Jason Walker's first album, "This Is My Life," produced three consecutive number-one Billboard hits. In doing so, it confirmed the young vocalist as one of only a handful of male artists capable of breaking through to a global dance audience. His songs of life and love, delivered in an octave well above any other male artist in pop music, proved conclusively that the small scale could strike a universal chord.
Earlier this year, Jason Walker released "Flexible," the long-anticipated follow-up to his smash debut. The first single, "Can't Get You Off My Mind," has hit number one on Logo TV's video countdown show, "The Click List."
Miami's Buzz Magazine caught up with Walker earlier this year before his appearance in Miami for the Winter Music Conference.
CP: You're being called the little white boy with the big diva voice.
JW: (Jason Walker) No one knows where it came from! The family joke is that my mother must have had an affair with the milkman. I grew up listening to soul and R&B. I listened to the great female singers like Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Kahn and Whitney Houston. Since my voice was always a little higher than most male voices on the radio, I identified with the ladies more.
CP: Did you have previous vocal training?
JW: I took voice lessons when I was in the sixth grade, but that lasted only for a short while. My teacher wanted me to sing opera and I wanted to singe Patti LaBelle, so it didn't work out.
CP: Did Patti inspire you?
JW: Oh yes, but I would have to say my biggest idol has been, and still remains, Kristine W.
CP: Your video for "I Can't Get You Off My Mind" hit number one on Logo's music countdown show. Congratulations!
JW: Thanks! It's really exciting for me. I owe so much to many different people. Chief among them is Junior Vasquez. It was his idea to record the track for my album. The song has a special place with him.
CP: When someone like Junior Vasquez tells you to record something, I guess you have to.
JW: Exactly. Of course I said yes. Plus the label was really behind the track. They believe it has radio potential. Who am I to argue?
CP: The video for the song is hot, too, Jason. Whos idea was it to incorporate the voguer?
JW: It was (director) Karl Gant's idea. But I had also wanted the Ninjas to be in my video even before Karl became involved, as a tribute to the great late Willi Ninja (famous voguer). So I guess it was sort of both of our idea.
CP: What's next for the white boy with a big diva voice?
JW: "Can't Stop" is going to be the next single, so we are getting ready for that. Then I have lots of shows coming up. And we have already started talking about my third album - so busy, busy, busy! Just the way I like it!