Taio Cruz may not be a household name yet in the United States, but that should change soon. The British pop/R&B singer recently broke a Billboard record when his single “Break Your Heart” (featuring Ludacris) jumped 52 places from its debut position to the #1 spot on the Hot 100 chart.
“With Ludacris, pretty much every track he’s ever featured on sounds amazing,” Cruz told MTV News. “I gave him a quick call and asked him if he could get on the record, and he recorded it and sent it over. As I expected, there was nothing I needed to change. It sounded perfect.”
It’s also worth noting that Luda’s verse helped Cruz clarify just how to pronounce his first name correctly. “He put my name in there, which is great — so people know to pronounce it now properly, hopefully,” Taio (pronounced “Tie-O”) said.
Cruz released his second album in the U.K., Rockstarr, last year, and now has his sights set on the States. Also impressive is the fact that he has songwriting game, a talent that has recently seen him penning tracks for a couple of artists you may recognize.
“I’ve been meeting producers,” Cruz said. “I was writing for Rihanna and Justin Bieber, like, two weeks ago. I was in with producers like J.R. Rotem and Stargate and Kevin Rudolf and people like that. So, I’ve spent time with those guys and definitely making links with the writing.”
Cruz plans to release Rockstarr in the U.S. with the majority of the tracks from his U.K. release, but he’d like to add a few fan favorites from his first U.K. release, Departure — perhaps “I Just Wanna Know” or “She’s Like a Star,” he offered.
And while the video for “Break Your Heart” had him poolside and on a speedboat in the ocean, the video for his upcoming single “Dirty Picture” features Ke$ha, so you know they had to make things a bit grittier.
“The video is looking amazing. We’ve got her performing in a public bathroom, which is quite entertaining,” Cruz chuckled. The setting is an underground basement with folks having a good time and Ke$ha being, well, Ke$ha-y.
“Yeah, she’s crazy. She’s cool. She’s not like a mad person — she doesn’t have, like, any kind of censor on what she wants to say. When she wants to say something she just says it and then it’s so much fun. We just had a great time on the set of the video and she’s just an amazing performer and artist.”
Rockstarr is set for a May 18 release, with “Dirty Picture” hitting radio most likely in June. If you can’t wait that long, you will find Cruz with the electronic music fans descending upon Miami’s Winter Music Conference 2010.
“I’m gonna be hanging out with Axwell and Roger Sanchez,” he said.
Stick with MTV News for more coverage of the WMC 2010, which kicks off Tuesday in Miami.