Jonathan Mann (musician)

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Jonathan Mann
Mann in August 2020
Mann in August 2020
Background information
Born (1982-04-09) April 9, 1982 (age 38)
OriginWestford, Vermont
GenresAlternative rock, folk rock, freak folk
Instrumentsvocals, guitar
Years active2005–present
Associated actsThe Spinto Band, Sparky Grinstead

Jonathan Mann (born April 9, 1982) is an American singer-songwriter, best known for creating and publishing a new song and video each day since January 2009, under the YouTube channel named "Song A Day."[1] Because of his vast quantity of material and speed of composition, his songs often reference immediate current events and popular trends of the very day the video was uploaded.[2] In November 2014, Jonathan Mann set a world record for the most consecutive days writing a song.[3]


Mann started composing at the age of 12, before enrolling at Bennington College. While pursuing his graduate studies at CalArts,[4] he co-wrote and starred in a rock opera called "The Last Nympho Leprechaun" with colleague Thomas Hughes. In grad school, he wrote and starred in a rock opera based on the Super Mario Brothers. Since then, he has recorded music and self-released albums under the names Forty (or 40) Second Songs, The Nympho Leprechauns, Novox the Robot, GameJew, The Mario Opera, as well as simply Jonathan Mann.

In 2006, Mann started uploading videos to YouTube under the alias "GameJew." He later started his best known project, "Song A Day," which has been continuously operating since January 1, 2009. The project came to national attention following several viral hits and an exposé on CNN.[5]

From 2006 to 2012, Jonathan lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and made many live appearances with the band of local musicians he formed and dubbed The Rock Cookie Bottoms. After many personnel changes, the group's membership solidified around 2009 with keyboardist Pete Feltman, singer Nic Kaelin, bassist Eric Yeargan, guitarist Sam Douglass and drummer Sparky Grinstead (who went by the name Norman Famous). A singer-songwriter with his own career, Grinstead (Famous) was a huge fan of Mr. Mann's work and provided the band with a studio and much of its equipment. They were often joined onstage by Oakland-based multi-instrumentalist Matthew Joseph Payne (Sparky's son). The band stayed together until 2012 when Jonathan left California for New York.

In July 2012, Mann's "Song a Day: The Album" initiative let colleagues from around the world interact with performers and contribute to compositions via livestream. The album was produced by Mann along with Nick Krill and Thomas Hughes of the Spinto Band and was recorded at Famous House, the Berkeley, CA home studio of fellow Singer/Songwriter Sparky Grinstead (who was at the time playing drums with Jonathan's band, The Rock Cookie Bottoms, under the name Norman Famous. Members of the Rock Cookie Bottoms made cameo appearances on the album, as did "fluffy," a long-time participant in Song Fight!.

In June 2014, Mann celebrated his 2000th song with a Reddit AMA ("Ask Me Anything"), creating songs as answers to the questions and a tribute "Song a Day" video on YouTube.[6]

Mann contributes to the music on the Night Vales Presents podcast 'Sleep With Me', presented by Andrew Ackerman.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Mann married in January 2014.[8] He and his wife have two children.[9][10] Mann's duet with his ex-girlfriend about their breakup became one of his viral hits.[11][12]

Notable compositions[edit]

  • As GameJew, Mann (wearing a Mario costume) sought out and sang a tribute to Nintendo luminary Shigeru Miyamoto during the 2007 Game Developers Conference. This act of fandom was widely reported by the gaming press, and reference was made to it in the comic strip FoxTrot.[13][14][15][16]
  • "The iPhone Antenna Song," was played by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the start of the iPhone 4 press conference.[17][18]
  • The commercial tune "Bing Goes the Internet" won a jingle contest sponsored by Microsoft Bing, yet was deemed "the worst jingle in the world" by the website Techcrunch.[19]
  • "Hey, Paul Krugman!," a song dedicated to economist Paul Krugman, was performed live on the Rachel Maddow Show.[20]
  • Mann composed the official theme to the 2011 TEDMED conference, and debuted it as the conference's keynote speaker.[21] Mann performed at the 2012 TEDMED conference as well.[22][23]
  • "Baby Yoda Baby Baby Yoda" is Mann's most viewed song on YouTube. This song is based on the viral sensation from the Disney+ series The Mandalorian.[24]


