After a summer that included headliners like French Montana, Noah Cyrus, All Time Low and Sam Hunt, Samsung 837's Made for Summer Live at 837 series needed a true hitmaker to close out the season on a high note and, luckily, had a superstar who had just dropped his latest future chart-topper hours earlier. Jason Derulo was the grande-finale performer to take the summer stage at the mobile giant's slick Meatpacking District headquarters that doubles as a sophisticated and certainly experimental space for attendees to play with new technology like 360-selfie cams, virtual reality headsets and more exclusive tech.
While Jason's set focused on his near-decade worth of hits—kicking off with his latest Top 40 smash "Swalla" before jumping to a tightly choreographed performance of "Ridin' Solo" and a croon-heavy rendition of "Talk Dirty"—the singer talked excitedly with Fuse backstage about his upcoming 777 album and future projects. From an upcoming party track fans will hear as the next album track to another he calls "one of the greatest songs I've ever written," read below to find out how Derulo's gig with Samsung 837 is the latest step in an artist following the projects, sounds and paths that excite his artistry.
It's been a big day for you releasing "If I'm Lucky," its dance-lyric video, performing on Good Morning America and now closing out Made for Summer Live at 837. First off, how's this day been?
It's been a crazy day, man. Fans have been really receptive, saying things like, "This is like a reinvention, this is my favorite Jason Derulo song." It's really exciting. I labeled the video "Part 2" because it's actually a continuation from the actual video, which is way more cinematic. Part 2 is very dance-centric and only focused on dance, whereas the actual video doesn't have any dancing at all, but is very cinematic, movie-style—which is something I've never done before.
A new sound explored on this single. A new kind of music video for you. Does your 777 album also follow suit?
I always try to create an album that's a bit of a rollercoaster ride so you don't get bored, because those are my favorite kinds of albums. But this album, I do dive in more emotionally, a little more vulnerable—actually, a lot more vulnerable. There's the party songs, of course, but there are very mature, emotional sides of the album that I don't think have really been touched on from me.
“It's exciting for artistry to be able to put out whatever you want and have fans take to whatever they want”
Any tracks you're particularly excited about that show these new sides?
There's this song called "Point of View." It's a ballad and I think it's one of the greatest songs I've ever written. I can't wait to release it. Really, really exciting stuff. I'm putting out the music that I want to put out, instead of chasing anything. Just putting out songs that touch me, you know? Whether it's a party song that makes me want to party, or a song that makes me fall in love...my whole career has been run on radio, I'm probably one of the most-played male artists ever on radio, but it's exciting to have platforms like Spotify that allow listeners to listen to whatever they want to listen to. I don't necessarily have to conform to anything, gear it to anything or say things in a particular way because radio might follow. It's exciting. I do love radio, obviously, because I wouldn't be here without them. But it's exciting for creativity, for artistry, to be able to put out whatever you want and have the fans take to whatever they want.
From Pentatonix to Little Mix to J.Lo and Matoma, you've always been one to have interesting collaborations. Anything unexpected coming up or artists you have your eye on?
It's too early, too early to say! But really cool, left stuff—really unexpected, like you're saying. Man, I really want to continue to push boundaries and do different things, but also maybe give some new artists a chance. There's a lot of amazing artists on the indie circuit that I think are really cool. I think Khalid is really cool, SZA is awesome. And that's the thing—SZA's got a song with Maroon 5 and I think that will take her to a whole new stratosphere. She's really super talented and doesn't conform to anything.
You have a ton more projects coming up. What else are you excited about?
My clothing line LVL XIII is being released this month. It's a foray into a new world. It's a dope blend between sexy, street and high-fashion. When I'm shopping myself, I'm looking for something that's still formal, but has a little edge to it, and it's hard to find things that toe the line without looking like I'm 40 and also not looking like I'm about to go to the movie theater or the club. I want something that's in the middle. Also, man, my Miami Dolphins. I want them to shock the world. I'm always rooting for my guys.
Jason is part of a revamped Monday Night Football theme and will go on his 777 World Tour in early 2018. Below, take it back to a classic Fuse interview where Derulo talked about Stevie Wonder's influence on his career: