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Mehek’s Music Monday: Jay Sean

December 14th, 2009

Hay JAY

It’s near impossible to escape the pop-R&B sounds from this Indian-UK native; his debut North American single, “Down” featuring Lil’ Wayne started to gain momentum towards the end of this past summer, and there’s been no stopping him since. It went to #1 back in October, and his latest release, “Do You Remember”, features Sean Paul and Lil’ John.

For me… he’s old news. Thirteen year-old self old news (fah real – that’s a lil’ old). So I’mma share some tales about this dude, cause I think you all really need to know about his past … and his future.

Intrigued yet?

More after the jump!

Okay, let me dispel some of those crazy thoughts going on in your mind: no, I am not a psychic nor do I stalk Jay Sean – I’ve just sortabeeninlovewithhimsincefoevaa.

This rapper/singer began his career across the pond. Born and raised in London, England, J started rapping at the age of twelve, citing hip-hop heavy hitters like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest as inspirations. He maintained a passion for the art right up to the point of a career of medicine, but decided that singing was the real path he wanted to take (he now pokes fun at his rapping skills back in the day).

Fun Fact #1: He’s a pioneer in Indian-R&B fusion music.

Jay’s roots in his Punjabi (Indian) heritage helped him create an original sound, catering to audiences of different ethnic backgrounds while still holding it down in R&B. He used this foundation for his first album, Me Against Myself, which propelled him to success in 2004. Jay began touring the world in smaller venues, including a show at Kool Haus in Toronto a few years back. His breakout in the UK scene paved the path for what’s now a fairly large genre, allowing British-Indian artists such as Rishi Rich to be heard and introducing the world to the fusion music scene.

Fun Fact #2: He’s contributed to a Bollywood soundtrack here and there.

Bollywood is the multi-billion dollar Indian film industry, and that’s how I first saw this cutie – only at that time, he had the typical poppy-spiked hair with excessive gel and was singing in Hindi, nah mean? But with a sound so smooth and those brown eyes … sigh … he caught my attention (check out an old school track, “One Night” here).

It was this point that Jay really began to roll in popularity. His expanding fan base across the world clued him into the amount of power he had as an artist, and four years after his first release, he followed up with a second disc called My Own Way.

Fun Fact #3: For creativity purposes, Jay left Virgin Records and started his own label, Jayded Records.

The album peaked at #6 and allowed Jay to push himself forward as a multiplatinum, multitalented artist. The artistry demonstrated on My Own Way caught the attention of Cash Money Records CEO Ron Williams, who signed Jay Sean to the label in 2008.

Fun Fact #4: He’s the first UK artist to be signed to Cash Money Records, a label that also boasts Drake, Birdman, and Lil’ Wayne.

Here we are, a year and a half later and J is well on his way to taking over North America. He’s got the support of some of the industry heavyweights, including fellow pop singer Justin Timberlake, who invited the singer to play at his charity concert back in October. His NA debut, All or Nothing, is in stores now.

What’s to come in 2010? Well I’m sure Jay will be promoting his butt off over the next few months, but with the talent and industry-support, I have a feeling he’ll be on this side of the ocean for a while!

Jay Sean will be hitting Mississauga’s Hershey Center THIS Saturday (December 19th), so go check him out before he explodes, friends =]

Tell me – are you down for Jay Sean? Comment, or hit me up at mehekmusicmonday@gmail.com – and hollaaaa if there are some new artists you think I should take a look at!

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