Some people talk the talk, some walk the walk, but after hanging with Jason Derulo, we may have to coin the phrase "run the run." The 23-year-old singer-songwriter-dancer understands that to advance in life means a lot of hard work and has made that stigma the core of his existence. Following his neck Injury, the pop/soul sensation dedicated himself to getting better and stronger than ever before. He logged countless hours in rehearsals and in the gym, which turned out to be the push he needed to get back on top.
Derulo is currently readying the release of his third studio album, Tattoos, lead by the hit single "The Other Side." The record recently earned him his sixth top 10 single on the Mainstream Top 40 chart, tying him with Flo Rida at third all-time. Only Bruno Mars (10) and Pitbull (10) have more top 10s among men.
Now back in the limelight, we chopped it up with Jason recently about making his way back, being in love, earning his sixth top ten single, maturing, Michael Jackson, and more.
How hard was it to work your way back?
It was rough. It the beginning, when I was preparing for the American Idol finale show, I wasn't even fully recovered yet, and I wanted to come back stronger than ever. In rehearsals, I couldn't do some of the simplest things, things I've been doing my whole life became the hardest things. That fear is what propelled me to work even harder than I've worked before, which is crazy because I've always worked really hard. Eight hour rehearsal days, turning into a gym nut; slowly everything came back and then some. I feel like my injury happened for a reason, it was suppose to inspire somebody, so I'm hopeful it does.
Tell me about the creative process for this project!
I did this album during the recovery process of my neck injury, so there's little undertone of that whole situation, then you know, I fell in love at the same time, so there's also like a really fun side, celebratory, especially songs like "Talk Dirty." I needed music to get me out of that slump that I was going through in my life, and writing this album did that for me.
How much does your relationship with Jordin Sparks play out in this album? Knowing that she's also a songwriter, besides the confirmed duet, was she involved in your creative process?
She was involved in terms of being an inspiration. I always write music based on my personal experience. At one point, I said I needed to write a sad song, but I'm not sad [laughs]. Of course, it happens at times, but nothing serious.
What inspired the single "The Other side"?
Me talking about my situation with J. Writing songs about my life is just easy to me rather than having to make something up from scratch. Speaking from real life experience is the easiest, and we are all human and go through the same things, and has been in that frame of mind where you want to turn things to the other side and be lovers.
You've grown immensely over the years, how will this increased maturity spill over in your music?
I have grown a lot, and I am comfortable in my own skin. I started writing some hip hop music again that’s how I got my start. I incorporated all my loves in this album, there is a taste of Hip Hop, R&B, Pop and Rock. I have a lot of personalities, but I’m not crazy! (laughing) I think it represents me really well, and talks about my life story.
You landed your sixth top 10 single with "The Other Side," tying you with Flo Rida at third behind Bruno Mars and Pitbull, how does that feel?
Damn I’m in 3rd place! (laughing) That means I have to put more songs out! Just playing! To be in that category with those artists is pretty crazy. Those are incredible artists. I’ve been working towards this my whole life and to see things working out the way they are is amazing. To work around the world and to be successful in one country is one thing, but to have this wide spread, is a dream come true…it is a lot of work to work in all these countries.
When did you realize that music was your calling?
At 5, I told my mom I would be like Michael Jackson. The dream worked out for the best. She encouraged me and told me “Yes that’s sound great!" Look now, I’m not like Michael, but we are in the same field.
You've talk about a dream come true, what has been your most memorable moment thus far?
Hearing "The Other Side" of on the radio. Hearing myself on the radio again. Falling way down to my lowest point and being able to get back up has even more satisfaction than the first time.
What artists, past and present, inspires you?
I love Michael Jackson. On my TV screen was Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and Usher, and artists of the new day that is still out today. People will tweet me and say they grew up to my music, and I’m like “What, how did that happen? I’m only 23. You grew up to my music, dang you make me feel old." [laughs]
So you are in love, what is it like keeping that relationship going with you being busy and she being busy? How do you manage young love?
We have a two week rule. We don’t let two weeks pass by without us seeing each other. It just works and I’m happy, and we make each other happy. I am better with her, and she feels that she is better with me.
Relationships can be hard, especially for celebrities, what are some of the things you do to keep Jordin happy?
Making Jordin Happy … I like to think I am semi-romantic; I’m not Shakespeare or Rico Suave. I do nice things! On Valentine's Day for example, I took her to the spa and then to Chanel where there was a gift already wrapped, and then I took her to Christian Louis Vuitton, and then to the jewelry store, and a gift was ready for her. Every store we went to there was champagne and strawberries waiting for her.
You worked your butt off to get back on top, what do you love most about what you do?
I love being on the stage, there’s nothing like the rush of being on stage. You can be whom you wanna be up there, it is like a dream world. You don’t have to worry about anything. It’s hard to explain. I really feel like I’m in a dream world. The energy is really crazy.
For the fans that are plugged in, what should they expect from your album?
Expect to be shocked, expect to feel something in all facets. This album has a lot of different emotions, it’s an emotional roller coaster. I take you from I wanna dance mode to that's the sweetest thing I've ever heard to heartbreak, it's just a lot of different emotions.
Check out some recent photos below of Jason Derulo performing for iHeartRadio (shot by Roger Kisby) and also, watch the music video to "The Other Side" HERE.
Founder and Creator of Singersroom.com and IncredibleWork.com. Follow me on Instagram at @gary.gentles.