Looking slick in all black (including an awesome all black Dodgers cap), Cruz talked about his upcoming album named after the proper pronunciation of his name, Tyo, his stylish Rokstarr watches (coming out just in time for the holidays), traveling around the world, collaborations with top names in pop music and dance music, and showed us how one might get rid of a “Hangover.”
McCabe: Well, first off, you’re the first AMP artist to be in our Redbull SoundSpace, so that’s pretty exciting. Thank you Taio Cruz! Thanks for being here.
Taio Cruz: You’re more than welcome. Thank you for having me here as the first person.
M: Yeah, this is a step up from the last time you were here. We did the interview out on the grass…in the back.
T: I remember that. I’m pretty sure you had one of your vans plastered with Britney Spears and that was good to look at.
M: Yeah, we’re working on getting you on the van. That’s the goal…How’ve been? Last time you were here, we were talking about “Rokstarr” and everything since then–“Dynamite,” “Break Your Heart,”–what’s it been like since then?
[pullquote quote=” I’ve got to travel to Asia, travel to Australia. I’ve done shows in places like Malaysia and Budapest. Just places that you hear in James Bond movies but you never actually get to go to.” credit=”Taio Cruz”]T: I mean, it’s been amazing. The album has done exceptionally well. Both of those singles obviously did incredibly well. And, as I said last time, but I suppose I mean it even more so now, there’s just been so much welcoming, so much love from the public out here that it just feels great.
M: So, how have things changed for you since that album came out?
T: I’ve been working a lot more. I’ve been traveling a hell of a lot more. Or heck of a lot more?
M: Hell of a lot more. It’s cool, it’s cool.
T: And it’s been great. I’ve been to see so many countries for the first time ever. I’ve got to travel to Asia, travel to Australia. I’ve done shows in places like Malaysia and Budapest. Just places that you hear in James Bond movies but you never actually get to go to. So, it’s been really really good fun.
M: What’s the fan base like when you do go to countries like that?
T: They’ve been so amazing. They all lose their minds, especially when “Dynamite” comes on or “Break Your Heart.” They love “Higher” as well–it’s one of their favorites.
M: That’s one of my favorites.
T: Thank you…And, yeah, the energy is definitely great. I always come out with a lot of positive vibes and they get that way back.
M: Was there one country that you’d never been to, you were just kind of blown away by the people and culture?
[pullquote quote=”Unfortunately, I never really get to experience the culture that much because I’m usually in and then I’m gone, like straight away. So I get to see an airport, a motorway, a hotel.” credit=”Taio Cruz”]T: Unfortunately, I never really get to experience the culture that much because I’m usually in and then I’m gone, like straight away. So I get to see an airport, a motorway, a hotel.
M: That’s not cool, man. You need some time off. You need to head to the beaches and the bars.
T: Exactly, test out the food and stuff. You know what, I was in Brazil because of the Rio movie. I did the theme song for that. I actually was in Brazil for almost a week so I actually got to go check out some food and see the sights which was really good fun.
M: I’m sure the sights in Rio are amazing.
T: They’re amazing. A lot of beautiful women. I know that’s what you meant.
M: I meant the mountains and the landscape, of course.
McCabe: Well, I know you’ve been busy with touring, but I think last time you were here, you had the “Rock Star” glasses…I’m an accessories guy, now you have the watches which I need to get a Rock Star watch.
Taio Cruz: I know you need to get one of these.
M: Are those coming out?
[pullquote quote=”They will be available on rokstarr.com worldwide.” credit=”Taio Cruz about Rokstarr watches”]T: They are coming out. We need to do the launch party for them in London at Selfridge’s next month. November. And they will definitely be out at Selfridge’s in December. Christmas. And the plan is to expand and make sure we can get them over here. But they will be available on rokstarr.com worldwide as well.
M: Now do you have a lot of say, input on the watch you want to design and bring to the table?
T: Yeah, they definitely come to me and they ask me how I’m feeling on designs and direction, color schemes, obviously. That’s why we have a lot of stuff that’s black and white…Yeah, they’re very, very talented, the team that I work with. They always come up with great ideas and I think we put all of those ideas into some cool stuff.
M: I look forward to getting the watch. Right now, I’m rocking my Kenneth Cole.
T: I’m gonna hook you up with one, but unfortunately, this is quite funny because they’re so brand new, I only have four.
M: Four? Now are they different variations or are they all the same watch?
T: They’re all different colors. I have the all black. I have the black and yellow gold and the black and rose gold. And then I have the white and rose gold.
M: I’ll probably hit you up. I’d probably like the black and white. Just solid colors.
T: The one that you’re gonna love is the all white ceramic. Every single part of the watch is white, except for the dials which are silver so you can still read it. It’s gorgeous.
M: I look forward to getting my new Rokstarr watch soon. For the holidays. Now, you’re also continually recording. You’re in L.A. right now recording. Now are you still recording for your album Tyo?
T: Yeah, I have pretty much just finished my album. Yesterday I was in the studio with Cheryl Cole, so I’ve been working with her for a few days as well. Doing stuff with her next album. The TYO album is done.
M: Now this was because people were messing up your name. Were people calling you Tao?
[pullquote quote=” I just thought I’d helped people out by naming the album Tyo and making is easy to pronounce.” credit=”Taio Cruz”]T: I get Tao. I get Tao-y. Tay-o is the most common one because people pronounce the “a” before the “o,” which I can kind of understand to a certain extent. So, I always try to say to people, “OK. If you cover the ‘O’ and just pronounce the first three letters, they go, “Oh, Tai!”
M: Or you would think before they did the interview , they would have talked to someone and said, “How do you pronounce the name just so I know?”
T: Yeah, exactly. But then sometimes say it’s Tyo, not Tay-o and then they kind of remember the last thing you said and then say Tay-o. I just thought I’d helped people out by naming the album Tyo and making is easy to pronounce.
M: Simple is easy.
McCabe: Now, Taio, this album from Rokstarr, are you keeping it the same sound because dance is huge right now and you’re a great component of that…Are you keeping it at that same level?
[pullquote quote=”Right now, I’m definitely having a great time working with incredible people like Dr. Luke and David Guetta and producing eletro-dance sounding records myself.”] Taio Cruz: I am absolutely keeping it to that same level. I’ve been stocking up my ballads so when that time comes I can drop a few of them. Right now, I’m definitely having a great time working with incredible people like Dr. Luke and David Guetta and producing eletro-dance sounding records myself.
M: I saw David Guetta give you a tweet yesterday from Hangover. Who is all on the album, by the way?
T: We’ve got Dr. Luke, David Guetta, One, Pitbull, Ludacris, some productions from Swedish House Mafia. Some productions from Klaus who’s done a lot of stuff for Robyn…Britney Spears. My boys the Arcade who I just signed to my production company. And production from me.
M: This is going to be an explosive album. I’m looking forward to it. I’m hearing December 6th is the tentative release date?
M: Now the first single, which can relate to me since college up until now and this weekend is “Hangover.” What a good song! We needed this song.
[pullquote quote=” I think it was a combination of watching the new Hangover movie and also just being in Ibiza with my friends…I just find it funny that this happens all around the world and a lot of people can relate to this. “]T: Yeah, I thought the party season is coming up. There’s Halloween coming up. There’s Christmas coming up. A lot of people are going to party and relate to this song. And I wanted to create a song for you.
M: I appreciate that. I mean it is a simple song, so one day you were, “I wanna just do a song that embodies how you feel the next day and then you continue to party?”
T: I think it was a combination of watching the new Hangover movie and also just being in Ibiza with my friends. Because, I don’t really drink, myself, to be perfectly honest. But, my friends do and they get completely mad and they wake up in the morning…not even in the morning, they wake up at like 5pm with a headache. And I just find it funny that this happens all around the world and a lot of people can relate to this. I like to make songs that just track how people feel and I feel like this song is necessary for some people.
M: Oh, a lot of people. My group of friends are going to love it. What is your typical hangover remedy? If you do go out and have a few and maybe the next day you want a drink…is it a bloody mary? Is it a mimosa? Is it a beer?
T: I think I have a very healthy filtration liver so I’ve never woken up with a headache, so I’m OK. But generally, my friends, they seem to think the hair of the dog is supposed to be good? I don’t even know what that means. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing?
M: You kind of refer to it in your song a little bit…”give me another drink/keep it going.” Because when you wake up the next day, you’re still a little buzzed. You drink, your back to normal.
[pullquote quote=”See, I don’t know if that’s necessarily the best advice. Probably drink a coffee or something.”]T: See, I don’t know if that’s necessarily the best advice. Probably drink a coffee or something. I imagine.
M: Yeah. Well, I look forward to the song. “Hangover” is on iTunes right now. Download it.
Album Tyo December 6th tentatively. And you’re going to be on the AMAs. And watches. Rokstarr watches for the holidays.
Thank you so much Taio Cruz for being the first ever AMP artist to drop by the Redbull SoundSpace.