Singer Jason Mraz: Too much political 'combat' in Washington
© ASCAP Foundation, We Write the Songs event

Hit singer-songwriter Jason Mraz says that while he is frustrated by much of what he sees in Washington, he isn't letting that affect his music or storytelling.

“I am more spirit-based, and more human-emotion based,” Mraz told The Hill Wednesday. “And sometimes I feel like that’s absent in our political system. I feel like there’s a lot of combat and harsh words and I prefer kindness and generosity.

“I do write frustrated songs, but those aren’t the songs that I bring to the general public,” he continued. “It’s not what I want to be remembered for, and that’s not the service I want to provide to listeners and especially to today’s youth.”

Mraz was in the nation's capital on Wednesday night for the tenth annual "We Write the Songs" concert, hosted by the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers Foundation (ASCAP) at the Library of Congress.

Mraz performed two of his best-known hits, “I’m Yours” and “I Won’t Give Up,” alongside students from the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC), which Mraz once attended. Both performances received standing ovations.

Others performers included Mike Love of the Beach Boys, who performed the group's hits "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations," as well as Michael McDonald, Johntá Austin, Brandy Clark and Suzanne Vega, who sang her 1981 hit "Tom's Diner."

The concert is the lead-in to an annual effort coordinated by ASCAP to bring attention to the issues facing songwriters and other music creators.

On Thursday, members will gather on Capitol Hill to encourage senators to pass the Music Modernization Act, which would update music licensing laws. The bill has already passed the House in an overwhelming 415-0 vote.

ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams was encouraged by the turnout of lawmakers at the event and praised their efforts.

“Everybody gave a little, and this is not a perfect deal for anybody,” the Hall of Fame songwriter told The Hill, praising the negotiations to get the bill. “But everybody followed that rule of like, don’t lose good to perfect; don’t let perfect destroy good.”

Mraz is also optimistic about the bill.

He became emotional on stage while telling the story behind “I Won’t Give Up,” which he wrote with Michael Natter. Mraz said Natter had been struggling his entire life for his big break before the song's release

“Thanks to this song and a few other cuts on that record, my friend Michael Natter, my collaborator, was finally able to retire and call himself a songwriter in dignity,” Mraz said.

Mraz was introduced by Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineRNC mum on whether it will support Trump-backed Corey Stewart GOP Senate candidate accuses Chris Cuomo’s father of anti-Semitic remarks in heated exchange Poll: Casey holds double-digit lead over Barletta in Pa. Senate race MORE (D-Va.), who joined him onstage and played harmonica.

Other lawmakers at the event included House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase McCarthy: 'The Mueller investigation has got to stop' McConnell: Mueller 'ought to wrap it up' MORE (R-Calif.), House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiTrump rips Democrats for allowing MS-13 'animals' into country The Hill's 12:30 Report Trump unloads from White House lawn MORE (D-Calif.), and Reps. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsTime to set politics aside to move ahead on criminal justice reform Don’t kick the can down the road on prison reform — now is the time for change Rep. Chabot puts impeachment at center of his case for Judiciary post MORE (R-Ga.), Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayBipartisan lawmakers introduce infrastructure bill for poor communities Singer Jason Mraz: Too much political 'combat' in Washington House Dems demand rationale for adding citizenship question to 2020 census MORE (D-Mo.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraBy reversing course on Ebola funding, Trump brings compromise Singer Jason Mraz: Too much political 'combat' in Washington Overnight Health Care: What's next in search for VA chief | Romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak expands | Dem floats automatic ObamaCare enrollment | Lawsuit targets cuts to teen pregnancy program MORE (D-Calif.), Billy LongWilliam (Billy) H. LongSinger Jason Mraz: Too much political 'combat' in Washington Live coverage: Zuckerberg faces second day on Capitol Hill Victorious on taxes, GOP wonders: What's next? MORE (R-Mo.), Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteWhite House walks back Trump's rejection of immigration compromise Goodlatte begins process to subpoena FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts: report Trump immigration comments spark chaos in GOP MORE (R-Va.), Lamar SmithLamar Seeligson SmithLawmakers scold NASA for cost overruns Big Tobacco’s smoke and mirrors revived by Pruitt’s science transparency policy Freedom Caucus bruised but unbowed in GOP primary fights MORE (R-Texas), Martha RobyMartha Dubina RobyAnti-Trump Republicans better look out — voters might send you packing Loyalty to Donald Trump is new normal for the Republican Party Trump tightens grip on GOP MORE (R-Ala.), Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenDems rip Trump concessions, 'embarrassing' rhetoric with Kim Lawmakers spar at hearing over census citizenship question New Poor People’s Campaign has the laudable goal of focusing on the neediest among us MORE (D-Tenn.), Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnWhat the net neutrality repeal means Dem Senate super PAC reserves million in fall TV ads Scalise throws support behind Black, Blackburn ahead of Tennessee primary MORE (R-Tenn.) and Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzTrump: Don't let Dems' IT worker, Wasserman Schultz 'off the hook' Koch-backed group to target some Republicans over spending vote in new ad campaign Singer Jason Mraz: Too much political 'combat' in Washington MORE (D-Fla.) as well as Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderIBM-led coalition pushes senators for action on better tech skills training Dems seek to leverage ObamaCare fight for midterms GOP senator: DOJ's ObamaCare argument 'as far-fetched as any I've ever heard' MORE (R-Tenn.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul's neighbor sentenced to 30 days in prison over assault Dems best GOP as Scalise returns for annual charity baseball game The Hill's Morning Report — Can the economy help Republicans buck political history in 2018? MORE (R-Ky.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerAnti-Trump Republicans better look out — voters might send you packing Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Dems see midterm advantage in new ObamaCare fight Action by Congress is needed to help victims of domestic violence MORE (R-Nev.), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziOvernight Defense: Top general defends Afghan war progress | VA shuffles leadership | Pacific Command gets new leader, name | Pentagon sued over HIV policy Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA Congress must take steps to help foster children find loving families MORE (R-Wyo.) and Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsTrump tightens grip on GOP Overnight Finance: Senators introduce bill to curb Trump's tariff authority | McConnell calls it 'exercise in futility' | Kudlow warns WTO won't dictate policy | Mulvaney feud with consumer advocates deepens Senators introduce bill to curb Trump's tariff authority MORE (R-Kan.).