This time round we bring you the exclusive interview of Jay Sean, we met up with Jay in Leeds backstage last Friday. The Interview was brief not too long as Jay has got a tight schedule due to the release of his 2nd album “My Own Way”.
Watch out for some funny moments in the interview and ALL the girls reading this article we got a suprise for you check at the bottom of the article to see what it is..
01. Haroon DB: Hey Jay, how you doing mate?
Jay: Very good man thanks very good!
02. Haroon DB: Congratulations on your 2nd album! How’s the success of your 2nd album “My Own Way” so far, especially as on the 2nd day after the release you reached number 6 in UK Album charts?
Jay: Yeah feels great man I mean obviously this is a different type of album for me. It’s all on my own terms this time, my own money my own label. Hence the reason why its called “My Own Way” but it feels amazing to know that I have done so much more, so much better this time round then when I did when I was in a major, with major I got in at number 29 now am in at no. 6. So it just feels great.
03. Haroon DB: Let’s do a rewind to when you were a teenager. At the age of 14 you were in a rap/punk group called “Compulsive Disorder” how did that come about?
Jay: Hip-hop was just something I got into, hip-hop was just something I loved from a very early age and decided that you know I kind of wanted to write some raps and you know that’s kinda how it happened. It started at the age of 12 and sort of took it from there.
04. Haroon DB: Your music career really began; I guess when your demo “One Minute” found its way to Rishi Rich. What went through your mind when he called you into his studio?
Jay: I think it was mixture of nerves and excitement. This was the first time I had to sing in front of anyone was like an audition type of thing so that was funny for me but yeah it was an amazing moment for me, it was so long ago now it was amazing.
05. Haroon DB: It must have been a drastic change to quit your studies in medicine and go into music. Was that an easy choice to make and what was the reaction of your parents when you decided to pursue a career in music?
Jay: Well my parents don’t talk to me anymore, dad threatened to kill me erm.. Mum beat me up heavily erm….WHAT YOU THINK! (laughs)..They were fine man and everyone was fine. I have answered that 6 million times now so everyone should know they fine now (laughs)
06. Haroon DB: Your first single “Dance with You” was played on all the channels including Channel U and MTV and instantly became a top twenty hit, how did you feel at the time and what was the reaction from your parents to your new found success?
Jay: My parents have always been very supportive, with everything I have done whether its music or my studies or whatever it is because they know I put 100% into everything I do. So I think they were just…The thing with my parents is I try my best that’s all a parent wants from you to be happy and pursue your dreams and your goals.
07. Haroon DB: After that came your next singles “Eyes on you” and “Stolen”. In the video to “Stolen” you were fortunate to work with Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu. How did such an opportunity come along and how was it working with her?
Jay: Well I kind of said to the label that I wanted a bollywood actress in the video because, I don’t know I love bollywood and that I have had a relatively good amount of success in India, and so I just thought it would be the perfect thing to get a bollywood actress in the video instead you know and it would be different. I had the very lucky job of going online and search for which bollywood actress I want. So am like whooaa she’s fit, she’s fit, oohh she’s fit what’s her name ooh yeah alright right we’ll go for her (laughs) was amazing!
08. Haroon DB: Your album “Me against Myself” sold over 300,000 copies worldwide and held the no.12 position in the UK and went platinum 5 times over in India. Were you shocked by the relative success of your first album?
Jay: Yeah, I mean to sell 300,000 copies is not an easy thing to do, you know. So to think of that many people went out and bought it and that I was a brand new artist it just felt amazing.
09. Haroon DB:In 2003/04 you were the first British Asian to have signed a contract with Virgin Records worth 1 Million pounds. However in 2006 you split with the label. What was the reason behind the split; was it due to poor record sales or creative differences?
