his audience to explore musical interests beyond himself. His humility is as present as his sense of humor.
As one of the greatest guitarists of our time, Mayer is driven by his extraordinary talent, desire and efforts to connect humankind. His style—musical and otherwise—is but a fragment of his impact. Next time you take a drive, play some Mayer and listen to the layers; layers of instruments, beats and vocals, yes, but also layers of spirit, humility and versatility. The biggest message within Mayer’s presence in our lives is that he never hedges when surrounded by mediocrity.
Mayer’s message is to remember to never settle for simplicity. Be clever and bold. Be unafraid of complexity; in fact, embrace it. That is what makes someone extraordinary. That is what makes the coolest person on the planet.