If you don't know Miro Jaroš, your only excuse can be that you don’t have children. This charming guy is something like a god for many Czech and Slovak children. After the Slovak singer found out that participation in a singing competition wouldn’t automatically catapult him to fame, he decided to succeed in the world of show business thanks to his own efforts and determination. He found his fan base among a group of people where it would never have looked for it and, above all, where he had never wanted to look: among children. It all began with one particular song. Since then, not only children but also their parents are crazy about him. In an interview for LP-Life.com, he talked not only about the thorny path to success and fame, but also about his private life.
How did you get into music?
Honestly, I don't remember that at all. Mom says I was singing and responding to music already as an infant. You could say music was growing with me. Nobody was trying to make me interested in it. It’s simply a part of me.
They say you're a charismatic person, are you aware of that?
Some people say that, but I don't think about it much. In fact, I don't even know what exactly that word means.
Let’s think back to the times of your first spike in popularity? Did fans recognize you on the street because of SuperStar?
It was a nice as well as a not so nice period, during which I had to orientate myself in show business by doing, and very quickly at that. Or better yet, in what I naively thought show business was.
Are you still in touch with someone from SuperStar?
Yes, although infrequently, but I always like to see Katka Koščová, Tomáš Bezdeda or Martina Šindlerová. In fact, I enjoy getting together with any of our eleven and rehashing our memories. These were beautiful times, and all of our lives changed back then.
What was your first profit from singing?
I’d been singing for free for years, just for the opportunity to perform in front of people. I only started making money with music after SuperStar. We got 10,000 crowns for each concert within the Supertour.
You didn’t make it on the Slovak pop scene, you decided to look for another way. When did the turning point come when you chose to create mainly songs for children?
Me making songs for children was actually a coincidence. My friend Ivetka Vepy asked me if I could write a children's song about how kids should brush their teeth properly for a project she was working on back then. At that time, I had already released three albums, but I had never written a children's song before. So I laughed at it and I refused. I thought I couldn't do it. But then I couldn't fall asleep one night, so I passed my time by writing a song about Merry Teeth in ten minutes. In the morning, I sang it to Ivetka over the phone, saying “listen to this silly tune I came up with”, and she said that it was exactly what she was looking for. That's how my first song for children came about. At first, I didn't want to be connected with it. After all, I had a career as a singer, my songs were played on the radio and honestly - I looked at children's work down my nose. Moreover, having found out that I could write such a song in ten minutes, I didn’t see it as something of great value. My view of the matter began to change only when I saw the impact Merry Teeth had on people. My parents called me and said that thanks to this song, their children started to enjoy brushing their teeth, that it motivated them and that it made life easier for their parents. Sometime around then, the Ikar publishing house approached me, asking if I could write more motivational songs for children that they planned to publish in the form of books. I refused again. However, my then manager Michal Šefčík liked the idea and told me that I should at least think about it, which influenced me. By the time I got home from the meeting with Ikar, I had written Clean Hands and Magic Words. I sent them to Ikar so that they could choose one, and director Gabika Belopotocká said that they were perfect and that they’d publish both.
Do you also sing songs for adults?
Yes, since 16 years ago, when my first album Exoterika was released. But not many people know about it, because they only got to know me through their children as Miro Jaroš in a yellow shirt. But I’ve never stopped writing songs for adults. The children's songs are just something extra for me. Not long ago, my new album Miluji život svůj (I Love My Life) was released.
How do you perceive today's children and their parents?
I feel that we live in a time when we’re spending a lot of time on the Internet because of this pandemic. I can see it on myself. Instead of real life, we live a fictional one. No friends, no hugs. I don't know how long we can go on like this, but I wish we didn’t lose faith in that we’d soon return to the life we knew a year ago.
Do you have any bad experiences with your fans?
I have no explicit bad experience. Sometimes it happens that people find it hard to understand that I don’t perform at private parties. Mostly, that's why they start offering me more money. It's difficult for me to explain that it's not about money, but about free time, which I have little of and prefer to spend it with my loved ones.
How much did the most expensive music video you’ve shot cost?
A little over 50,000 euros. It was a video for the song Strašidla (Boogeymen).
They say that show business is full of glitter and glamour, but it also has a flip side. Do you have any experience with it?
