x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Jason Derulo has a love for life

We caught up with the singer-songwriter Jason Derulo, in Dubai for the Caribbean Carnival earlier this month. See a video of him talking to The National.

Jason Derulo, who performed in Dubai recently, is working on his third album. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Jason Derulo, who performed in Dubai recently, is working on his third album. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fans of R&B, hip-hop and rap music flocked to Burj Park in Downtown Dubai earlier this  month to hear Jason Derulo and Sean Kingston perform live at the Caribbean Carnival hosted by 321 Events. Derulo, 23, shot to fame with a string of smash-hit singles from his first album in 2009.

His triple platinum-selling release Whatcha Say plus the double platinum In My Head and Ridin’ Solo made him the first solo male artist to score consecutive No 1s on Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart in its 17-year history. Following the release of Future History last year, Derulo revealed how his forthcoming musical project will offer fans something a little different.

How is your new album coming along?

I’ve been working on my third album for the past eight months and I’m really excited about it. This time around I’ve been using a different method, just using the guitar, starting organically rather than writing to a track that’s already produced. I’m focused on the actual song and the message of the record first, then completing the production.

Why flip the process on its head?

Just to try something different and new. At the beginning of the recording process it wasn’t like that but it’s something that, when I tried it, was successful, so I thought that was cool. Because usually I would go straight into the booth and freestyle what was in my heart, whatever I was feeling at that moment, but I’ve had a lot of fun flipping it around.  And I’ve just had so much to write about, with my near-death experience eight months ago and now I realise that life is so fragile.

You refer to the acute fracture you suffered to your vertebrae after landing on your head during rehearsals for your international tour back in January. How did the experience change you?

That experience helped to open my eyes. It was like God saying: “You need to slow down, enjoy your family, live life. You can do your work as well but don’t forget to live.”

In terms of musical collaborations, you’ve teamed up with some of the greats, having written songs for artists such as P Diddy, Sean Kingston and Lil Wayne – who is still on your wish list?

A dream collaboration? Hmm, I don’t know – me and Prince would be kinda cool.

What music are you currently listening to?

I just bought the Ke$ha single and I like that a lot. I love the song Clique by Kanye West, Jay-Z and Big Sean. And I also just bought the Brandy album. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it just yet but I’m looking forward to hearing that.

You’re no stranger to the UAE, so what do you enjoy doing when you come to town?

I love food. I love breakfast and I love dinner – not lunch so much. I like to go out and eat somewhere really nice, chillax a bit. I really like trying different things. I’m the kind of person who’ll go to a restaurant and order a bunch of different things, taste all they have to offer.

Quick fire

How do you relax?

I love to watch movies; throw on a flick and I’m good. Anything that can evoke emotions in me; make me laugh, cry.

Book would you recommend?

Jessie J just put out a book Nice to Meet You, so you should definitely check that one out.

Most overused word?

I say “crazy” too much! Whenever I can’t think of a word I say “it’s crazy”.

Most admired quality in others?

I like funny, truthful, respectful people; those who can be themselves without putting on a front.

Most dreaded interview question?

I don’t really like people asking me to sing my name.

Biography:

- Real name Jason Joel Desrouleaux

- Born In Miami to Haitian parents

- Schooled American Musical & Dramatic Academy, New York

- First composition Crush on You at eight years of age

- Genre R&B pop, dance

- Debut album Jason Derulo, sold 85,000 copies

- Awards 2011 BMI ‘Songwriter of the Year’

For more information visit www.jasonderulo.com

rduane@thenational.ae