Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Take five with Jason Derulo

Back on the charts with his latest single Wiggle, Jason Derulo spoke to us from Morocco’s Mawazine Festival, about his recovery from a life-threatening injury and the new Michael Jackson album.
Jason Derulo performs at the Mawazine Rhythms of the World music festival in Rabat. Youssef Boudlal / Reuters
Jason Derulo performs at the Mawazine Rhythms of the World music festival in Rabat. Youssef Boudlal / Reuters

Back in the charts with his latest single Wiggle, Jason Derulo spoke to us from Morocco’s Mawazine Festival about his recovery from a life-threatening injury and the new Michael Jackson album

We saw you in the UAE last year when you supported Alicia Keys in Dubai. You were energetic, especially when it came to your acrobatic dance moves. Was it tough to come back live after you broke your neck in a dance injury at the start of 2012?

I had a great time performing in Dubai and by the time I got there I felt pretty comfortable with where I was. My first show back from the injury was the American Idol finale the year before and that was pretty nerve-racking because the show has such a huge following. It was really crazy for me because when I started dancing again, I realised I couldn’t do the simple things I was doing my entire life. The things that came naturally to me seemed like the hardest thing in the world. But, through practising every day and eight-hour rehearsals, I was able to get everything back and then some. The whole experience taught me about the importance of a work ethic.

You just released the video to your latest single Wiggle featuring Snoop Dogg. How did that collaboration come about?

Snoop Dogg is someone I had the pleasure to watch growing up, so to have him on my record is crazy. The collaboration came about from when I was at the NBA All-Star Game. I met him and he told me his kids were big fans of mine and that, to me, was amazing. I told him I was working on my record and I have this song that he would be perfect on and he said: “Man, just send it to me.” I sent it to him that evening and he sent me his part back in 48 hours.

Which artist influenced your career the most?

I grew up watching Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Usher, but I have to say that it has been mostly Michael. He is the reason I started singing and dancing in the first place. I remember being a kid at home and trying to do the moonwalk in the kitchen with my socks on. That to me is where it all started from.

What are your thoughts on Jackson’s new posthumous album Xscape?

I thought it was dope and really cool. I actually had the pleasure of listening to the whole album before it came out because Timbaland sat me down and played me some of the unreleased material for about an hour. Generally, I think these things are good ideas if they’re done in a positive way and with the intention of extending the legacy. With Timbaland chosen as the producer for the album – who is a legend in his own right – it just shows to me that they wanted to do it right.

Wiggle is out now on Warner Bros. Follow our Scene&Heard blog for all the latest news from the Mawazine Festival

sasaeed@thenational.ae

Updated: June 1, 2014 04:00 AM

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