Jason Derulo, who is no stranger now to storming the charts and working with powerhouse pop divas, is about to work with another legendary artist who is certainly familiar with the Top 10.
The rising R&B star, 21, just saw his first two singles off of his self-titled debut album hit the Billboard charts, has toured with fan Lady Gaga and this week nabbed the top spot in the Us Weekly Buzzometer. So what's next? He's on his way into the studio to work with Madonna! Derulo told our own Zach Johnson all about it plus other future plans (including his love life!) when he gave Us a ring the other day. Read on for more from Jason!
UsMagazine.com: I know that when you got your start, Kara DioGuardi from American Idol helped you get your record deal. How did that come about?
Jason Derulo: Basically, Kara brought J.R. Rotem to Warner Bros. to do a label deal. I'm the first artist on their joint venture. I started off with J.R. and then Kara got into the picture a little later.
Us: Has she talked to you about working with any of the American Idols at all?
JD: Maybe. I do a lot of songwriting.
Us: I know that you recently toured with Lady Gaga. Can you tell us what experience was like?
JD: It was really awesome, man. It was my first time performing for thousands and thousands of people every day, so that was really, really cool. It was definitely an experience that was needed before I started my own tour, working out all the kinks and getting used to the tour life, being on a tour bus all the time. I feel like I'm living on a bus! Lady Gaga's as awesome offstage as she is on stage. She actually said something which was really, really cool. She looked me in my eyes and said, "Jason, I've worked with a lot of talented people, I've seen a lot of talented people, but you're special. You're star." That meant a lot coming from her.
Us: Especially since she’s relatively new and has taken off like you have. How did it feel to be part of such a massive tour?
JD: It was great, but whenever someone would ask me which tour I would want to be on early on in the process, I said Lady Gaga. I guess I spoke it into existence because later on it actually happened.
Us: Are there any other artists you'd like to tour with or maybe collaborate with musically?
JD: Yeah. I'm about to work with Madonna, and I’ve been watching her for years. I would love to be a part of another reinvention. She’s been able to reinvent herself time and time again. I’ll probably be part of that.
Us: Do you have any new singles in the works?
JD: Whenever I get a free second, I'm in the studio trying to make some new material. There's always gonna be new stuff coming from me, maybe even a new album in November. I worked really hard to make sure that every song on my album was a potential single, so it's not cut and dry. "Riding Solo" is doing really, really well on iTunes right now. It's Top 11, 12 on iTunes. That one is looking really strong, but I have a record called "What If" which my label believes is a career-defining record, so it's kind of tough to choose right now.
Us: With all the success of your music, what's been some of the cooler parts of the fame that comes with it?
JD: The fame thing is cool, but how my music touches people is so much more important to me. All the numbers and stuff, they're really great, but when I get messages like, "My brother is deathly ill and whenever we listen to your music we forget how sick he is." Stuff like that is by far the most rewarding thing for me.
Us: That's really great. Do you get the chance to interact with your fans a lot?
JD: Absolutely. Mostly right now what I’ve been doing is promo, so I get a lot of time to see a lot of my fans and let them know how I feel about them. Also, on my social networks, I’m constantly on my Twitter, constantly on my MySpace and my Facebook, hitting my fans back. I do get a lot of interaction with them.
Us: What can you tell us about the social networking "In My School" competition you're a part of?
JD: It's for all kids around the world. Basically all they have to do is create a Facebook group and they have to sign up on my Web site, jasonderulo.com, and then create a group. The largest group within their school, I come to their school and perform and sign autographs and spend the day with them.
Us: I know you've said you're really busy with everything that's going on, but have you found time to date? Are you seeing anyone?
JD: No. I'm "Riding Solo" -- no pun intended.
Us: Is there anyone you’d like to meet? And ladies out there in Hollywood?
JD: I wouldn't mind. I'm open. You never know what it leads to. Like this song I have, "What If," when you meet someone for the first time, you never know what effect that person is going to have on your life.