It’s an exciting summer if you’re into candy-based competitions decided by online votes for modern covers of 35 year-old songs, neither of which have anything to do with candy, and one of which is performed by an artist known for singing about butts.
Here’s what we know: According to a press release issued to Rolling Stone‘s office, a “Sweet Summer Showdown” has been declared, with dueling commercial campaigns for Twizzlers and Jolly Ranchers (both of which are owned by the Hershey company). Pop duo Karmin (of “Brokenhearted” fame), representing Team Twizzlers, has covered a Grease soundtrack song you kinda remember, “Summertime.” Meanwhile, Jason “Your Bootie Don’t Need Explaining” Derulo, representing Team Jolly Rancher, has recorded his modern take on Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration.” Fans of candy and music are encouraged to visit a website, listen to both songs, and vote for their favorite artist. And this determines which candy is the winner. Because obviously.
It’s difficult to mention any of this without feeling like you’ve been tricked by Don Draper. But honestly, who cares? This isn’t effecting anyone’s candy-buying behavior in any meaningful way, is it? You’re not going to run out and purchase a crapload of Jolly Ranchers because Derulo has a song about having a good time tonight, are you? Of course not. So let’s just enjoy this for what it is.
When you’re given the opportunity to speak with Jason Derulo about candy, you don’t say no. The whole premise is stupid, but whatever, we’re not made of stone. Let’s do this.
You’re on Team Jolly Rancher, which is surprising. We would have pegged you as a Twizzlers guy.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Laughs.] Yeah, man.
Don’t Twizzlers have a little more wiggle?
Well, Jolly Ranchers got some wiggle to them too, man. But in a different way. You got to know how to work them.
Do you actually have strong feelings for Jolly Ranchers, or are you just being paid to care?
Oh no, no, man, I’m a Jolly Rancher guy. When I’m in the studio, I can pop a Jolly Rancher and last a little longer. You know what I’m saying?
But you understand why some people, maybe most people, aren’t going to believe you? Wouldn’t it be more real to say “Jolly Rancher paid me a shit-ton of money, so now I’m Team Jolly Rancher?”
Naw, man. Everyone loves Jolly Rancher. They don’t need me for that. It’s not hard to sell Jolly Ranchers, obviously. It’s one of the biggest candies in the world. I literally have a bowl of Jolly Ranchers sitting in my studio. You can just pop those things in. They’re really amazing.
Van Halen once had a contract rider requesting that all the brown candies be removed from bowls of M&Ms. Are there Jolly Rancher flavors you won’t allow in your studio bowl?
I like pretty much everything. I’m a red guy. Give me red and purple and I’m all good. I don’t need the other colors. Wait, no, I take that back. The pink one is pretty good too. But I’m not into the hot candy.
Like Fire Stix?
I don’t know what that is.
It’s cinnamon. Not sure if they still make them, but they’re pretty hot.
Yeah. I’ve never had that, but I don’t think I’d be into it. Keep that outta the bowl.
What’s the sexiest of the Jolly Rancher flavors?
Red, for sure. That is hands down the sexiest.
Cause it’s red.
This showdown with Karmin, does it have to be a competition? Can’t Twizzlers and Jolly Ranchers just coexist peacefully?
No. Not this summer. It has to be a showdown.
There’s no chance for a ceasefire?
Maybe next summer. Or maybe during the winter time. But this summer, it’s war.
That is so disheartening.
It’s how it is. Peace is coming. But now, you must vote for Jolly Rancher. You must. [Laughs.] I’m determined to win this thing.
During the first few seconds of your “Celebration” cover, you blurt out “Talk dirty to me.” Was that a plug for your other hit? Or does it have something to do with Jolly Ranchers?
That was just me being in that mood. When I’m in the studio, I just let it rip. That’s my process. I get in the booth and whatever is on my mind at the time, I just go off and say it. I don’t really write on paper at all. But this time it was a cover, so as bad as I wanted to do my own lyrics, I couldn’t do it. That was me just being my crazy old self.
But if you were going to rewrite “Celebration,” give it your own lyrics, how would you change it up?
I would have added a little sexiness to it, of course.
I would have said what my celebrations are like. You know what I’m saying? “There’s a party going on right here.”
Ah, I think I know where you’re going with this.
I would have added what my party is.
And what would that be?
There’s a lot of love in the air. It’s 2014, and I’m a party animal. You know what I’m saying? It just goes down hardcore.
Is it fair to assume that your “Celebration” would include a few references to butts?
To butts? Naaaaaw! I probably wouldn’t add the butt. I’m done with that.
You’re done with butts?
Yeah, yeah, butts are yesterday. I’m not about butts anymore. I’m on to the next.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the nation is in love with you singing about butts.
Yeah. And they’ll be in love with the next thing I talk about.
You got to wait and see, man. You got to wait and see.
Are you moving on to another female body part?
Could be, could be. There are so many amazing parts to life, so many amazing things to write about. I’m excited to dish out the next thing.
If you did another cover, what would it be? Is there a song out there by another artist you’ve always wanted to record?
I’d probably do “One More Time” by Daft Punk. I’m in love with that song. That would probably be my first choice.
Would your version be radically different or follow the same general structure?
It wouldn’t be radically different, but I’d add my special flavor to it.
Like randomly singing your name a few dozen times?
Naw, naw, I’m over that now. I don’t do that anymore.
No butts and no singing your own name? This news is gonna traumatize your fans.
[Laughs.] They’ll be fine.
Any chance you’re planning to write a song about Jolly Ranchers?
Well, hopefully this partnership continues and we can do a lot of other cool things together. Yeah, I’d be open to doing something like that.
How would you make it sexy?
Besides mentioning the red ones, I mean. Can you be as poetic about candy as you’ve been with booties?
What I would do is…. I would refer to myself as the Jolly Rancher. Or make her the Jolly Rancher.
Ah, so it becomes a sex metaphor?
That’s right, that’s right. Make the Jolly Rancher the object of desire. You know what I’m saying?
I do. Go on.
I’d say something like “I would twist….” No…. I would say, “Let me unwrap you.” [Long pause.] “And let the flavors…. And allow your flavors to sweeten up my day.” [Laughs.] Yeah, that’s it.
There would have to be some licking involved, wouldn’t there?
Probably. But you’ve got to figure out how to do it without sounding like a creep.
(This story originally appeared, in a slightly different form, on RollingStone.com.)[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]