Numbers don’t lie, and the facts remain that singer, songwriter, and dancer Jason Derulo’s success ranks up there with some of the best-selling, radio-dominating pop and urban artists of the day. In the five years since he ascended from his beginnings writing songs for Lil Wayne, Pitbull, Diddy, Sean Kingston, and others, Derulo has sold over 50 million singles worldwide and racked up over two billion views on YouTube and 1 billion plays on Spotify, thanks to his uncanny ability to find new angles to tried-and-true trends. This has led to 11 career-defining platinum singles, including “Want to Want Me,” “Whatcha Say,” “In My Head,” “Ridin’ Solo,” “Don’t Wanna Go Home” and “It Girl.” His radio audience is over 17 billion (with 11 of his songs reaching the Top 10 on the Top 40 charts include four #1’s) and he boasts over 20 million social media fans and followers.

Derulo’s 2014 album, Talk Dirty, spawned five platinum singles that sold a collective 16 million units worldwide including: “The Other Side,” “Talk Dirty” (feat. 2 Chainz), “Marry Me,” “Wiggle” (feat. Snoop Dogg), and “Trumpets” — propelling Derulo into an elite cadre of artists, including Drake, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Taylor Swift, who have scored five platinum singles from one album. The track “Talk Dirty” itself sold over six million singles worldwide and became a No. 1 around the world, while dominating radio charts in the U.S. in 2014. In addition, Derulo has sealed his reputation as a global chart-topping star. He was a five-time winner at the BMI Pop Awards, and was honored as its “Songwriter of the Year” in 2011. Derulo has also won three Teen Choice Awards and earned an array of international award nominations including MTV Video Music, MTV Europe Music, Billboard Latin Music, ARIA Music, American Music, NAACP Image and MOBO Awards. Most recently, he was nominated for an iHeart Radio Music Award for “Best Collaboration” with 2 Chainz for “Talk Dirty.”

Derulo shows no sign of slowing down. In June 2015, he released his fourth studio album Everything is 4 (Warner Bros. Records) that merges his pop, dance, and urban sensibilities and finds him truly hitting his stride as a genre-defying artist. The album’s first single, now platinum, is the sunny, ’80s-friendly pop tune “Want To Want Me,” which was produced by Grammy-nominated producer Ian Kirkpatrick and written by Kirkpatrick, Sam Martin, Lindy Robbins, Mitch Allan, and Derulo himself. “Want To Want Me” sets another milestone for the Miami-born singer, becoming the most added track in the history of Top 40 radio, besting the records of pop royalty such as Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Madonna and Katy Perry. Shattering the previous record held by Justin Timberlake at 126, “Want To Want Me” was added to 156 monitored pop stations, making it the biggest Top 40 US radio launch ever.

Talk about how it inspires you getting to work with all those different artists?

It’s always amazing to come together with other talented people and other big personalities too. It’s not like you’re working with people that blend in. You’re talking about some of the most influential people in the world. So it’s amazing, because like you said everybody has their own thing. And when I’m creating a song I have a specific vision in mind. And you can never know what the ending product is. So that’s always the fun part, you start an idea and you have a picture in your mind, you start in a room by yourself and it ends up being this whole other thing after everybody has done their thing. It’s really cool. I’ve never had a song with this many collaborations, I gotta say it’s exciting. It feels like a very world record and I feel part of that reason why is we come from so many different places.

Do you see yourself wanting to work with more collaborators like this or this song lent itself to that?

I probably won’t continue to do songs like this. I think there’s only space enough for one of those kind of songs on a project. So I probably won’t be doing that, but it’s fun to come together for a music video like that as well. It’s something really cool to see it all come together. Our performance might not need backup dancers. We might fill up the whole stage.

Moving to the event, do you feel like you’re at the point you can use your name for good and it’s part of the inspiration for starting this event?

