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I was a new artist and I wanted my name to get out there. So I was thinking what would be a cool [Jason Derulo moniker]. I was in a (recording) booth and kind of just saying my name. I think it was just the actual melody that stuck in people’s minds.
I went through a crazy recovery for seven months. [Side note: he suffered from a fatal broken neck injury back in 2012.] At the beginning I couldn’t do simplest things like tying my own shoe or putting my own shirt on. So it was a rough time, but a time I felt I needed to become the man I am today.
I now get to do the things that I want to do. At the beginning of my career, everything was kind of stepping on egg shells. I was just getting my feet wet.
I felt like I was searching and trying to find who Jason Derulo was instead of me just being myself. A lot of things got lost because of that in the beginning but now I am able to be myself and do the things that I dream of.
Stevie Wonder is somebody that I’ve always watched. He was an inspiration of mine. He happens to be one of the nicest and funniest guys in the world. So to be in the studio with a legend – that was incredible to me.
There’s a song on my album call Trade Hearts. It has a young lady (named Julia Michaels) on the track that the world has never heard before. I just thought she sounded so beautiful and I felt like nobody could’ve replaced her voice. So I was like, “will you please stay on the song”. She didn’t know if she wanted to stay on the song because she repels being an artist.
After I wrote Want To Want Me, the first song in the writing process, you never think that the first song you do is going to end up on the album or if it’s going to be a big hit. That just never ever happens but for some reason, it became my first single and went on to become one of my biggest songs. It’s crazy because I wasn’t going to put it on my album.
I have a record label. I’m a 50/50 partner with RCA Sony, so I’m constantly looking for the newest big thing and staying up on what’s popping and fresh. I try to keep my ear to the street; that’s how we say it in Miami.
Record labels are really tired of building artists. In 2015, labels are not like, “oh my goodness, this person has potential, let’s help them built and become incredible”. They’re not trying to do that. So as an upcoming artist today, you have to build your fan base.
The best way of being a finished product is to actually have a fan base so you might wanna keep posting videos until one of those videos really catch on and you start getting more subscribers on YouTube, more followers on Twitter and Instagram.
There are people out there that are uberly talented but people don’t connect with. So you’re looking for someone that has some sort of connection; someone that people can gravitate to. People like Shawn Mendes, he had this huge internet following, so it’s very attractive for a label to go after an artist that already has this fan base.
Certain people have egos and I can’t really deal with egos very well because I have a bad temper. So if you say something crazy to me, we’d be going at it.
As I get older, it gets more and more vivid and I’m able to paint the picture a lot better and I think that just comes with age.
When I have visions of what my music video should be, what I do is I actually write the treatment myself and I look for a director that I can partner and co-direct with. I believe people can really see the difference.
Jason Derulo with his dance crew at Sunway Surf Beach.
Dancing is amazing but singing is the gateway to the soul. People are really connected to a story and I don’t think you can have a more vivid story by singing to somebody so I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
Five words? I really can’t describe myself in five words… (long pause) I am the shit. That’s four. I am the shit man!
Photo credit: MTV Asia / Aloysius Lim / Jason Derulo's Facebook
Carly Rae Jepsen is not your average pop star. Sure, her unavoidable huge hit, Call Me Maybe, helped propel her into pop stardom, but trying to match the success of that achievement is no longer on the cards. Instead she has ventured into a more mature alternative pop genre, citing Cyndi Lauper as an influence.
In our light press conference that took place at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa last Saturday, Jepsen candidly opened up about embarrassing moments in the past, her fashion taste, sliding into the glass slippers of Broadway's Cinderella, the process of making E·Mo·Tion and of course, the Tom Hanks!
Malaysia inspired her to write music
Since being here, I’ve had this sudden burst of radiant energy. I’ve just spend the morning in my hotel room with my guitar working on a new song which has kind of a 70s flavour to it, which is making us laugh because obviously E·Mo·Tion is so 80s. We have been teasing that we’re just working our way backwards. *laughs*
Difference between Asian fans vs American fans
I feel like the energy here is just incredible. I think that passion is something I really admire and appreciate and I think it’s going to affect the show tonight in a big way.
