Jason Derulo has launched his first TV show, Project Icon, on BBC Three. Conceived together with partner Frank Harris, the show is a six-part music competition.
“The success rate of someone winning a talent show and then being able to stand the test of time is very small when you’re supposed to be one of the best talents in said countries,” explains Jason.
“And I think it's because those shows are only about singing when the music industry is about way more than that.
“First and foremost, can you create a song that's going to make people feel something? Can you perform on social media? Do you have a brand that people will connect to? That's really important, especially now in a day and age where the 13 biggest songs last year, 12 of them had some sort of Tik Tok virality. If you're not in tune with social media, it's going to be really tough for you. Also can you shine on camera? Can you do interviews?”
“We test the eight contestants on all of these different things. And they're all put into one house, so as you can imagine, eight talented, egotistical artists in one house, there's going to be some drama, romance and craziness. It’s kind of like an artists’ bootcamp and I think it's a dream for a viewer because there's just so much to latch on to.”
At the end of the series, the winner receives a US music deal with Jason’s label Future History, a collaboration with him and a live performance at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in May. It’s a life changing opportunity for someone.
Project Icon was filmed in Manchester at the end of 2022.
“I've been to Manchester a bunch of times, but actually being on the ground there and experiencing the city for a while was nice,” he says. “I went to Mnky Hse but that was the extent of the nights out – we had early mornings so it was tough. You’ve got to decide whether you want to go to sleep! But I love being in the UK. It brings me to a very relaxed state: it might be the weather, it might be the clothing, I don't know. There’s some great food here as well.”
Derulo has sold over 250 million singles worldwide and has achieved eleven platinum singles including ‘Wiggle’, ‘Talk Dirty’, ‘Want to Want Me’, ‘Trumpets’ and ‘It Girl’.
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Last month, she emphasized her focus on music for personal fulfillment rather than financial gain.