Taio Cruz Talks 'Energetic' New Album, Justin Bieber & Jennifer Lopez
It's been a busy couple years for Taio Cruz. His first U.S. single, "Break Your Heart" (featuring Ludacris), hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 2010 and a few months later, he took "Dynamite" to No. 2. The latter earned Cruz three Billboard Music Awards in May for Top Hot 100 Song, Top Digital Song and Top Pop Song.
"Dynamite" is currently the ninth-biggest selling digital song of all time in the U.S. with 5.3 million downloads sold according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Break Your Heart" isn't too far behind, with 3.5 million shifted.
Billboard.com caught up with the singer/songwriter recently at the Los Angeles stop of the Radio Maliboom Boom Station Invasion Tour to talk about his upcoming new album, plus his many hit collaborations -- plus plans to work with Justin Bieber.
Cruz is "hopefully" going to collaborate with the Biebs as soon as their schedules allow. Cruz admits that because he's been so busy finishing up his own upcoming new album, they haven't been able to connect. Bieber's new studio effort is due in 2012, and it will follow his first Christmas set, which will be released on Nov. 1.
As for Cruz's album -- the follow-up to 2010's "Rokstarr," which debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 -- it will be released before Christmas with its first single dropping "very soon." He describes the new effort as "uptempo, fun, energetic" and promises surprise guests. He was coy to reveal any further details, save for how his recent single with David Guetta and Ludacris, "Little Bad Girl," will be on the album. "Little" was recorded for, and included on, Guetta's just-released album "Nothing But the Beat."
While Cruz is primarily known as an artist and singer, he's also found success by writing songs for a galaxy of other stars, including Jennifer Lopez and British acts Cheryl Cole, McFly, JLS and the Wanted. Earlier this year, his teaming with Kylie Minogue and Travie McCoy on "Higher" reached No. 1 on Billboard's Dance/Club Play Songs chart.
Recently, he claimed a Hot 100 hit as a songwriter for Lopez on her top 20 Pop Songs hit "I'm Into You" (featuring Lil Wayne). "I think J.Lo absolutely rocked it," Cruz said. "She sounds amazing."
"I actually wrote (it) for somebody else," Cruz continues. "Being a songwriter, I do that quite a lot. As it happens, they all stay in this massive big pot of songs that I've written. We play them for different people and different people get inspired and I think J.Lo must have heard it and absolutely loved it."
As if Cruz needed anything else to keep himself busy, he also has his own line of sunglasses, available at Rokstarr.com. As Cruz is often seen rocking a pair of dark shades, it only made sense to launch a line. He's aiming to add wristwatches and eventually women's shoes to the range in the coming years.