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Jacob Latimore Interview: New Single, ‘The Maze Runner’ + Hitting the Studio With Justin Bieber

Imeh Akpanudosen, Getty Images

Jacob Latimore is on the rise.

The singer-actor is enjoying the release of his T-Pain-infused single, ’Heartbreak Heard Around the World,’ and is gearing up for his highly-anticipated upcoming film, ‘The Maze Runner,’ which is already garnering a ton of buzz.

When Latimore stopped by PopCrush, he not only took over our Twitter (with #JacobAtPopCrush quickly becoming a trending topic) and performed an incredible acoustic version of ‘Heartbreak,’ he also sat down with us and opened up about the single, his new movie, hitting the studio with Justin Bieber and much more. Check out the interview below.

Can you tell us a little bit about your single, ‘Heartbreak Heard Around the World’?

‘Heartbreak Heard Around the World’ is about me and my girl and I’m just going through a broken-heart stage in a relationship, and I’m just kind of expressing my love for her. You know, it’s a big heartbreak. It’s heard around the world, so it’s pretty deep [laughs].

Is it autobiographical? 

Somewhat. I haven’t really fell in love with a person that hard to really be that brokenhearted, but I have liked a person before and I felt it a little bit, but if I had loved that person, [the heartbreak] would have felt a whole lot worse.

Watch Jacob Latimore Perform ‘Heartbreak Heard Around the World’ at PopCrush

T-Pain collaborated with you on the track. How did that come about?

Oh man, it was incredible. I actually recorded the song by myself at first, and then he just kind of hopped on it a few months in. We were trying to look for a feature, maybe a rapper, or maybe even another singer, and my manager reached out to him, and he hopped on it right away. I met him a little prior to him recording the song. Tyrese Gibson is a good friend of mine, so he was filming ‘Fast and Furious’ in Atlanta, so I went to that set, met T-Pain, played some music of mine, and he’s been a fan ever since.

What was it like working with him?

Yeah, man, it’s incredible. It’s incredible. He’s got a lot of energies. A lot of energy. He brought it to the music video as well.

Speaking of the music video, we saw on your Facebook the other day that Justin Bieber surprised you while filming.

He did. Yeah, he did stop by. It was crazy. I texted him, and then he didn’t text me back, and I was like, “Ah, it’s getting late, he’s not coming,” and then I guess a few people on my team were like [whispers], “Don’t tell him, don’t tell him.” And he just arrived. It was crazy. He watched me doing my thing. It was dope.

That’s awesome. So were you really surprised to see him?

Of course! Yeah, I saw him the night before at the studio, we were just chillin’, and I played the record for him. He was like, “It better be dope. If it’s not dope, I’m gonna tell you.” And I’m like, “Aw, no!” I was worried about it, because if he didn’t like the song, I’m gonna be depressed at the video shoot tomorrow. I’m gonna be like, “[Sigh] Bieber don’t like the song.” He ended up liking it, came to the shoot, showed love, so it was cool.

Did he give you any advice?

He encouraged me to write more music. I’ve been getting into that right now and just getting really into my own music and writing and stuff like that. He was giving me good advice on how to start writing, just start writing it down, and just write what you feel.

You’ve talked about wanting to collaborate with him before. Did you work on any songs together in the studio?

Nah, well, he played a few records for me to see what I liked. I kind of told him what direction I was going… We gonna work soon, we gonna work soon. It’s just a matter of time.

How did you get into both music and acting?

Music just runs in my family. My dad and my uncles are a gospel quartet, Latimore Brothers. They’ve been doing their thing ever since I was a kid, so I just kind of grew up around that. My cousin, Kenny Latimore, has been doing his thing for a long, long time. Yeah, I just fell into it. It really was just meant to be. I started looking up to them as well, and other artists, like B2K when they were a group… now, Chris Brown, Usher, Justin Timberlake… so I just kind of grew up around it and absorbed it, and at the age of nine, that’s when I started taking it more seriously.

