Jason Derülo comes to First Ave tonight

Jason Derülo isn't what you would expect from a 21 year old hip-hopper. But according to Jason, it's not hip-hop -- it's a new facet of pop, evident in his first single "Watcha Say," which was a #1 US single that went 3x Platinum in 2009. Aided by the all-familiar sounds of auto-tuning, the song adds a little taste of something different by adding in Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek", which is sampled throughout.

Currently, Jason has three top 10 singles in the US ("Watcha Say," "In My Head," "Ridin' Solo"), and was even nominated as Best New Artist at this year's MTV Video Music Awards.

Beginning his career as early as age 8, Jason first began writing songs for such artist as Sean Kingston, Cassie and even P. Diddy. He's well-formed in all aspects of theater and arts, graduating from American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. Derülo isn't your A-typical young-pop star; he's well-rounded, educated and concentrates on using emotion and energy in every aspect of his performing. His persona comes off as a man that knows exactly what he wants, and his maturity and talent affirms he is wiser than his years.

Gimme Noise had the chance to speak with Jason Derulo prior to his show tonight at First Avenue.

What artists did you listen to growing up?

Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince... I grew up in a performing arts school, so my music tastes are a lot different. The stuff I had to study... I was exposed to a lot more.

What was it like growing up in Miami as a child? And what inspired you to get your feet off the ground and do what you're doing?

Growing up in Miami was cool; ya know there are a lot of beautiful women in Miami [laughing]... But I started singing when I was 5 years old when I saw Michael Jackson for the first time. And I went to performing art school's where I studied classical music, and learned how to read music, learned how to write music, I learned ballet and tap, I learned musical theater and Shakespeare. I wanted to become a constant performer, and to become a constant performer you have to study all kinds of performing so that you can implement all kinds of that into what you do. I think that I began to capture all different kinds of bands in what I do, a little of the classical music, and how it helps me with breathing, dancing and singing at the same time. So I pulled from a lot of things, and that's what helped me be who I am today.

You're only 21, right?

I'm 21, yeah, but I've always thought that I had made it when I was much, much younger. So I to hear people say that I'm "only 21" it's kind of crazy to me, and I know, I know it is young but I've wanted to do this for so long. And it's like I am already a veteran in the game; I've been a song writer for people in the industry since I was 16, so now that it's finally happened, I feel like a veteran.

You'll be playing First Avenue; you know the legend of Prince and First Avenue don't you?

Yes I did, that's the place where he picked up his chops.

How does that make you feel?

[Laughing] I think I've played a few places where he's played.

Well, there are not many places where he hasn't played, so I guess it's not tough to do.

I think his goal was to play on every single stage that there is, and I'll be doing a Prince cover when I get there...

No really, I think you should.

Just for Minneapolis though.

What is your ultimate goal in this industry?

There's no 'ultimate' goal, but I aim to inspire, I aim to change the world with my music. I want to continue on this same path of hunger. A lot of people become complacent with the success that they've acquired, and I don't want to become like that. I want to continue on the same path I'm on now, and have the goals that I had two years ago; to do that you have to keep on setting goals for yourself. As for an ultimate goal, I don't know that there's an ultimate goal, but to always grow. I'm going to have my feet on the ground and continue to grow until my show is something that the world has never seen before, until my music is something that the world has never before. So to continue on the same path would be a dream come true to me.

What should we expect when you play here in Minneapolis?

Expect individual. I like to make my stuff, my own stuff ya know? I don't pull from anyone else. It's a high energy show with more dancing, more dancing than anyone's seen me do yet which is really exciting. It's a sexy show; it gets really steamy on stage, lots of skin. It's a show with heightened emotion, which I think is the most important. It will take you from your highest high, to your lowest low of sadness. It's not a stand-up and sing show, it's a show that is visually candy, really. Lots of costume changes, four costume changes to be exact; it's really cool, you get a chance to see my fashion and how I move through it.

JASON DERULO plays with Auburn tonight, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10, at FIRST AVENUE. All ages. $25. 6 p.m.

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