With “Talk Dirty” and “Wiggle,” Jason Derulo has two of the biggest hits of the year, a pair of playful R&B club bangers that have ended up everywhere from barbeque playlists to a commercial for the Lifetime show Devious Maids. Going further in the latter direction, the singer recently covered Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” for a new Jolly Rancher advertisement, giving Rolling Stone the chance to talk to him about derrieres, Daft Punk and the nature of such work.
Do you actually have strong feelings for Jolly Ranchers, or are you just being paid to care?
Oh no, no, man, I’m a Jolly Rancher guy. When I’m in the studio, I can pop a Jolly Rancher and last a little longer. You know what I’m saying?
But you understand why some people, maybe most people, aren’t going to believe you? Wouldn’t it be more real to say “Jolly Rancher paid me a bunch of money, so now I’m on Team Jolly Rancher?”
Nah, man. Everyone loves Jolly Ranchers. They don’t need me for that. It’s not hard to sell Jolly Ranchers, obviously. It’s one of the biggest candies in the world. I literally have a bowl of Jolly Ranchers sitting in my studio. You can just pop those things in. They’re really amazing.
Van Halen once had a contract rider requesting that all the brown candies be removed from bowls of M&Ms. Are there Jolly Rancher flavors you won’t allow in your studio bowl?
I like pretty much everything. I’m a red guy. Give me red and purple and I’m all good. I don’t need the other colors. Wait, no, I take that back. The pink one is pretty good too. But I’m not into the hot candy.
Like Fire Stix?
I don’t know what that is.
It’s cinnamon. Not sure if they still make them, but they’re pretty hot.
Yeah. I’ve never had that, but I don’t think I’d be into it. Keep that out of the bowl.
During the first few seconds of your “Celebration” cover, you say, “Talk dirty to me.” Was that a plug for your other hit? Or does it have something to do with Jolly Ranchers?
That was just me being in that mood. When I’m in the studio, I just let it rip. That’s my process. I get in the booth and whatever is on my mind at the time, I just go off and say it. I don’t really write on paper at all. But this time it was a cover, so as bad as I wanted to do my own lyrics, I couldn’t do it. That was me just being my crazy old self.
But if you were going to rewrite “Celebration,” give it your own lyrics, how would you change it up?
I would have added a little sexiness to it, of course. I would have said what my celebrations are like. You know what I’m saying? “There’s a party going on right here.” I would have added what my party is.
And what would that be?
There’s a lot of love in the air. It’s 2014, and I’m a party animal. You know what I’m saying? It just goes down hardcore.
Is it fair to assume that your “Celebration” would include a few references to butts?
To butts? Nah, I probably wouldn’t add the butt. I’m done with that.
You’re done with butts?
Yeah, yeah, butts are yesterday. I’m not about butts anymore. I’m on to the next.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the nation is in love with you singing about butts.
Yeah. And they’ll be in love with the next thing I talk about.
You got to wait and see, man. You got to wait and see.
Are you moving on to another female body part?
Could be, could be. There are so many amazing parts to life, so many amazing things to write about. I’m excited to dish out the next thing.
If you did another cover, what would it be? Is there a song out there by another artist you’ve always wanted to record?
I’d probably do “One More Time” by Daft Punk. I’m in love with that song. That would probably be my first choice. It wouldn’t be radically different, but I’d add my special flavor to it.
Like randomly singing your name a couple names?
Nah, nah, I’m over that now. I don’t do that anymore.
No butts and no singing your own name? This news is gonna traumatize your fans.
[Laughs] They’ll be fine.