Pop star Jason Derulo’s music career may not have been as monumental as it once was during his peak, but thanks to TikTok, the artist is experiencing a major resurgence. Since he began posting on the platform in 2019, Derulo has managed to go from 6 million to more than 33 million followers. He is now one of the app’s top creators alongside Will Smith and TikTok’s top star, Charli D’ Amelio. Thanks to collaborations involving short skits and popular dance routines with fellow creators, Derulo is quickly becoming a TikTok staple.
According to Billboard, he’s become even more successful on the app thanks to his latest song, “Savage Love.” Produced by 17-year-old Jawsh 685, the song has landed Derulo his first top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 since 2015, making him one of 10 artists to accomplish the feat in each of the first three decades of the 21st century.
Released in the latter part of the summer, “Savage Love” has registered as No.1 on the Spotify Global Top 50 chart and is still topping song charts in Canada, Australia, and many countries across Europe. Currently, “Savage Love” is one of TikTok’s biggest viral hits, drawing in 750,000 TikToks a day and more than 43 million total views. It’s just another day in the life of a famous musician, but for Jawsh 685, this is all a new experience.
According to Variety, the 17-year-old high school student from Auckland derives his sound from his Samoan and Cook Island heritage, utilizing the New Zealand trend of creating beats to play through siren speakers usually attached to cars and bikes. The island sound, known as a “siren jam,” incorporates elements of dembow and reggae, all while providing a cultural vibe that celebrates heritage. Reminiscent of Jamaica’s dancehall scene and Latin America’s use of reggaeton, it’s pretty much an ethnically musical point of pride.
Prior to “Laxed”, Jawsh 685 has released many other siren jam tracks on his Tik Tok and garnered major attention from music labels. Thanks to his TikTok success, the teen is currently in the final stages of negotiating a deal with Columbia Records. Of course, getting Jason Derulo to sing on your track doesn’t hurt, either.
However, Derulo has been under fire for using Jawsh 685’s siren beat “Laxed” to create and advertise “Savage Love” without providing credit to the young producer. While Jawsh was busy dealing with record execs, momentum for “Laxed” continued to build, leading the producer to speak with many artists about possibly jumping on the track.
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Derulo happened to be one of those artists, but apparently, he was not about to wait in line while the song’s fate was being decided. It is reported that Derulo did not wait for a sign-off from Columbia Records because he wanted the beat to be a Jason Derulo song with Jawsh as its producer. But it seems that even the producer himself had no idea that Derulo was planning to release “Savage Love.”
After first releasing the video to TikTok, Derulo faced fan outrage for not compensating or at least crediting Jawsh 685 for the “Laxed” beat, which led to Derulo getting dragged on TikTok, Twitter, and even YouTube.
“Give credit to the NZ producer that made the original beat,” wrote one Twitter user.
“I just hate how jason derulo didnt give credit to you man,” added another YouTuber. “Our Pacific Islanders and other islands should be thanked for showing this sound especially jawsh 685.”
Due to the initial backlash, Derulo took down his original “Savage Love” post on TikTok and replaced it with another crediting the New Zealand producer:
“Had fun remixing @jawsh_685 siren beat #SavageLove 🔥🔥🔥 summer vibes,” wrote Derulo, who also tagged Jawsh in response to a fan on Instagram, writing, “@jawsh_685 killed this beat.”
However, fans were still quite unhappy with Derulo and saw the attempt as a weak attempt to dodge criticism.
“I’m sad Josh didn’t get the recognition he deserves,” wrote one fan. “A shoutout in a comment section and in a caption is shit.”
“You not slick Jason Dorito, we seen you delete it the first time cos it was getting flooded with hate,” wrote another. “Make sure you give love ($) to jawsh365 for the beat you ripped.”
As it stands, Derulo has not responded to the hate directly and there haven’t been any details as far as a contract agreement between him and Jawsh 685 for “Savage Love.” But being that the beat was already a smash before Derulo got his hands on it and Jawsh 685 is now officially a part of the industry, there’s a good chance that Columbia may get involved if the song gets any bigger. Hopefully both parties can come to an agreement and get it all straightened out before that happens.