Jay Sean may not be a household name, but he’s already made history: the only male artist in the past 10 years to have two simultaneous Top 10 tracks, the first U.K. urban act and first artist of South Asian descent to top the charts. His 2009 mega-hit “Down,” featuring Lil Wayne, dominated the Billboard Hot 100, followed by the Sean Paul–assisted “Do You Remember.” And now, Jay is gunning for the record books yet again with his new album, Worth It All.
The LP — which last month produced the club-ready single “I’m All Yours,” featuring Pitbull — is due in stores later this year, and Jay Sean says it will touch on all the different genres the singer-songwriter has already hinted at in his hit singles: R&B, dance, pop and more. “I’ve been able to play around with different styles of singing and different genres,” he says. “It’s a pop album which has different influences from different backgrounds. You got your elements of dance in there, you’ve got your elements of hip hop in there, you got elements of R&B in there — just beautiful influences from around the world that allowed me to paint pictures with my songs.”
It’s a spectrum every bit as diverse as Jay’s background. He was born in London to Punjabi Sikh immigrants, and started his music career on the U.K.’s “Asian underground” scene, fusing contemporary R&B, British hip hop and Indian music. After racking up sales and accolades in Britain, Jay Sean set his sight on the U.S. market by signing a deal with Cash Money Records — yet another move that showed off Sean’s unorthodox versatility. “Even though Cash Money is primarily known as a hip hop label, they’ve really shown that the power and the force that they have in the music industry was enough to push any type of music,” Jay says of his decision to sign with Birdman and company. “It didn’t matter that they were mainly known for hip hop — these guys can pretty much do anything.” (Just don't tell that to Pusha T.)
With “I’m All Yours” already making a big impact, Jay is already setting his sights high for the fall release of Worth It All. With none other than Rihanna as a role model, he says it has something for everyone. “There’s songs that are going to make you happy and lift your spirits and make you want to dance and get you in the zone before you go out to a nightclub,” he says. “There’s the slow jams. There’s some sex records on there. If you look at someone like Rihanna, she’s able to just keep herself current in all kinds of lifestyles. You hear her in the club, you hear her on the radio, you hear her on mixtapes. Whatever it is, she just co-exists in many different worlds, and that’s just how people survive. The greatest survivors and the most successful people are those that can co-exist in all walks of life, and that’s what I aim to do with my music too.”
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(Photo: John Ricard / BET)