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From sound engineers and screenwriters to celebrity makeup artists and stylists, Variety’s series “Ask an Insider” asks top professionals within the entertainment industry to share their must-have essentials, for work … and for play. In this installment, singer-songwriter (and new dad) Jason Derulo shares some of his favorite tech and gaming gadgets to gift dad this Father’s Day.
Like most people during the pandemic, Jason Derulo found himself confronted with an unusual amount of free time. The 32-year-old artist, used to constant travel and a jam-packed performance schedule, was forced to hunker down at home and find new hobbies to keep him busy.
And busy, he became: He began experimenting on TikTok, eventually becoming the 12th-most followed artist on the platform with more than 52 million followers; he signed a deal with Atlantic Records, marking a new phase in his career; he started a podcast; released a graphic novel; and launched a Vodka line. And last May, amid the craze, he became a father after welcoming a baby boy named Jason King into the world.
“You always hear people say, ‘You don’t know love until you have kids,’ and now, I agree, now I understand those people that can basically show you every picture that they’ve ever taken of their kid — like, damn,” he tells Variety with a laugh. “But now I know, I understand and I get it. He came in and changed my life.”
This Sunday will be the second Father’s Day that Derulo will be celebrating as a new dad. He says his son will be visiting him in Denmark, where he’s playing a couple of shows. But in honor of the special day, Derulo has also partnered with Instacart to curate a wishlist, all stocked with items that will arrive the same day for any last-minute shoppers.
And his list is all centered around another hobby he got really, really into during the pandemic: gaming.
“In the pandemic, I think a lot of us were trying to figure out what to do with our time and a lot of people found new hobbies and new things that they like. Gaming was one that I dived into, that I’m continuously getting more into as a passer of time,” Derulo says.
In addition to his favorite consoles like the Nintendo Switch, and accessories like this Razer gaming mouse and keyboard, his wishlist also includes fun gadgets for tech-obsessed dads, such as Sony’s noise-canceling wireless earbuds and a retro turntable from Audio-Technica.
Check out Derulo’s entire Instacart wishlist here, and shop through some of his favorites below:
“I travel a ton so if I can pick up that little Nintendo Switch while I’m on the plane, that’s cool. Moving through the air, I’ve watched every movie you can watch on Netflix. What’s next? What’s the next thing? So I’m glad I have that to pass the time.”
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“Another one that’s really mobile is the JBL speaker. When I want to go and do a workout outside and don’t want to put headphones on because I’m doing a high-intensity workout and my head is moving around a ton, the JBL speaker is great because I can put it there and I don’t have to have anything on my head or in my ears. And it gives me that loud experience, the same type of bass and intensity and loudness as headphones.”
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“NBA2K is my favorite.”