It’s been a good year for Jason Derülo. The R&B artist came into the public eye less than a year ago when his first single, “Whatcha Say,” quickly rose on charts and countdowns across the country. Since then, he’s released his self-titled album, took over the airwaves once again with his second hit “In My Head,” toured with Lady Gaga and still isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
In an interview with The Eagle, Derülo talked about the incredible ride he’s had.
After coming into the music business as a songwriter, Derülo said the transition to performer has been “a satisfying one.”
“I never really wanted to be a songwriter,” Derülo said. “So, to actually be doing what I want to do is really refreshing.”
With so many up-and-coming artists out there right now, it can be next to impossible to make it in the music industry. According to Derülo, it is his passion that has fueled his ride to the top.
“This is my life, you know, my mission, my lifestyle,” Derülo said. “You know, for other people it may be a job, but this is what I do, this is what I’ve always done. It is my life. And I think that’s just it, sets me apart. The passion always rises to the top.”
Jason Derülo’s self-titled debut features only nine songs — just over half an hour of music. It’s a short album even by today’s standards. The CD’s second single, “In My Head,” is popular because every person who listens to it comes out with the song stuck “in his or her head.”
The rest of the album features similarly catchy music, all of which goes down easily — R&B-pop at its best. But nothing sticks out as new or inventive, despite Derülo’s goal to always “keep people surprised, keep them on their toes.” Every song could be on the radio right now, and as amazing as that is, a listener may find him or herself searching for more. Maybe a 10th song is in order.
Two of the catchier tracks that have yet to see any radio play are “What If” and “The Sky’s The Limit.” The latter is another song to dance to and the former is a bit of a slower ballad. Derülo’s latest release, “Ridin’ Solo,” sounds a good deal like Sean Kingston, and allows the verses to stand out with simple beats and snaps that refuse to overpower the words.
Perhaps the most unique song on the album is Derülo’s first single, “Whatcha Say,” which samples Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek.” The idea to use Heap’s song was producer J.R. Rotem’s, and was quickly embraced by the singer.
“When he brought it to the table I was, you know, really, really excited,” Derülo said. “It’s different; no one’s ever used, like, an indie sample in such a way. The closest thing was when Eminem used Dido, and that was not electro. You know, this one’s a little piece of the electro-indie, cutting-edge and so different, stuff the world noticed.”
Despite all of his success (including the honor of knowing Lady Gaga well enough to call her a “sweetheart” and mean it), Derülo shows no signs of slowing down.
“Do I have a lot of free time? No, I don’t have like any free time at all actually,” Derülo said. “But I don’t really want any free time. I’m on this mission and it’s taking everything. So I’m moving to sacrifice my time to do anything else”
The musician was even given the opportunity to take the reigns on his latest music video, a project he threw his energy into wholeheartedly.
“It’s really cool ‘cause it was all my idea,” Derülo said. “You know, it’s a reflection of who I am this time. My first two videos were not. But now I can really do my own thing and spread my wings. So this one was really smooth and really exciting to watch.”
With such immediate success, it can be easy to forget who got you there. Derülo, however, remains extremely grateful to the fans that have helped him along the way.
“I mostly wanna say, you know, thank you to all of my fans for being supportive and incredible. So I just wanna take my fans from the bottom of my heart. The support is just unparalleled, I’m so excited.”