Global hitmaker and the king of Tiktok, Jason Derulo talks to HELLO! about his love for music, how fatherhood changed him and his upcoming book…
HELLO!: Welcome to Mumbai! Please tell us what you love about India.
Jason Derulo: “First, how incredible the culture is! You go to a lot of different countries, but when you come to India, you know that you are here... The culture is so beautiful. The food is also so incredible — it’s probably my most favourite cuisine in the world. Then there’s the Indian scale. In other countries, you have a very different scale in music, but the one in India has a lot of added notes. It makes for a very, very beautiful voice that we’re not used to in the US.”
H!: You just sang live at the Indian Premier League. How was the experience?
JD: “Oh, I had a great time! It was fantastic. I sang a lot of songs for about 50 minutes! (Laughs) I have a lot of incredible fans out here. I didn’t know whether a lot of them knew who sang those songs. Hopefully, it was a moment where I could connect the dots for them and help them put a face to the voice behind the numbers, let them know it’s been me singing all the familiar tunes they’ve heard. (Laughs)”
H!: Back home, you have your fifth studio album on the way. What can you tell us about it? Does it have any fun collabs with other artists?
JD: “On this album, there’s a very cinematic portion to it. I can’t announce what that is just yet, but it’s an experiential album and has a very new concept. It does have collabs, but I can’t tell you yet! You’ll have to wait for it!”
H!: When is it going to drop?
JD: “That remains to be seen! (Smiles)”
H!: You’re also about to debut a book this June, Sing Your Name Out Loud: 15 Rules For Living Your Dream. How was the writing experience, and what’s the most important message readers can take away from its pages?
JD: “I’ve been really inspired and reinvigorated by writing the book. Sometimes, when you know things and reinforce them by saying them out loud, or by teaching someone, it kind of brings those rules and things you know to the forefront. So I feel like it’s given me this newfound energy. I don’t know whether there’s one most important rule in this book. It was hard enough trying to whittle it down to 15! (Laughs) But I really do believe that the book is powerful. It’s even helped me in a lot of ways!”
H!: What continues to motivate you as an artist?
JD: “The love for music... The love for creation... I love creating things from nothing, and music has always been my number one love. So my favourite thing to do is to write songs and perform them. I don’t really need anything else to push me, besides that.”
H!: What’s your recipe for success in the music industry?
JD: “I’m never complacent. I’m never satisfied with where I am and constantly try to grow, change and morph. Whenever I reach a destination, I change the destination so I never feel like I’ve arrived somewhere. And I think that’s the biggest failure for a lot of artists who feel like they’ve made it and then lose the hunger they had, starting out. They forget there’s another young artist that wants it just as bad, one who has that hunger. So you can be out the door just as fast as you get there. I’ve watched a lot of artists come and go. I didn’t let my career fall to the wayside. Some artists surpassed me, but it’s true that it’s really tough to have longevity in the music business, or any craft. Especially music because there are very few slots and not a lot of known artists are killing it all the time.”
H!: Which Indian artist would you love to work with?
JD: “Oh, that’s a tough one. There are so many talented artists here. But if I had to pick one, it would be the rapper, King!”
H!: How did becoming a father change you?
JD: “I want to be better for my son, Jason King. I think the biggest change is that now, everything is for him. My entire life, it was always about trying to get myself to the next level, what I’m going to do next, or how I’m going to better myself. Now, it’s about how I’m going to do that for him. How I’m going to give him the right opportunities and make sure he gets the right amount of time and love. I want to make sure he understands a sense of family. I grew up in a very close, tight-knit family, and I want him to feel the same kind of love. I had a great upbringing and didn’t need very many friends because I had so much family around. I hope I can give him the same experience in life.”
H!: What’s a little known fact about you?
JD: “That I can cut hair really well! In fact, I’ve cut my own hair for my look right now!”
H!: How do you love to unwind?
JD: “First let me ask: How old are the people who read HELLO!? (Laughs)”
H!: Thirties and up...
JD: “Ah, ok. Then to answer your last question, I have a little drink, tune in to Netflix and watch a movie. It’s my favourite thing to do! And definitely eat some Indian food!”
H!: What’s your go-to Indian dish?
JD: “Chicken Tikka Masala!”
H!: We love the colour of your hair right now. What made you choose blue?
JD: “Oh, I just woke up one day and was like... blue!”
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s April 2023 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!