INTERVIEW: Jason Derülo Talks About the Singles and Music Videos of ‘Future History’

Jason Derülo said “The Ralphie Radio Show” that he is never discouraged when an artist doesn’t want him to use a sample or portion of their original song for a track that Derülo is working on. His attitude is relatively laid back on the issue, and a piece of body art on his back may explain his disposition.

“The tattoo is a feather pen, and it goes in to birds,” he described. “The meaning behind it is basically, I write all these songs and after I’m finished writing the song, it just goes out and does its own thing. Whether that bird goes all the way to Japan, or whether that bird just does a little flap and then drops on the floor, it doesn’t matter, because there’s more birds.”


He continued that his outlook on songs is similar to my outlook on women. Not true, but point taken.

“If I go to you and I’m like, ‘Here’s this joint, let me know if you like it, let me know if you’re in love with it,’” Derülo said as an example of how he goes about asking for and receiving artists’ blessings to use their work. “And if you’re not, then that’s totally fine, then I’ll do my own thing.”

Derülo’s debut LP linked him to both the approval and denial of sample usage. His first hit, “Whatcha Say,” used Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek.” His third hit, “Ridin’ Solo,” initially used a sample of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony,” which itself is borrowed from the Rolling Stones. It wasn’t until after the song leaked on to the Internet that the sample did not clear. Derülo went back to the lab with producer J.R. Rotem, switched out the sample, and released the record. The song cracked the top ten in five countries and sold about five million copies worldwide.

On Derülo’s latest album, Future History, the beat on Robyn’s “Show Me Love” was reworked for the lead single, “Don’t Wanna Go Home.” In the song “Fight For You,” which Derülo recently released a music video for, portions of Toto’s “Africa” are borrowed.

“There’s different markets around the world that move faster than America does,” explained Derülo of why there are already four music videos for songs off his last LP despite only two singles hitting radio here in the States. “Right now, ‘Breathing’ is top five in Australia. In different areas, there are different singles, so it is kind of confusing.”

A representative for Warner Brothers Records said “Breathing” would probably be the next single for radio off of Future History. Derülo will wrap his year with some more radio commitments, before returning home to his family in Miami for the holidays.

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