di Erika Scafuro
By now we can recognize his songs from the first chords. His music is unmistakable, sounds that immediately bring to mind the breeze of the ocean, waves, bonfires on the beach, good vibes.
Yes, we are talking about Jack Johnson, the singer songwriter born and bred on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
What makes this singer associate with the surfing community is that he himself is a professional surfer, even before being a musician.
Having grown up in one of the best-known islands for surfing, it was inevitable that Johnson would approach the sport in his early years. His skill as a surfer even brought him to one of the most prestigious surf events, the finals of the Pipeline Masters when he was seventeen years old.
Shortly after Johnson had a surfing accident and this led him to devote himself mainly to music, he started to play guitar when he was a teenager, and to make surf movies. Johnson has always used the time when he was traveling or not surfing to write songs and this led him to release, in 2001, his debut album Brushfire Fairytales, followed by others.
Johnson’s songs even today continue to achieve a lot of success and are included in playlists dedicated to surfing. Titles like Better Together, Flake, You and your Heart involve with their chill out rhythms and became hits worldwide. Such as Upside Down which reached top position of several music charts, its tune is so catchy and joyful, it’s impossible not to hum it.
Johnson started his career as a filmaker, he started making soundtracks and surf movies. He directed films as Thicker than Water, The September Sessions and he starred in many others also together with his longtime friend Kelly Slater who said about him “he is a great surfer”. In addition to surf and perform together, the two still collaborate on several projects like documetaries.
Johnson is involved in various social projects and environmental causes. In 2008 he founded with his wife, Johnson Ohana Charity Foundation, a non – profit association to support environment, music, education. With Kokua Hawaii Foundation supports environmental education in Hawaii schools, while All At Once promotes sustainable local food systems and plastic free initiatives. Johnson is always at the forefront for calls to action about beach clean up. Meanwhile the waves and the nature inspire him to write beautiful songs.