AFTER a devastating neck injury in 2012, Haitian-American singer Jason Joel Desrouleaux, aka Jason Derulo, is back with a new single, Talk Dirty, and new album, Tattoos.

The 23-year-old, who is dating singer Jordin Sparks, talks to Shereen Low about his recovery, his admiration for Michael Jackson, and his transformation from party animal to serious music-maker...

l You broke a vertebra in your neck during rehearsals in January 2012. How are you feeling now?

I'm 100% now. It was a long recovery but I'm better than ever. Fitness-wise and dance-wise, I'm putting more energy into the things I feel deserve that energy. I feel more comfortable in my skin than I ever have. I feel like I'm in a really good place.

l You're saying you feel like a new man?

I feel like it's a new beginning for me, almost like this is my first album all over again. I feel like before my injury, I was almost on auto-pilot. It took this injury to wake me up and find this new energy, this new drive.

Once you have a near death experience like that, I feel like you can really take things into perspective and take a look at your life and decipher what was positive and what was negative, what you can scoot out of your life and what you can bring in more of. So it's a new beginning from that perspective.

l The album has a different sound. Can you talk about that?

I went back to my favourite albums and I thought, 'What is it about these albums that made me want to listen to them over and over again?'.

What I found was cool was on the Michael Jackson album, every song was different - every song had its own story. Thriller was totally different from Bad. I tried to do that on this record so the first single was very different from the second, and so on.

This album is so much more personal than my last stuff - every single song is like a life story, just pulling from experiences I go through every single day.

l Do you remember when you wrote your first song?

I wrote my first song aged 8. It was called Crush On You. It was about a girl in my class named Amy, so I've been writing love songs since then.

l Where do you want to go now?

I want to continue on the same path. All the accolades, all the record sales, it's just so secondary to me.

Being able to go into the studio at my own will, being able to perform with somebody there to listen, that's all I ever dreamed about. I would just like to continue on the same path and continue to grow.