Ludacris fans know the rapper doesn’t just jump on anyone’s record. After turning on the radio and hearing Taio Cruz’s “Break Your Heart” incessantly, it was apparent Luda made a wise choice on the collaboration. The British-born singer’s song topped the Billboard Hot 100, making him quite the busy guy as of late. He’s jumping from one city to the next on a daily basis to promote his sophomore album, Rokstarr, available June 1.
But Taio’s grateful for the grueling schedule and the extreme love he’s received. “It’s always been loads of screaming fans,” he reveals. And witnessing his sudden success, it’s interesting to see what Taio’s got up his sleeve next. “If you like ‘Break Your Heart,’ the album is very much in that place,” he explains. “Very electronic-pop influenced, as well as a little bit of pop-rock. I always try to tell people that I make across-the-boards pop music.” As someone who has written songs for the likes of Ke$ha and is rumored to be working on Rihanna’s forthcoming album, it’s definitely Taio’s turn in the spotlight.
Right before he jetted off to Las Vegas, Rap-Up.com caught up with Taio Cruz to discuss his fondness for Avril Lavigne, the video girl of his dreams, and his guilty pleasure, which comes in the form of a libation.
1. What was it like working with Ke$ha on your second single “Dirty Picture”?
She was awesome. I actually finally got to meet her at the video shoot. We actually did the studio sessions in two different countries, but it still managed to work out and sound great. When I met her to work on the video, she was just a lovely person. We had a great time. We haven’t had the chance to party together; I was invited but couldn’t make it on that day. But I’m sure it would’ve been a mad party.
2. What did you do when you found out that “Break Your Heart” had hit No. 1?
My manager and I were kind of hanging out in L.A. and we decided to have a nice English cup of tea. I’m not really much of a partier, not really. I’m always in the studio, making music, so that’s my rock ‘n’ roll side.
3. The song itself, and especially the video, portray you as quite the player. Do you consider yourself a heartbreaker in real life?
No, not really. I suppose maybe 20%. It was more of just playing a character and having fun, just going out there and making a real cool, fun, cocky video. Not everyone has seen the whole plot of the video, but it’s actually myself and my girlfriend both going out with the intention of breaking everyone’s hearts.
4. You’ve done a lot of writing for other successful artists. Why did you decide to start putting out your own music rather than focusing on writing for others?
I just felt like it would be cool to see how well my music would be received if I put it out there, ’cause a lot of the times when I was in the studio people would ask me whether or not I was releasing a record. When I’d be writing a song for someone, I’d sing on the demo, they’d hear my voice on the song, and be like, “Oh my God, this is cool. When is this coming out?” And I would just be like, “Well, it’s not coming out. It’s a demo for Britney Spears,” or something. So I just decided to put a song out, to see how it would be received, and it was received so well. So I created an album, and then from there created a second album, Rokstarr, which is what you guys are listening to now.
5. If you could pick the perfect female co-star for a video, who would it be?
There’s too many beautiful women to pick from, to be honest! I’d be missing out on too many girls. It could be a combination of Megan Fox, Angelina Jolie, Cassie, Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Zoë Saldana, Stacey Dash, or Jennifer Lopez—a combination of those women [laughs].
6. On that note, what do you look for in a woman, besides beauty?
Just someone who’s fun, knows how to have a good time. The most important thing is how they treat other people. I don’t like people who treat other people badly. I like people who are kind through and through.
7. You’re a really busy guy. If you could have a day off, what would you do?
Absolutely nothing! And that concept is so alien to me. Doing nothing—wouldn’t have to do anything, wouldn’t have to go anywhere, wouldn’t have to think about business, don’t have to think about anything. That would be unbelievable. But I never do that, even when I’m on holiday, I’m still thinking of stuff or sorting things out, or I’m on the phone or email. So it would be good for a day to do absolutely nothing.
8. Your new album is titled Rokstarr. Who are some of your favorite rock stars?
Wow. That’s the first time I’ve been asked that question, which is cool. Queen, David Bowie, Coldplay, obviously. Oasis rocks. Lenny Kravitz. I like pop-rock. I like Nickelback! [Laughs] I like Avril Lavigne, she’s more pop I suppose, but she’s great.
9. If you could collaborate with any non-living artist, who would it be?
Michael Jackson, ’cause he’s the greatest.
10. What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?
Sprite. I try not to drink too much of it, ’cause I know it’s bad for you, but I love Sprite.