With a knack for finding new angles to tried-and-true R&B trends, Jason Derulo launched his career while still in his teens, first as a songwriter for other artists and later as a solo performer. Born to Haitian parents in Miramar, Florida, he started singing at an early age. He attended performing arts schools in Florida and took some early stabs at music composition, writing his first song at the age of eight. His writing skills began attracting attention, and by his teenage years, Derulo had begun composing tracks for artists like Lil Wayne, Pitbull, and Pleasure P. He also wrote “Bossy” for Birdman, a New Orleans-based rapper, and made a guest appearance on the song, highlighting his ability as a vocalist.
After signing to a subsidiary of Warner Bros., Derulo began making the transition from behind-the-scenes songwriter to mainstream performer. His first hit arrived during the summer of 2009, when he wrapped a sample of Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” (a song made popular by its appearance in the second season finale of The O.C., as well as the Saturday Night Live sketch Dear Sister) around a sleek modern soul beat. Titled “Whatcha Say,” the song topped the Billboard charts and cracked the Top Ten in multiple foreign countries, including Canada, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K. A second single, “In My Head,” peaked at number five in America, and Derulo’s full-length debut album arrived in early 2010. Future History followed in 2011, along with its hit single “Don’t Wanna Go Home.”