Following Public Feud, TikTok Phenomenon ‘Culture Dance’ Cleared for Use in Jason Derulo’s ‘Savage Love’

Jason Derulo
Coldrey James/Action Press/Shutt

Three weeks after Jason Derulo came under fire for sampling a piece of music by rising New Zealand musician Joshua Stylah (aka Jawsh 685) without official clearance, the singer has been given the green-light to use “Laxed (Siren Beat),” one of TikTok’s most explosive viral tracks, as the basis for his new single “Savage Love.”

Columbia Records, which signed the Auckland high school student, announced on Thursday, June 11, that Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo have put aside their differences and come together.” Additional details of their collaboration were not revealed in the label’s statement, but credits for “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)” list Jawsh 685 as the artist (along with Derulo), sole producer and co-writer on the track, alongside Jacob “J Kash” Kasher, Phil Gress and Derulo. The song is released by Columbia (Derulo, after a decade on Warner Bros. Records, is currently a free agent).

Jawsh 685 created the instrumental as a salute to his Samoan and Cook Island heritage (685 is the country calling code for Samoa). It’s what’s called a “siren jam” and Jawsh  unique sound comes from a New Zealand/Pasifika trend of creating beats to play through siren speakers, usually attached to cars or bikes. Reminiscent of Jamaica’s dancehall scene and Latin America’s embrace of reggaeton, it’s a musical point of pride and, on TikTok, it became a visual one too as users were inspired to post “Culture Dance” videos in which they celebrate their heritage by dancing to the song and wearing costumes reflecting their roots.

But as momentum for “Laxed” continued to build, Derulo didn’t wait for a sign-off and went “rogue,” a source close to the situation told Variety last month, manipulating the melody into the hook for “Savage Love” then posting it under his own name on social media where it went on to amass millions of views and land famous co-signs.

Jawsh, meanwhile, was crossing the final T’s of his recording contract as the track was building to over 55 million TikTok creations in only a few weeks. He had celebrity fans too, including Lizzo, Jessica Alba and TikTok stars Addison Rae, Tony Lopez and Charli D’Amelio. The combined power of all that consumption sent the song to No. 2 on the Shazam global chart.

Listen to “Savage Love” below: