[Listen to SAJA's January 2010 webcast with Jay Sean]
now, Jay Sean needs no introduction. After he hit #1 on the U.S.
Billboard charts (something no other solo male South Asian artist has ever done),
he hit the ground running.
The 29-year-old reflected on some of the many awe-inspiring moments in
his life last year at the Universal Music Group building in Midtown
yesterday. Among the many highlights were winning the UK’s Asian Music
Award’s Best Album of the Year for "All or Nothing" in March, working with
the likes of Lil Wayne and Sean Paul, and, of course, his first U.S. song
making it to the top of the charts--the list just goes on.
During interviews with local South Asian media outlets (including AVS TV and CurryBear.com) Sean says he just wants to just freeze time and reflect on how much his life has changed since he was a young student in England damn near becoming another Desi doctor.And thus the name of his new album expected to drop in November: "Freeze Time."
“I had the best year of my life, you know? Hands down, the best year of my life was last year. Incredible in every aspect. And I just thought, ‘You know, if I could just freeze that moment, freeze that year and just freeze time, so I could just take everything in, just take it in...’ and that was it: Freeze Time, I just knew I had to put it out there.”
“2012 is my reaction of the latest conspiracy theory that the world is going to end in 2012. I remember thinking about the Y2K reaction and thinking, ‘Oh that’s great now isn’t it? The world is going to end in 2000, flippin’ hell!’ And of course it didn’t end. Now there is this new conspiracy theory--I finally said you know what? This is like my middle finger to the conspiracy theory, saying stop being scared everything. Let’s just make the most of every situation, let’s party like it is the end of the world. I like to be as positive as i can about everything and if I can put that through in my music then it’s an amazing thing for me.”
signed with Cash Money Records two years ago--a label that holds a number
of successful hip-hop artists, including Gudda, Drake and Minaj.
“The best thing about being with [Cash Money] is not only do they have so much clout, they really know what they are doing,” he says of the record label, that was formally run by Lil Wayne untill he was sentenced to jail at Rikers Island.
But Sean doesn’t see this as a shift from his smooth pop vocals laced with Indian undertones, he says he and Cash Money have a direct and deep relationship that helps him fuse great sounds together.
“It’s a trade off. I mean the way I look at it, music is music. We spend so much time deconstructing music and analyzing--what genre does it fall in? What is it? Well does it sound good? Everything is a mixture of everything now. Hip-hop has become the new pop, R&B is the new pop, it just all works well together.”
“The Desi culture around the world is pretty much the same for me in terms of my music,” he says. During a trip to South Africa a few months back, Sean says he was nervous about how much the Desi community knew about his work. But he was relieved to find a huge following among South African Desis. “They knew all the songs of mine from way back because their cousin in London would call up and say ‘Hey you got to check out this guy, Jay Sean, he’s Desi!’ for me it’s just been amazing to have that kind of support around the world.”
In an industry that could have eaten him alive, Sean says he is ready to help and mentor other Desi artists.
“I’m almost certain I’m going to see more Desi artists on the scene. I mean I can’t have a monopoly on the whole thing, I just can’t. I mean, there’s got to be other talent out there. I know there is talent out there, I’m just hoping to find it and nurture. It’s a plan.”