‘Really taking in the beauty of the place’: Jack Johnson’s secret Kiwi itinerary revealed

Jack Johnson is returning to New Zealand for the first time in five years and he’s pretty excited. Photo / Supplied

It’s been a while since Jack Johnson last visited New Zealand. Five years to be precise, but as the saying goes, absence – or in this case time, makes the heart grow fonder.

When the 47-year-old singer last visited the country in 2017, he made some special memories both on and off the stage, and with two tour dates set for December, he’s excited to be doing it all again.

Speaking to the Herald, Johnson recalled one of his “fondest memories” which included a “beautiful camping trip” he and his family did after his final show in the country.

“We spent about another 10 days traveling around Aotearoa and just really taking in the beauty of the place and learning about it,” he says.

“I’ve had a lot of fun times over the years just playing live shows and getting to visit those places we’re at but it’s also fun to just sort of disappear with just the family and kind of, you know, go a little deeper than just the cities and whatnot.”

The American singer-songwriter shot to fame in 2001 after the release of his debut album, Brushfire Fairytales and since then he has hit the number-one spot in the Billboard 200 chart not once, but four times.

Jack Johnson released his latest album, Meet the Moonlight, in June.  Photo / Supplied
Jack Johnson released his latest album, Meet the Moonlight, in June. Photo / Supplied

His first number-one album came in 2006 with the release of, Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George. But despite the instant success of the album, he says he won’t be creating another lullaby-themed album anytime soon.

“That time around, it worked out so perfect because I had just had my first kid and so all I wanted to do was write songs that you sing to little kids,” he sweetly recalls, “I was just sitting around singing to my little newborn, and so the song all kept coming because it was I wanted to spend my time doing. So I don’t know, I mean if it worked out again, I could, but it was really just the timing of my life at that point.”

Johnson is known for his easy to listen to tunes like Upside Down and Better Togetherwhich provokes a calm aura in any listener, but the star admits, despite being a fairly laid-back person himself, his creative process is a bit of a shambles.

“I’m one of those people that in college I’d have an idea for a paper, but I’d always need the deadline and I’d stay up all night the night before it was due, finishing, and I’m kinda like that with albums.”

He goes on to explain he will have papers with lyrics written on them scattered around the house and pace the living room singing a melody but when the time comes to carve out the good from the great, there is one person who is there to help him .

“My wife is usually the one to help me kinda distinguish when that is,” he laughs.

Jack Johnson may be one of the most relaxed celebrities the world has ever seen.  Photo / Supplied
Jack Johnson may be one of the most relaxed celebrities the world has ever seen. Photo / Supplied

Johnson and his wife, Kim, married in the year 2000 after they met at the University of California in Santa Barbara. Since then, the couple has welcomed three children – two boys and a girl – but they prefer to keep them away from the spotlight.

In fact, Johnson himself also tends to stay out of the spotlight and may be one of the most relaxed celebrities the world has ever seen.

Set to visit New Zealand next month for one show in Auckland and one in Napier, the singer is very excited to be back as the land of the long white cloud holds a very special place in his heart.

“It’s one of the first places that our music really kind of took off. I grew up in Hawaii and it’s a similar musical culture. It’s an island culture. A lot of the music, I think that influences contemporary music in both places is very similar.

“I’ve always been really honored that the music connected with people in Aotearoa so I’m really happy to be coming down there and jamming some music together.”

But Johnson, who was once a professional surfer, also has an outside-of-work activity planned for his time here. A surf.

“As long as there are waves and as long as somebody’s willing to drive me to the beach, we’ll be going.”

The singer reveals that he usually heads to the beach with local surfers and asks for a loan of their surfboard so, with that in mind, he decides to keep his favorite Kiwi beach to himself.

“The local surfers accept you quite a bit more if you don’t talk about your favorite beach,” he laughs.


Who: Jack Johnson

What: Meet the Moonlight tour

Where: Auckland, December 10 and Napier, December 11

Tickets: Napier show is sold out, however tickets are still available for the Auckland show here.

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