I think it’s important as a human being to help others. I believe in my heart of hearts if I was a teacher I would have the same goals. The fact that I’m a musician and I have a platform and a stage and a voice, so to speak, is just a cherry on top. It’s added bonus and it makes things easier. But I don’t think I’m doing it because of who I am. I’d have the same heart if I decided to have another career. I’ve been so blessed in my life. And I always wondered where my big impact would be humanitarian wise. And I wrestled with myself for years and years where my place was and what the perfect situation was. Finally one day I was like, “I can’t wait another day, I’m starting today. I’m gonna put a gala on and I’m going to start a benefit based on my home country, one, but also people that are less fortunate around the world.” And that’s what it took.

Where does your philanthropic bent come from?

It’s something I always wanted to do because I grew up in a household where it was the norm. My grandmother was a very charitable woman and my mother grew up that way. So we grew up that way as well. We would get up on Sunday mornings. My mom would fill up these bags with clothes we didn’t feel we needed and I’m like, “Why are we doing this?” Then we get to a location and we’re giving our clothes to the less fortunate or waking up on a Saturday morning, my mom is cooking pasta, pasta, pasta, boom, we’d take those pasta bowls to the homeless. Feeding the homeless at a young age I’m getting to see the impact that a plate of food means to somebody. I grew up in that environment. So with this concert it’s been interesting reaching out to people for a different reason. It’s not to come to a party or get on a song. It’s for a great cause and it’s really incredible to see the response.

Are there artists you really have looked to or learned a lot from in how they balance music and philanthropy?

I visited Sean Penn’s work in Haiti firsthand. It was really impressive what I’ve seen. I didn’t know what to expect. I was going into it blind. And I really admired the work he did. And for a country that’s so close to my heart, obviously it strikes a different chord. It’s one thing to do something for a place just because that place is suffering. But it’s another thing to feel the same pain because essentially you’re from there and those are your people, they’re family. So I feel like it’s my responsibility. It’s much more than me wanting to lend a hand. I feel I’m responsible to a degree for the Haitian culture. I wake up in the morning and I think and I’m strategizing on what the next steps are because I feel like I have to. I feel like God gave me a gift for a reason. It’s not because I was necessarily inspired by another artist, but because I feel the need.

You’ve had a few great songs come out of collaborations. Your newest song is one with David Guetta, Nicki Minaj and Willy Willliam – is there anyone in the industry that you’d like to work with in the future?

I’m a fan of a lot of people. I just try to keep it organic. Every record calls for different people. I’m not sure if there is someone I’m dying to work with necessarily. It needs to fit the song! When I’m working with so many incredible acts, it’s always a pleasure to work with somebody that has a totally different vibe than you. They bring a very different energy to the song.

You’ve sang and performed with Luke Bryan who is a country artist and from a completely different genre than you’re from. Could you see yourself recording or singing more country music?

Yeah, I have one of those on my album actually. I can’t tell you who it’s with yet, but yeah, it’s really special. It’s like an homage to all women, mothers, daughters and grandmothers you know. It’s really a special song.

You’re not just a musician, you’re into acting as well… Apart from all of that, you also like to help people. Can you tell us a bit about your foundation “Just For You”?

We’re pretty much taking one step at a time. We’re starting with education in Haiti – which is where my roots are. That’s first on the list, trying to tackle some of the issues with education and we’ll continue to move from there. And also other things that just kinda arrive, crisis. Like the crisis in North Carolina, we’re going to go do some work there with Sean Penn. So yeah, as things arrive, of course, I want to be as big of a help as I can be. But the thing that “Just For You” is focusing on right now is definitely the education in Haiti.

With your Haitian roots, is this something you’d say had influenced you with your music?

Indirectly yeah, for sure. I grew up listening to Compas so you kinda get that vibe more indirectly. I don’t think it would be possible to not be influenced by what I grew up on.



Bali's #1 interactive one stop party shop, bringing the weekend to any device your rocking 24/7. Subscribe now for our free Bali Clubbing weekly Wednesday newsletter!

Scroll to Top