Jason Derulo got his big break right after Beluga Heights – the small record label he was signed to – was acquired by Warner Music Group. Before that, the Florida-based artist did a little bit of everything, most notably writing and producing for artists such as P. Diddy, Lil Wayne and Sean Kingston, and winning an edition of Showtime at the Apollo. He is one of those artists that topped the charts right out of the gate, and although subsequent singles such as Wiggle (feat. Snoop Dogg), In My Head and Talk Dirty (feat. 2 Chainz) became highly popular, none managed to achieve that position as of now.
Whatcha Say is written and sung from the perspective of a cheating boyfriend asking for forgiveness. Derulo explains the backstory in an interview with Digital Spy: “Basically my brother called me one day and said, ‘I cheated on my girl, but I love her so much and I hope she’ll give me one more shot.’ I found his story really compelling, so I just went into the studio and tried it out. You know, people go through that kind of thing every day, which is why the song is so relatable. She did take my brother back though and they’re actually engaged now, so it all worked out good in the end.”
The chorus is the voice of the girlfriend responding, and the section is entirely sampled from Grammy-winning Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek. This has drawn comparisons to Eminem and Dido’s Stan in that it is a “virtual collaboration”. Derulo recalls getting into Heap’s music by randomly buying CDs he’s never heard before at record stores and says that it turned out to be “a perfect marriage”.
Watcha Say spent 1 week at number one in Billboard Top 100 before being dethroned by Owl City’s Fireflies.