February is Black History Month and we’ll be celebrating all month long by speaking with activists, politicians, historians, musicians, athletes, and more to highlight the history and contributions Black individuals have made to the culture and this country.
While in conversation with RADIO.COM’s, Julia, Jason Derulo joined us during Black History Month to discuss his newest single, “Lifestyle,” what he has in the works currently, and how the impact of Black artists and figures inspire him in everything he creates.
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Derulo tells us the new song came about because he wanted to “highlight how I appreciated the fact that this girl was independent, and she created a whole lifestyle for herself but saying ‘just because you created this amazing lifestyle, which I appreciate, doesn’t mean I can’t add value to your life.’”
After finishing the song, Jason immediately started thinking about who might make a good collaborator or feature on the track, specifically wanting to loop Adam Levine into the song. “There was only one person that came to my mind, and if it wasn’t Adam then it was going to be nobody,” shares the singer.
As someone who has leveraged their stardom into multiple facets of creative endeavors, from recording music to acting, to working on a new TV show, to becoming one of TikTok's leading content creators, Derulo shares what’s next for him. He laughs, “I try to take it one day at a time and I wish there was more time in the day.” Continuing on Jason says, “there are just so many things that you can do, and so many interests that I have. But, I planted a lot of seeds in 2020. I’m really careful of what I add to my plate because, you have a plate that’s a little too full, and then, you know, everything kind of suffers.”
The star who is also in the midst of putting together a new comic book, based on his TikTok character, “Uzo,” is also releasing a social media how-to book. The guide will highlight tools that will help readers grow and expand their content and audiences. “I’ve been able to learn so much through my music career and branding, that I was able to kind of take those things and implement them into social media and I feel like those lessons are really valuable lessons,” explains the multi-platinum artist.
In terms of focusing on Black History Month this year, Jason tells us about the figures that inspire him and sites, “James Brown definitely comes to mind, Sam Cooke definitely comes to mind,” when it comes to artists. He adds, “and Muhamad Ali... Barack Obama... just really, really inspiring people, all of which are on my wall for various reasons, but I feel like I’m leading by example.” Derulo explains, “Just really kind of wearing their hearts on their sleeves and really making it apparent that anything is possible… most of them had super humble beginnings and ended up being forces that the world is inspired by.”
Additionally, Derulo concludes, “Black music just always just shines through. It really doesn’t matter what the trendy kind of music is, Black music always really really shines through.”
In June of 2020, The “Talk Dirty” singer took to TikTok to create a viral clip in support of the Black Lives Matter protests and to speak out after the unjust killing of George Floyd. The video includes historical footage from the 1960s civil rights movement, an audio excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, and modern-day footage of Black Americans continuing to face police violence and of Black Lives Matter marches. The video also includes shots of Derulo with his hands up and audio of the artist saying “We will not be silenced,” and “let your voices be heard.” The clip closes with the BLM logo. Jason captioned the video, “If we can be taught to hate we can be taught to love. Every voice counts. #blacklivesmatter”
The “In My Head” artist has been continuously outspoken about his support of the Black Lives Matter movement and throughout the pandemic has leveraged his TikTok platform to become a place where he not only freely shares his ideas and demonstrates moments of Black joy, but has also become a leader in trendsetting and creativity. With 43 million followers on TikTok, Derulo is an innovator on the app and a thought leader.
WATCH MORE: Five black musicians who made history by changing the music industry