  • Animals (2014)
  • Song A Day: Year Five (2013)
  • Song A Day: Year Four (2012)
  • Song A Day: The Album (2012)
  • Song A Day: Year Three (2011)
  • Song A Day: The Album (2011)[25]
  • Song A Day: Year Two (2011)
  • Song A Day: Year One (2010)
  • Barefoot in the Family Tree EP (2009)
  • Tonight I'm Gonna Shave My Head (2007)
  • The Mushroom Singdom Vol. 0–3 (2007)
  • The Mario Opera: Acts 2 + 3 Demos (2006)
  • The Mario Opera: Act 1 (demos) (2005)
  • Songs for Girls (2005)
  • There Are So Many Possibilities (2004)
  • I've Got A Bigger Radio (2004)
  • Novox The Robot (2004)


  1. ^ Mechanic, Michael. "Jonathan Mann's 365 Songs in 365 Days". Mother Jones. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  2. ^ Morin, Natalie (July 8, 2014). "This Man Has Recorded a Song Every Day Since 2009 — And He Finally Scored a Big Hit". Music.Mic. Mic. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Guinness World Records 2016. Macmillan. September 1, 2015. p. 187. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  4. ^ "CalArts Alumni". CalArts.
  5. ^ "CNN official interview: The 'song a day' guy". CNN. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  6. ^ "Jonathan Mann Reddit AMA".
  7. ^ "Sleep With Me: The Podcast that Puts You To Sleep with Drew Ackerman". Sleep With Me. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  8. ^ Mann, Jonathan (January 18, 2016). "My wife and I have been married for 2 years today". Twitter. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  9. ^ Mann, Jonathan (May 6, 2014). "My Little Jupiter Mann". YouTube. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  10. ^ Mann, Jonathan (April 14, 2017). "My Little Epiphany Story". Jonathan Mann on Patreon. Patreon. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  11. ^ "Breakup Video: Couple Announces Split In The Cutest Way Ever". Huffpost Divorce. Huffington Post. December 7, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  12. ^ Larson, Eric (December 7, 2012). "Upbeat Heartbreak as Couple Announces Breakup With Song". Mashable. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  13. ^ Ashley, Robert. "Mushroom Kingdom Come – Loyal Subjects". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 225. Pg.66. February 2008.
  14. ^ Bardinelli, John. "GameJew stalks Miyamoto, sings him a song". Engadget. March 12, 2007.
  15. ^ Yip, Spencer. "Watch: Singing songs to Miyamoto". Siliconera. March 11, 2007.
  16. ^ Dyson. "Gamejew sings to Miyamoto". Destructoid. March 12, 2007.
  17. ^ "The Apple iPhone 4 Antenna Song". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  18. ^ Saint, Nick (July 19, 2010). "iPhone 4 Antenna Song Guy's Greatest Hits". Business Insider. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  19. ^ Mechanic, Michael. "Jonathan Mann's 365 Songs in 365 Days". Mother Jones. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  20. ^ "Jonathan Mann performs "Hey Paul Krugman" on the Rachel Maddow Show". NBC News. Retrieved April 17, 2009.
  21. ^ Lu, Stacy (January 26, 2012). "Sing it with me: "TEDMED!"". TEDMED. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  22. ^ "Jonathan Mann". TEDMED. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  23. ^ Gaglani, Shiv (April 13, 2012). "TEDMED 2012 Day 3 – Wilson's Principles, Calls to Action, and Finding the Cows". Medgadget. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  24. ^ Romain, Lindsey (November 27, 2019). "We're Obsessed With This Baby Yoda TikTok Lullaby". Nerdist. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 10, 2014. Retrieved December 7, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]