Jason Derulo talks new album, influences

Life is good these days for Jason Derulo. The Miami-born R&B superstar is a big hit as a judge on the 12th season of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance competition, which comes as no surprise considering that his own slick moves rival those of pop peer Usher and his idol, Michael Jackson. But the smooth falsetto crooner is particularly amped about the latest hit from his fourth studio album, Everything Is 4 — the infectious single Want to Want Me, which recently hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 list.

The song, a pleasing mix of futuristic pop and old-school disco-kissed funk, shows no sign of losing steam. “I had a huge influence from Michael Jackson and Prince growing up, and you can see that on this album more than ever,” Derulo said. “And on the radio right now, I’m just trying to stick out.” Derulo’s slick dance moves definitely stick out when he takes the stage. He’s mesmerizing, and he made sure to develop the skill as his singing talent blossomed. “Michael Jackson is the reason why I first started singing and dancing, so it happened simultaneously,” Derulo said.

“It’s definitely an art you’ve got to master, and it takes many, many hours of practice.” Couple that fancy footwork with a legit, Prince-style falsetto and stardom is almost inevitable. “I’ve always been somebody who thought you should make your strengths even stronger,” Derulo said.

“I’ve always had a strong falsetto, so I would always work on it. It’s better to be great at one thing than to be good at a couple things.”

Derulo says his experience on SYTYCD, of which he’s been a fan for years, has surprised him. “It’s been incredible. I didn’t know if it was for me at first, but I think it’s the greatest decision I’ve ever made,” he said. “You’ve got to be able to humble yourself enough to learn from everybody, so it’s been a give-and-take, and something that I needed in my life.” Derulo loves hanging out at Miami Beach hot spots such as Prime 112, LIV Nightclub and Wet Willie’s.

But he’ll have to come up with some new haunts in the near future, as he recently listed his 13,000-square-foot Coconut Creek home for $2.9 million. “Yeah, I’m in the process of selling my place in Miami,” he said. “It’s crazy, because when I put my house up for sale, it went everywhere [in the media], and I was like, ‘Well, damn!’ It surprised me, because I’ve never sold a house while being famous.”

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