Jay: Well the thing is the UK R&B market was non-existent; everyone who used to do R&B all of a sudden was not around anymore so the label was like you’re R&B artist. R&B is not selling anymore look at everyone they’ve gone Rock and everyone who was around had to change their direction and I was like you know I don’t want to do that to be honest. I don’t want to go Rock, (laughs) am not a rock star. I don’t know how to play the guitar like a rock star and I know R&B music that’s all I know. So the end of the day it got to the point where I was refusing to do the work they wanted me to do and wanted me to write music for these rock and pop stars and I didn’t want to do that. So it got to the point where it was stalemate situation and I said look I know what I want to do, I wanna set up my own label and I want to do R&B music and they were like cool good luck with it! Luckily it worked.
10. Haroon DB: You returned in 2007 with your next single “Ride It” with a new look after being out of the limelight for three years. Is it true that you paid for the video of the single out of your own pocket?
Jay: Yeah that’s what you know when you set-up your own label that’s what you got to do, you got to invest your money into the videos, into the productions, to the album and so yes it’s not a cheap industry to be in. But it’s like I said if you believe to take the next step, if you look at all the hip-hop stars they all do the same thing you know Eminem set up Shady records, Akon’s got Konivct Records, they’ve all got their own record label that was the business move I kind of wanted to make.
11. Haroon DB: Can you tell us more about your new album “My Own Way”? Such as how long it took you to make the album? And how you found the whole journey – was it a bumpy ride?
Jay: No not at all, it was far from a bumpy ride, it was the most amazing ride ever because this time I worked when I wanted to work and did work with who I wanted to work with. It was like yo when your with a major label they’re like today, tomorrow next week blah blah blah you got to work with so and so and you got to come out with this track or that track, we need top tens… this time round because obviously its my own thing my own label. I worked when I wanted to work, if I went into the studio nothing happened then its fine we left and we dosed and we had fun and we came back and worked, maybe we started work you know 1 in the morning you get what am saying it was all on my own terms. It was just a lot more fun.
12. Haroon DB: How does it feel to have gained some mainstream acceptance, outside the Asian fan base?
Jay: It feels great man, I mean now like when I do a show when I see Asians, blacks, whites, girls, guys everything from so many different races under one roof for me it just feels amazing to know that music’s manage to bring all those different cultures together.
13. Haroon DB: How would you sum up your music career thus far?
Jay: Oh god, music career has been a rollercoaster. I was thinking about it today you know there’s been completely mental things and there’s been slightly quiet moments you know like for example the period between Virgin and me setting up my label it was a scary moment and I was like oh my god how do I do this? It’s so much to take on but I knew what I wanted to do you know but it takes time but right now I think am at the peak of my career. In terms of where I want be and what I want to achieve.
14. Haroon DB: What advise would you give potential British Asians who want to pursue a career in R&B?
Jay: I just think at the end of the day you got to put forward some really really good level of work its all about quality you know its do quality videos, do quality songs, put quality material out there cause you can’t be putting out substandard stuff and moan why it doesn’t get played on MTV you know.
15. Haroon DB: Any last minute message to your fans worldwide?
Jay: Yea man, I just want to say thank you too all the people out there that supported me since day one. Ermm you know it’s always a pleasure when I get to meet you guy’s, just wanna say thank you for your continued support. If it weren’t for you guys I won’t be here you know what am saying, Thanks so much.
Haroon DB: Thanks a lot for time Jay, its appreciated.
Jay: Cool, it’s wicked!
Haroon DB:That’s a wrap people
For The GIRLS!
Haroon DB: Jay we’ve had numrous girls curious to know one thing?
Jay: (laughs) Yeah whats that?
Haroon DB: You got a six-pack?
Jay: Ermm…Yeah ..but i aint showing you it..(laughs)
For the Interview I would like to say Thanks to Jay his proper sound down to earth guy. His manager Adam for sorting the interview and allowed us to have more time with Jay. As Jay was on a tight schedule. Umar B for doing the interview questions!
BUY: Jay Sean – My Own Way (Deluxe Edition) – iTunes: