Welcome to #TBT Mixtape, Billboard’s new series that showcases artists’ very own throwback-themed playlists exclusive to Billboard’s Spotify account. The curated set features the artists’ favorite tracks from their youth and childhood.
This week’s spin comes from Jason Derulo. The R&B crooner has enjoyed a stacked 2018 so far — his single “Colors” served as the 2018 FIFA World Cup Anthem, earning over 115 million streams across platforms, and he’s dropped two collaborative singles: sultry pop gem “Make Up” alongside producer Vice and rising singer Ava Max and “Goodbye” alongside Nicki Minaj and David Guetta. The trio performed the latter at the MTV EMA’s in Bilbao, Spain earlier this month, which included an operatic intro from Derulo, performing Andrea Bocelli’s “Time To Say Goodbye,” which is sampled in the track.
Billboard caught up with the singer during his trip to Spain for this week’s #TBT Mixtape, which looks back to the hits that first inspired him to become a musician.
“These songs were the most influential songs throughout my life. These are classic songs for a reason, and they make you emote something whether it’s making you wanna dance or fall in love or sing to one of your family members,” he shares of the eclectic set, which includes cuts from Michael Jackson, Nirvana, Madonna, The Police and more. “They bring me back to a moment in time.”
“My first musical memory was watching Michael Jackson for the first time on television, and just being completely enamored by the performance, knowing from that moment on that music was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a performer and make people feel like that,” he adds. “After that I remember — this is something that I’ve never told anybody — I remember singing the Lord’s Prayer in Sunday school really early. I always made a huge solo out of it. The whole church would be singing and I’d be singing at the top of my lungs trying to be heard.”
Give the playlist a spin below, and also check out some retro snaps of Derulo during his early days at the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County, where he fine-tuned his performing chops. Jason was honored earlier this year as one of nine distinguished alumni to be inducted into the 28th annual Boys & Girls Clubs Alumni Hall of Fame during a ceremony in San Diego, Calif.