With his “Break Your Heart” and “Dynamite” No. 1 singles hurtling through the stratosphere, his Rokstarr fashion and accessory brand expanding, and his writing for Justin Beiber, super hot talent Taio Cruz is experiencing the breakthrough success pop star wannabes dream about. And he’s learning to handle it, which, he admits, turns out to be a biggest job than he anticipated.
“I don’t think anyone is prepared for this,” says the London-born singer-songwriter, producer, musician, who’ll be seen as part of the lineup on this year’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” along with such names as Drake, Willow Smith and Ne-Yo.
“The work load was a drastic jump from what I was used to in the UK. Everyone gets surprised by how many places you have to go. When you’re a consumer, you see artists on TV, you see their music videos, see them in interviews, but you don’t actually connect with the fact that they do that in every country. I now appreciate people like Will Smith, who go out and promote their movies in every single country where they play.”
In the countless interviews Cruz has done, one thing he says stands out is, “I usually get the question, ‘What is “Break Your Heart” about?’ — which I find quite funny. I would have thought the answer was quite obvious.”
He makes it clear he’s not complaining. “It’s been really, really good fun. I love it. I love the fans. I just love positivity in general — whenever people are projecting positivity, so to have loads and loads of fans screaming compliments is wonderful.”
Still, Taio doesn’t mind admitting he’ll be ready for the couple of weeks he has planned to rest up in January, after “NYRE.” “You need little spots of time to recharge, and then blitz it again. ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ is the last thing I’m going to do before my break. It’s going to be insane. I have never been to New York on New Year’s Eve,” says the 28-year-old, who just shot the videos for his new “Higher” single — with Kylie Minogue for the U.K. version, and with Travie McCoy for the U.S. “I’ve been told it’s phenomenal. It’s an insane way to end the year.”