At only 21 years old, with 15 million download sales, ‘watch this space’-type tips from Simon Cowell and his own patented dance-shuffle, Jason Derülo must be having the kind of time where the details start to blur. It’s as hard to picture what you wouldn’t know about someone so media-spangled. But, as forthcoming sophomore LP Future History suggests, Derülo yearns to express how paradoxical and surprising life can be.
He learned the formula for music, girls and good times way back at the first show he went to. ‘It was the “Scream” music tour in the US – there was B2K, Mario, Lil’ Bow Wow… I was, like, 10 years old. I went with a bunch of girls but it wasn’t me really getting wild; we were friends.’
His appreciation of the feminine doesn’t stop at hanging out. ‘I listen to a lot of Madonna because my mom was a huge fan. She listens to the slower, grown-up Madonna, but when I was introduced to the crazy, up-tempo pop Madonna, that’s when I jumped on the boat.’
Joining the fan club will increase your chances of marrying him. ‘I think a girl has to be a fan of mine to actually be with me, because my music is such a big part of who I am. They’re not falling in love with a character. I am who they think I am, but that’s different from falling for me for my money.’
Fame hasn’t warped his sense of personal identity, though. ‘You know what? Sometimes I think maybe the fact that they like me because I’m Jason Derülo is itself a part of who I am. Maybe that’s a stupid way to think! [Laughs] I’m trying to give that situation some light.’
He hasn’t seen This is Spinal Tap. ‘My most “Spinal Tap” moment? Picking up my album from the store the first time, just seeing my record there lined up in the row. I knew that even if no one else wanted to buy it, I did.’ Like many before him, he’s tried and failed with inner-city kids… ‘I was a teacher for a summer; I taught a drama class but I don’t think I was cut out for it. I was very similar to the age of the kids and I can have a short temper sometimes, so it didn’t really work well. It was hard to get anyone to listen, so that was the last time I did that.’
…but they did fancy him. ‘All the little girls were trying to hit on me the whole time. They used to holler, “Mister Dee-ee”. My name is actually spelt much longer [Desroüleaux] so I just told them to call me Mr D when I was teaching.’
Now that’s behind him, life is more fun. ‘For my 21st birthday I was in a small town in Germany, and there was nothing to do. I was with a couple of girls – we just had a lot of drinks, then I threw up all morning. I was throwing up when I was trying to go to sleep. That was the morning; at the side of the bed, just going at it. Yes, it was in front of the chicks.’ Alexi Duggins and Edgar Smith, Jason Derülo’s LP, Future History, is available to download now at www.itunes.com