Jaron and the Long Road to Love’s Plan to ‘Unblend’ Pays Off
Jaron of Jaron and the Long Road to Love is still reveling in the success of his debut hit 'Pray for You,' nearly 10 months after its initial release. Just in recent weeks, 'Pray for You' broke into Billboard's Top 15 and scored Jaron his first No. 1 single on iTunes. The success of 'Pray for You' also pushed album sales for 'Getting Dressed in the Dark' to a No. 2 debut on the Top Country Albums chart.
Jaron stays humbled by the the life 'Pray for You' has taken on. "I knew that I wanted to unblend [from other artists]," Jaron tells The Boot. "At my label, Jaronwood, we talk about that all the time. If traffic is going one way, you go the other way. I don't choose to unblend or to be different just to be different, but I find that part of me that is different. We focus on what makes me unique. I knew 'Pray for You' was going to help establish me with a unique brand amongst the other artists. But I can't sit here and tell you I knew it was going to be as big of a cultural phenomenon as it has been and continues to be."
Because of the success of 'Pray for You,' Jaron and his label staff have decided to push back the release of his follow-up single, 'That's Beautiful to Me,' to September. "'Pray for You' never got more than 2,900 spins a week compared with a No. 1 single in the country or the Top 5 -- they get 5,000 spins a week. Yet we outsold all of them. We're now getting 800 spins a week. We dropped down like 70 percent in spins, but we've only fallen 25 percent in sales. So we're still holding on. It's now going to cross over, too. Once it crosses over, I think that those numbers will go right back up. We were just giving it a little space to do that and get it right. I think that they wanted to give the ears out there a little bit more time. Some of the [radio station] markets came on late, and they're just having this great time with it. Even though the numbers are falling on the charts, it's still just showing up in some of these markets. We didn't want to come with the next song while they were still having success with that. We just figured we'd wait for everybody to get on the same page at the same time."
'That's Beautiful to Me' shows another side of Jaron -- the softer, sweeter side many wondered whether he had in him after 'Pray for You' raised some eyebrows early on. While some may alter their opinion of the singer's music, Jaron says his first single has already helped in that area. "'Pray for You' has won over those fans [who didn't like the song at first] on its own. It's gotten to the point where I see it on Facebook all the time. People go, 'Oh, I listened to it the first time, and I thought it was mean, but then I got it and understood it.' I think that after a while people were just afraid ... 'Oh am I supposed to feel this way? Is that OK?' And then it's done its own job of winning people over. There are just people who don't like puppies and complain about stuff anyway. There's always going to be that two or three percent who just hate themselves, and you can't win them over. But on a whole, I think that the song has pulled in a lot of the late decision-makers who are finally coming around and liking the song."
With 'That's Beautiful to Me,' Jaron hopes for the same kind of success as 'Pray for You,' and feels it will show the thread of the album is not just humorous songs. "The album is really about private conversations and honestly, and it has all kinds of personal looks at relationships," the singer explains. "It's not all about, 'Hey I'm praying for bad things to happen to somebody.' It's all sorts of slices from different perspectives and different experiences that encompass a traditional, typical relationship. After you listen to it, you will see that it's funny at times and it's observant. I think it's full of a whole bunch of unique observations that are said differently on the album that I haven't heard before. I set out to do that. I think people who hear the album will go, 'Oh, I see where 'Pray for You' fits in, but it's not just funny ... There's some real sad stuff in there, too.'"