Jason Derulo Says Mentor Kara DioGuardi Trusts Him To ‘Take The Reins’

'She's been there through this entire process,' he says of the 'American Idol' judge.

With his self-titled debut album hitting stores March 2, [artist id="2973647"]Jason Derülo[/artist] admits that he owes a big thank you to “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi. Derülo isn’t some “Idol” reject who got advice from DioGuardi during audition rounds of the show; his relationship with the hitmaking songwriter actually goes a bit more personal than that.

“Kara DioGuardi is my baby mama,” he joked to MTV News about the singer/songwriter, who moonlights as Warner Bros. Records senior vice president of A&R. “Nah! She took a part in kind of discovering me. [Producer] J.R. Rotem brought me to her, and they put the deal together. She’s been there through this entire process.”

Record execs can be very meddlesome in the creative process, but Derülo said DioGuardi is very nurturing. “She’s never once tried to butt in, ’cause she’s an amazing songwriter,” he said. “She’s never tried to butt in or change me at all. She’s trusting me to take the reins on this whole thing.”

DioGuardi might not be intruding, but it is her job to dole out advice to musicians. Derülo said her advice for him is much different than the advice she gives out on “Idol.”

“Giving advice to me and giving advice to someone who’s really, really new at this [is different],” he said. “I mean, I’ve been doing this my whole life, and I have a songwriting background. The advice she gives me is much different. She’s the same sweetheart behind the scenes as she is on Idol.”

Get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page , where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.