Johnson was a champion surfer on the professional route with a
sponsorship with Quiksilver. It was a life that was second nature
for this Hawaiian native, for he began chasing waves as a toddler,
and by the time he was 17, he was an outstanding athlete on the
Johnson was also testing his other creative outlets -- one being
film and the other being music. It was during his college years
as a film student at University of California at Santa Barbara
when Johnson began writing songs. He and old mates, Chris Malloy
and Emmett Malloy, produced a surf cinema documentary entitled
Thicker Than Water, in turn spotlighting Johnson as a talented
cinematographer as well as a burgeoning singer/songwriter.
peers in and around the surf circuit praised his work and Thicker
Than Water received props in Surfer magazine for Video of the
Year during 2000.
follow-up surf flick The September Sessions also earned the Adobe
Highlight Award at the ESPN Film Festival that same year. Still,
Johnson steered away from a blossoming pro sports career and stuck
with music -- something that would soon earn him additional honors.
Love & Special Sauce quickly took notice to Johnson's lazy
blues stylings, which also molded folk and hip-hop for a modern
rock twist, and included Johnson on "Rodeo Clowns'"
from G. Love's 1999 release, Philadelphonic. Johnson's four-track
demo also caught the ears of Ben Harper's right hand man, J.P.
was surely mind-blowing for Johnson, for Harper's college rock
mainstay Fight for Your Mind was one of his favorites and remained
an inspiration. Aside from Plunier's production work, Harper also
added his lap steel guitar work on Jack Johnson's sultry debut,
Brushfire Fairytales (Enjoy Records) in winter 2001.
co-headlining tours followed throughout spring and summer 2002;
Johnson's sophomore effort On and On appeared in May 2003. Stateside
dates with Ben Harper followed in June and July. A third album,
In Between Dreams arrived in March 2005.