Pre- show rituals
Before the success of Call Me Maybe happened, I was actually unable to pay these guys I toured with, so I would cook them lasagne and we’d train for three hours. These guys are not just bandmates but they are family. Since the first show we played together, we would have this secret handshake that we did – it’s quite embarrassing. To this day we can’t go on stage without doing it.
One advice she didn’t follow and never regretted
I’ve always been one to believe that if you have a big decision in your life, that you have to do the thing that you know you are always going to wonder about, rather than the thing that feels safe. When it came down to the decision to a Broadway show on Cinderella, it probably made no sense for my musical career.
I just knew it was going to be one of those things that I wanted to do, because it was a bucket list thing to do. I had a couple of people who were saying “don’t do it, put another album out right away just because you can”.
But it ended up being the greatest decision I ever made because the work was a really inspiring place for me to live. It was just nice to live outside of the bubble of the pop world and kind of embrace the new bubble.
When I came back and was really to put this album out, I felt rejuvenate and had a total different perspective on it.
Pressure of creating Call Me Maybe 2.0
In all honesty, those were the things I toyed with a lot before I dove into writing of Emotion. Kiss has a lightness to it and with the success of Call Me Maybe being so big, it was a gift but also a challenge to know what to write next.
That’s why it took me so long, over two and a half years, over 200 songs of experimenting before landing on somewhere that felt right for me. Emotion is darker and older in a lot of ways and musically, it’s everything that I wanted.
Deciding on what made the cut for E·Mo·Tion
I knew that I wanted the album to be very 80s and emotional, and that helped narrow the list. Seeing Cyndi Lauper play in concert inspired me to dive into that [80s] world. That helped narrow it down to the top 40.
From there I had friends and family and label mates listen to my list of songs and pick their own favourites. The same top 10 kept reoccurring and E·Mo·Tion was born.
What surprise me with E·Mo·Tion was the buzz it was getting from songwriters and people I really admire and that meant more to me than I could have imagine. So I think that has inspired me to just try to go deeper into the art of writing and music and to be respected in that community. I want to keep challenging myself and keep pushing to be the best songwriter that I possibly can.
Whom would she like to write songs for
I think it’d be really fun to write for a guy and take on a different perspective. A boyband would be really fun.
I think all of us look back at different versions of ourselves can have moments where we smile fondly and other moments where we kind of cringe in embarrassment and I have both of those when I think back at that side of myself.
It was really exciting to be part of Canadian Idol because it was so competitive and being in the public eye for the first time ever really helped me. It was a big stepping stone for my career and I’m so glad I did it but I also look at the things that I wore and how I acted and I just go “Oh! What were you thinking?!”
Her fashion taste
On a day to day level, if I’m going to the grocery store or going out with friends, my music has nothing to do with my fashion. What I wear one day would not at all represent what I wore the second day. I’m a girl today and tomorrow I’d be a total tomboy knowing me.
When I’m on stage that’s when I let that sort of seep through. My music is very 80s and I allow myself to dress in that direction as well. But it’s not a jail; it’s my desire to be a little more theatrical I guess.
Working with Tom Hanks on her I Really Like You music video
It was a dream came true to work with Tom Hanks. He is by far my favourite actor in the world and to have him lip sync to a song which I wrote with some friends was just surreal. I don’t know if I could ever top Tom Hanks. It’s Tom Hanks!
Photo credit: MTV Asia / Kristian Dowling/ Joshua Ong
Imagine Dragons Talk Singapore, Working With Their Secret Dream Artist, And A Name For Their Pet Dragon!By Joey Aug 16, 2015
Dragons aren’t just myths and legends anymore. They’re here come 25th August, to rock Singapore Indoor Stadium.
With a collective stage presence that’s known to be absolutely electric, it’s hardly a surprise this Las Vegas group sold out shows and played at the biggest music festivals around the world.
Yep, Imagine Dragons owe their meteoric rise in the music industry to their diverse sound, creative directions and philanthrophic efforts. It’s not a winning formula for success they’ve concocted; it’s just how they’re put together, amassing a continental fanbase that’s quite formidable.
So when they’re not behind an illegal Muppets fight club, what does the Grammy Award-winning band have to say about their upcoming concert in Singapore, and their latest album, Smoke + Mirrors?
1. I Bet My Life is a great track - if you guys had to bet your life on something - or someone - who or what would it be?
We bet our life the Singapore show will be a good time.
2. Describe the upcoming concert in Singapore - but it must rhyme with Smoke + Mirrors!
Soak in Tears? Cloak and Fears?
3. What was the best musical inspiration you got from a tour?
The best inspiration comes from the fans we interact with at the shows. They inspire us constantly.
4. An artist or a band you dream to work with onstage/offstage?
Maybe Paul Simon? Paul McCartney? Any Paul, really. There is actually one artist we’ve always wanted to work with that we are planning something with right now. But it’s a secret.
5. The one Singaporean dish you are dying to try?
Not one in particular, but we have heard how amazing the food is and can’t wait.
6. What major influences made Smoke + Mirrors a more diverse sounding album than Night Visions?
Both albums were pretty diverse, but maybe Smoke + Mirrors seems more so because it was written on tour. You experience such high highs and low lows in touring, and that is reflected in the music we wrote which may have made the music more diverse.
7. I think the Tyler Robinson Foundation is an amazing and forward initiative - so will there be any chance of working with charities overseas, such as Asia? You have lots of supporters and fans here.
We are so excited about the work the charity has done and has planned for this year. We’ve had selfless fans all around the world participating and raising money for these families. We’d love to continue that work in Asia.
8. You guys mentioned before that your second album is actually a New Year's Resolution - but are there any personal or band resolutions yet to be fulfilled?
We are always setting new goals for ourselves. It’s the crazy thing about our band that we have come further than we could have ever dreamed and still feel this insatiable drive to do better and push harder.
9. Smoke + Mirrors explores "world cultures" as a musical item - so, what impressions do you have of Singapore's musical culture?
We haven’t been able to spend enough time in Singapore to really experience enough local music, but there certainly have been Asian influences from our last tour. We had some of our greatest musical experiences last year collaborating with Asian artists from Japan to Korea.
10. Imagine if you guys could have a pet dragon - what would you name it and why?
Falkor the Luckdragon (from the film “The Never Ending Story”), because he was one of the greatest dragons of all time.
11. You guys often say that you are very critical of yourselves. Mind sharing what are some of the criticism you have given each other - or yourselves?
It’s not as much that we are critical of ourselves as that we constantly are pushing ourselves. If you ever feel too comfortable as an artist, you probably are doing something wrong. We try to analyze, maybe too much sometimes, how each show is going.
Photo credit: E! Online
It felt like a dream when Echosmith graced us with their presence and talent on the night of 11 August. And before they rocked the stage on possibly one of the best days of our lives, we got to hang out with the cool kids themselves!
It was a pity that Jamie wasn't with the band as he was with his wife preparing for the arrival of his baby. However, the remaining trio still brought the essence of what Echosmith is really about by defining their sound, sharing why they bring along bottles of Febreze on tour, and revealing some of their pet peeves.
Find out more below!
Jess Glynne is a 25-year-old Brit starlet who is radiating with positivity with the release of her latest single, Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself. This red haired songstress first got her big break when her collaboration with Clean Bandit on the track, Rather Be, became an international smash hit.
The song went on to top the charts and even a collected a Grammy for Best Dance Recording earlier this year. Not bad for a singer to have four #1 singles (Rather Be, Real Love, Hold My Hand, Not Letting Go) and the most prestigious award in music under her belt before even releasing her debut album.
