Only a little more than a year into his career as a professional recording artist and Jason Derülo has already proven himself a promising young talent with three Top 10 Billboard hits, one of those a triple-platinum seller, and an eponymous 2010 LP thats put the barely 21-year-old South Florida R&B pop artist on the map. [Photo credit: Phill Knott]
Derülo has all the fundamentals to sustain a career as a pop star deep brown eyes and a smile that flashes sincere and bright like a ray of sunshine, a modest soft-spoken confidence and mature sense of self, tried-and-true songwriting skills, well-honed dance and choreography abilities, a legitimate set of pipes that find him jumping from high note wails to lower register croons and doing some gymnastics in between, extreme dedication to his art and an impressive work ethic And while his age may indicate inexperience and his rise-to-fame may seem sudden, hes spent most of his short life working to get where he is today. Ive been doing it so long, I already feel like a veteran, he said when we spoke by phone last week.
Born Jason Desrouleaux into a middle-class Haitian-American family, the artist caught the bug early and was fortunate to have parents who recognized his talents and not only encouraged him but did everything in their power to help him follow his dreams. He started dance classes at age 5, was enrolled in his first performing arts school and wrote his first song at 8, spent his youth studying opera, theater and dance (tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop), graduated from NYCs esteemed American Musical and Dramatic Academy, picked up tricks of the entertaining trade in theater productions like Ragtime and Smokey Joes Café, snagged the grand prize on the 2006 season finale of Showtime at the Apollo.
All throughout, he honed his skills as a songwriter, made contacts in the industry via his basketball coach-turned-manager, and was writing for big name artists like Diddy, Sean Kingston and Lil Mama by 16. But, you know, it wasnt what I really wanted to do and I wasnt fulfilled. Ive always wanted to perform and be The Voice.