A long time ago, as a little country boy, I used to dream of singing on fancy stages, reaping applause and recognition. I believed that all those who inspired me (such as Michael Jackson, whom I liked to imitate) had carefree lives, enough money to keep them happy, and they felt fulfilled. That's exactly what it looked like when I was in SuperStar. But every coin has two sides. I had no idea what we would have to pay to live our dream. The loss of privacy was something I had been completely unprepared for. Suddenly I found out I was unhappy sitting at home alone. But if I wanted to go out on the street during the post-SuperStar period, I had to count with the fact that I would be immediately surrounded by fans and I wouldn’t even be able to get where I wanted to go. It wasn’t uncommon that they would be pulling on my clothes or hair, too. Each fan wanted a piece of you and I started to feel like a rag doll. When they found out in which apartment building I lived, the entrance was constantly covered in messages, the fans were running up and down the stairs ringing at every door, checking if it was my apartment. No wonder the neighbours weren't thrilled about having us around. I started to pull away from people. I took a taxi everywhere. But then a new season of SuperStar came and with it new idols, everything started to calm down and I slowly returned to normal life. At that time, it helped me that I began to study Chinese at university.
How did you come up with the combination of a yellow shirt, red bow tie and blue pants that you wear during your performances?
By chance. When I went to shoot my first video for children called Clean Hands, I asked my stylist Barbora Yurković to bring clothes that would make it clear that I was doing it just for fun. Today, though, I can't even imagine my life without a yellow shirt. It’s part of me and I like it. It just took us a while to get used to each other.
Which song is your favourite?
It changes according to the mood. Today I like my duet with my mom “Nic není lepší” (Nothing is better). Maybe it's also because we're finishing a video for it.
How much do you take for a performance?
It depends on what kind of performance you’d like. There are concerts for which the client pays us 5,000 euros, but there are also those that we play for free. There are a lot of people working on the program we offer, so how much I really have left and how much "I take" are often quite different amounts of money.
Do you consider yourself super-rich?
No. Certainly not super-rich. We haven't been recording for almost a year now, which reflects in my income. But I’m from a modest background and can tighten my belt.
You are known to have an excellent relationship with your mother. How does she perceive your success?
When I was little, I used to sing all the time, claiming that one day I would be a singer, and she tried to discourage me from pursuing that dream. We lived in a small village, in an environment where no one could understand it. She kept saying that I should come up with another profession, one that would actually feed me. She was simply worried about my future. Today she is happy that my dream came true. If possible, she goes to all of my concerts.
Think back to your beginnings before your singing career. In 2001, you left for Israel. How did your life look like there?
I’ve always known that I was born to be a singer and nothing else would make my life so fulfilled as if I became one and could make a living from music. From an early age, I’ve been trying to work toward that goal. My family and teachers tried to talk me out of it, but I soon realized that I would have to rely on myself. I put everything I’d ever earned into recording, but my earnings weren’t enough for a good producer who would help me record songs in quality sufficient for a music label. So in 2001, I decided to travel out of the country to make money for those recordings. I went to an agency and they offered me a job in Israel. I accepted it immediately and left the country. With the vision of fulfilling my dream, I worked on a farm with new Thai friends. Then one weekend I hitchhiked to Tel Aviv, where I met other Slovaks. They told me about the possibility of cleaning apartments for a several times higher wage, moreover right in Tel Aviv. I didn't need to think about it too long, I wanted to get as far as possible on the way to fulfilling my dream. Moreover, I liked the idea of working in a big city, whose atmosphere I’d fallen in love with immediately upon arrival. I enjoyed the constantly joyful people in the streets, the promenade, the beaches. I was excited about all the new possibilities. It didn't take long for me to realize that I had fallen in love with Tel Aviv. The beginnings were difficult, but I remember them fondly. I took all kinds of odd jobs. I washed the dishes in a restaurant, dug pits in gardens, took care of children, cleaned apartments, poured wine for the guests at the Czech embassy. Those were wonderful times. I ended up staying in Israel for almost four years. I feel at home there, even though I have no Jewish roots. If I can, I go back every year.
As a child, you often spent your holidays in Moravia. Do you have a family there?
My aunt Melanka, my mother's sister, got married in Moravia to live in the small village of Pěnčín. I spent almost every summer vacation there with my cousins. We liked to go there because they had a swimming pool, we children were crazy about that. I also recorded several songs in Czech under the name Daniel Etnik. But that was a long time ago and no recording company wanted to publish them back then, which I'm not surprised about now that I’ve got some experience. We are currently preparing something for the Czech market. Miro Jaroš in Czech, but that’s a story for another time.
Did you work here as a model, too?
I never wanted to be a model. I don’t have the body or the ambition for that kind of job. The thing in Israel was more of an exception. The modelling agency found me "exotic" and offered me cooperation. I earned a bit of money through photo shooting a couple of times, but I didn't enjoy it at all.
Was Miro Jaroš changed by fame?
I think he was. I’ve always wanted to achieve something big and I was convinced that it was the only thing that would make me happy. I longed for the stars, but when I touched them, I found out that they didn’t bring me happiness. I realized that all those years, I had been pursuing something I’d had right next to me all along. The ordinary human heart is where it all begins. I understood that the most basic human gestures and the chance to love are what matters most to me.
Is singing all you do?
I create songs, record them, invent scripts, shoot video clips, and publish CDs and DVDs in my own publishing house. So I'm self-employed.
For many years you’ve had a terrible fear of driving. Did it get better?
Yes. I’d gotten my driver's license ages ago, but when I committed my first little offence, my perfectionism reared its head and I came to the conclusion that I didn’t have what it takes. My childhood trauma also contributed to it, because I used to hear from my mother over and over that we’d never have a car because they were dangerous. But three years ago, at a time when I was going through great life changes, I decided to work on myself. Back then, I decided to get rid of my fear of driving and sought professional help. When we found out what was causing my fear, I could start getting rid of it. My friends had trust in me and were teaching me to park in Bratislava's car parks. I found out that what I’d been missing the most was the reassurance that I could make it. Now I drive without worries. I can even handle long distances and I've never had a car accident.
What is your life goal?
To be happy. And I don't think it's a unique goal. We all long for it in one way or another. When you’re healthy, satisfied, feel fulfilled, you’re happy.
Has your heart already been broken?
How do you remember your first date?
It was at the cemetery. I met there with a classmate after a religion class. I was showing off my butterfly-catching skills, she didn't like it much, so she left. And I wanted to catch the most beautiful one for her! :)
Don’t you wish to have children of your own?
I do. Sometimes I miss having my own family more, sometimes less.
How about you and women, do you have a girlfriend?
I'm not in the habit of commenting on my private life. Let's say I'm satisfied with things being the way they are.
So what should the woman of your life look like?
I don't think I care so much about appearance overall. Of course, the first impression is important, but beauty is fleeting. In general, I rather enjoy learning more about what's under the surface.
What are your strengths/weaknesses?
It changes over the course of a lifetime. The older you get, the more you learn about yourself. I consider it my strength that I constantly want to improve. I like to read motivational literature. If I feel that I have any shortcomings, I try to get rid of them. At the moment, I feel that my overly developed empathy is starting to be a problem, so I’m working on keeping it only in an extent where it makes me happy rather than worried.
What do most fans not know about you?
Since a very open book "Sny se plní" (“Dreams come true”) about me, written by Monika Macháčková, has recently been published, I can't think of anything that my fans wouldn't know about me.
You’re quite busy, do you still have time for private life?
I enjoy records. I put together discographies. I buy and exchange with other collectors recordings of Janet Jackson and other artists I collect. Now, during the pandemic, I’ve finally put my collection in order and sorted everything alphabetically.
You currently live in Bratislava?
Yes, I bought an old apartment in Bratislava, which I renovated.
Do you live alone?
I'm currently in quarantine with my mom. But it’s only a temporary solution. The washing machine washes my clothes for me and I iron only in very exceptional cases. It's not something I enjoy. For example, I much prefer to cook.
What is your favourite city?
You know what, I don't have one. Every city is nice when you’re there with someone you can share that beauty with.
You’ve just got back from vacation. Where have you been?
My mom and I have been in the Maldives. The pandemic hit me too, and I knew I would have to regenerate mentally. I was going through various options and found that at the time I was planning a vacation, it was possible to travel there. Of course, only if one was willing to comply with all safety conditions.
Where do you like to go on holiday and with whom?
Israel, Maldives, and our Orava is beautiful too. Always with the people I love.
Who is Miro Jaroš today?
A person who enjoys life and accepts it as it comes. One who tries to live his life to the fullest and work on himself every day to be the best version of himself.