“‘Heartless’ definitely has a personal connection,” says pop singer Jason Derulo about why he wanted to take on hip-hop empresario Kanye West‘s famous track, which hit No. 1 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart in 2008.
But the 20-year-old wasn’t content to ape Kanye’s style; in this week’s Mashup Monday, he strips away the processing and brings naked, bittersweet vocals backed by acoustic guitar and keys to the song, lending a particularly dramatic effect.
“I love Kanye’s music and “Heartless” happens to be one of my favorites,” says Derulo, whose own song “Whatcha Say” went to No. 1 on the Hot 100. “I can remember the time where I was on the brink of getting out of a bad relationship, and that’s where this song stands.”