In our interview with Glynne, she talks about being bullied growing up, backpacking around the world, same-sex marriage, and turning a painful break up with her girlfriend into something positive.
1. Your album, I Cry When I Laugh, is an introduction of you as an artist. What can the fans expect?
I Cry When I Laugh is a chapter of my life over the past 3-4 years and it's an album full of hope. It's soulful and upbeat and full of life experiences that anyone can relate to.
2. What have been the challenging aspects of making this album?
I guess at the beginning the most challenging aspect was finding the right producers and the right sound that was me.
3. Your latest single, Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself, is such a motivational music video about overcoming grief and taking risks. What was the inspiration behind the song and the video?
I went through a really hard break up and I was completely heart broken. Whilst I was going through this I was signing my record deal and my dreams were coming true. I remember signing my record deal and going home that same night and crying myself to sleep.
Things changed and I had a lot of work and I was adamant I wouldn't let this defeat me so I chose to take on the positive things in my life and see the light. This song is about not letting the sadness defeat you.
The video is also demonstrating the same message. Seeing the positive in a situation where you could easily beat yourself up about it.
4. What is your favourite lyric from your own songs?
I think one of my favourite lyrics I have written is from Don't Be So Hard On Yourself and they are... "I came here with a broken heart that no one else could see, I drew a smile on my face to paper over me".
5. You wrote the track, Saddest Vanilla, with the amazing Emeli Sande and it talks about bullying. Can you share your experience with us growing up?
When I was growing I think I was always a bit different. I used to get nasty comments about the colour of my hair but nothing that affected me for very long. I was quite an outspoken child and not a lot of my friends were and that set me aside. My teachers weren't very supportive at my school with my music and never let me in to any of the shows and I think that was a form of bullying; it killed my confidence in singing and performing. I just totally walked away from it. All these things were lessons for me though and they opened my eyes to the world of people and if you want something, you have to trust and rely on yourself and not let others be the judge.
6. You’ve won a Grammy before even releasing your debut album! That must have been surreal. How did y’all celebrate your win?
I know! What an insane achievement I still don't quite believe it. I celebrated at Sam Smith's party with my good friend and my manager!
7. You had to undergo vocal surgery last month, and Sam Smith actually recommended Dr. Steven Zeitels. Have you fully recovered? Did Sam gave any advice regarding your vocal cords?
I am pretty much fully recovered now. I still have a bit of vocal training I have to do before I'm fully back but I'm not far off. Sam was amazing giving me advice after his operation and I am so grateful for his recommendation. Dr. Zeitels has completely fixed me and I think my voice is now going to be better than it has ever been.
8. What is the best and worst advice you’ve gotten in regards to the music industry?
To be honest I haven't been given so much advice but what I would say is don't trust everyone with everything and just take it all in your stride.
9. After leaving school, you went traveling for five months. Which countries left the most impact on you and why?
I think Asia and South America left the most impact on me. They were the most beautiful places I had ever been to and the people were just so amazing. Life in these countries is totally different to here, in certain parts it's quite scary cause it's so far from what we know but it was so inspiring.
10. You auditioned for The X-Factor when you were 15 and that left a bitter taste afterwards. Could you share with us what went down?
It didn't leave a bitter taste at all! It just showed me what I wanted and what I didn't want which I am actually very grateful for. Those shows aren't for everyone and it wasn't for me but it's amazing for others and it's such a great opportunity to be given.
11. Fast-forward 10 years later, what has been instrumental in building up your confidence as an artist?
Living and performing, I can imagine have been the most instrumental parts of building up my confidence as an artist. Living through what works and what doesn't and performing again and again, constantly evolving.
12. What are your thoughts on the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in US?
I think it is so amazing that this has finally happened. Love is love, it shouldn't matter who the person is that you love, as long as they make you happy then who is to judge. Love is so special and no one should be denied of that.
Photo credit: Warner Music