Ariana Grande Lives Her Broadway Truth Performing ‘Jason’s Song’ on ‘Fallon’
Ariana Grande's Dangerous Woman album found the 23-year-old singer stretching her wings style-wise, but Broadway will always be her first love. Her September 19 performance on The Tonight Show is the most recent example: Grande belted Dangerous Woman special edition track "Jason's Song," backed by The Roots and the song's namesake, composer Jason Robert Brown.
Grande and Jason Robert Brown's musical bond began way back in 2008, when Brown wrote the music and lyrics to Broadway musical 13, which Ariana and her Victorious co-star Liz Gillies co-starred in; Brown also accompanied Grande's "Dangerous Woman" performance at this year's MTV Movie Awards. He co-wrote "Jason's Song" with Ariana and co-produced it with Jeffrey Lesser, a music producer for Nickelodeon (IT ALL CONNECTS).
Brown described the meaning of "Jason's Song," and the process of making it, on his blog.
"Ari said she wanted to have a song like her favorite song from my Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes CD, “Getting Out”[...] something really tough about the music business and how hard it was to be a woman trying to maintain her own voice, trying to push her boundaries, trying to stand up against the astonishing wall of corporate resistance she faced on a regular basis, not to mention the crazy demands and frustrations of celebrity culture," he wrote.
Though Brown wrote the majority of the lyrics, Ariana helmed the idea of returning to a big piano number (when one considers her singalong session with fellow show tunes lover Seth MacFarlane, Broadway Ariana may be the truest Ariana, artistically speaking).
"She had a melodic idea for the chorus, I filled it out; I had a melodic idea for the verse, she stretched it and made it swing. I told her she should write the lyrics, since I didn’t feel like I could put words in her mouth," Brown wrote. Though he did ultimately write most of the words, he wrote that "her fixes really did sound better coming out of her than my originals would have. She has a perfect sense of what fits her."
Joined by hip hop veterans / Jimmy Fallon's house band The Roots on The Tonight Show, Ariana was more than pleased by the results, deeming it "my favorite performance I've ever done I think."
Watch a bespectacled Ariana deliver "Jason's Song" live below.
Check Out Some of Ariana Grande's Best Live Vocals