As for the acting, that fell a couple of years later. I always looked up to great actors and great films. A lot of my family would be like, “Come on, you should get into these plays that are going on.” I’m like, “Nah, nah, music’s my thing.” I just fell into it. I moved to Atlanta, got with an agency out there, started doing little voiceover commercials, and it started getting kind of fun. I had my first movie audition called ‘Vanished on Seventh Street,’ with Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo, so that was my first film and now I’ve been having a lot of films coming out… I’ve got another film coming out in September, ‘The Maze Runner.’ It’s gonna be huge. Super, super, excited about it.

We’re really excited too! Can you tell us a little bit about the film and your character?

‘Maze Runner’ is about a group of teens that live inside this giant maze. And outside the maze are these creatures that come out at night. The centerpiece of the maze where we stay is called the Glades, and we call ourselves the Gladers. Everybody plays a certain role: You have the sharecroppers, you have the cooks, you have the med-jacks, and the med-jacks kind of bandage the Maze Runners that are going out and doing the heavy duty work, trying to figure out the maze and dealing with these big, futuristic monsters. [My character] Jeff is a med-jack. Just trying to save everybody. What you come to realize is it’s kind of like an apocalyptic test. If you read the book, you’ll definitely understand, but if you haven’t, go out and read the book and see the film.

Do you have a favorite memory or prank you pulled on set?

Let me see… Thomas Bodie-Sangster, he’s like a really chill dude, he doesn’t like too much attention or what not. He tried not to tell anybody it was his birthday, so we all stood up and started singing to him in his face, and he was just like, “Oh my God.” The whole staff … [sings] “Happy birthday…” We were like, sincerely singing it as well. He’s so chill… he was like, “Get away.”

Speaking of birthdays, your 18th birthday is coming up soon. Do you have anything special planned?

August 10th! Just gonna party. Party hard. Got to. I’m not really much of a party person, that’s just the age you gotta party. If you don’t normally party, this is the age you got to party. There’s no option. I’m gonna figure out something, I haven’t figured out exactly what yet. I’ve been on the road a lot lately, so when I get back to Atlanta I’ll figure that out.

Any triple threats you admire?

Man! Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown… especially Justin Timberlake, since he’s doing movies and stuff and film. Like, he could take five years off to just do film, and then he could come out with an album and just go platinum and it’s super highly anticipated, so that’s somebody I admire.

What’s next for you in terms of your acting career after ‘Maze Runner’?

I shot a guest role that’s coming out on Starz called ‘Survivor’s Remorse’ … It’s about this basketball player and he’s going around to different hospitals and talking to different kids. I’m one of those hospital kids that’s going through something right now, kind of dealing with a lot. It’s a different role for me. It’s more like a dry comedy-drama… not too sad. Adding comedy into those sad, hospital-type films.

Any plans to go on tour?

I plan to go on tour, plan hit the road, touch the fans and expand the fan base, and get in front of people who might not know who Jacob Latimore is or might not think of going to a Jacob Latimore concert. Just grabbing all of the attention.

Any plans for a full-length album?

Yeah, of course! Right now I’m just taking it song by song. Just recording a lot of great music. Right now, I still feel like I’m just in grind mode. Like I said, building my fan base, expanding it a bit. When the album officially drops, it’ll be ready. We’ll be ready. The team will be ready.

Anything else you’d want our readers to know about you?

I’ve been working hard for a long, long, long time. I signed to Jive when I was 13-years-old, which is now RCA. So I’ve been doing my thing for a long time. Put out mix tapes, did a bunch of films when I felt like music wasn’t going right at the time, and now I’m on my official single, ‘Heartbreak.’ I think this my record. Hear it, love it, request it on your favorite radio stations… so, yeah, man!

Next: Win Jacob Latimore's Watch From the 'Heartbreak' Music Video!

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