The 29-year-old singer has joined forces with K-pop icons Lay Zhang and NCT 127 for “Let’s Shut Up & Dance,” the lead single from 7Six9 Entertainment’s The Greatest Dancer, a four-song EP and box set inspired by and dedicated to Michael Jackson.
The music video, which is directed by Daniel Russell, made its global debut on MTV on Friday. The high-energy visual features dance sequences from Derulo, Zhang, NC 127 and more than 50 dancers shot in locations around the world.
“I hope it’s one of those things that makes you stop and stare, but also gets you moving. The song has that effect,” Derulo told ET over the phone from London, where he’s shooting the film adaptation of the musical Cats with Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba and more.
“The beat is really infectious," Derulo said of the new single. "I hope that when people watch the video they get that, but I also hope that they understand the tribute to Michael Jackson. It’s not a tribute where we’re trying to be Mike or dressing like him, but you can feel the influence. It’s not saying ‘I can be Mike,’ it’s saying look at three different artists and all of these different dancers from across the world that were inspired by the greatest dancer of all time.”
In keeping with the theme of a global dance movement, producers hired street dancers and professional dancers who were filmed in Korea, Ethiopia, Jamaica, London and Los Angeles. The music video came together under the choreography of dance veteran Danielle Polanco.
Derulo co-wrote "Let's Just Shut Up & Dance," which is about "letting go of your troubles," stopping all of the "hate" and taking a moment to just dance. “Especially with everything that’s going on in the world I think the concept is really poignant,” he added.
“When I’m creating music at this point in my life, it’s about each song having a purpose," Derulo explained. "Whether a song that’s going to make people forget about their troubles and get up and dance, a song that’s going to be a part of somebody’s proposal or [a song that’s going to] help somebody through a breakup, a song needs to have a purpose. I hope that this song can be a light in a world that’s filled with shadows right now.”
The Greatest Dancer is scheduled for release on June 25 in honor of the 10-year anniversary of the King of Pop's death.