Urban Desi music pioneer Jay Sean burst onto the music scene in the early 2000s with his fusion brand of music that had fans hooked. Born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti, the British singer and songwriter has a career that spans over 15 years. He’s gone from underground rapper to mainstream hit-maker with the iconic Cash Money Records behind him. But having not heard much about him lately, we wondered, what is the artist up to these days? It would seem a lot actually.
As an independent artist, he’s still rocking the music scene with alluring tracks and touring the world. The artist is currently working on a 14 show tour of Australia. And of course, he’s working those dad vibes spending time with his beautiful wife Thara Prasad and their adorable daughter, Ayva. With Jay Sean on our collective brains, we took a look on where he’s been and how far he’s come.
1. Jay Sean’s History
As the story goes, Sean was on his way to medical school, he had aspirations to become a doctor if singing never panned out. He had grown up in Hounslow, London in a typical Punjabi household with his extended family. He learned to play the piano until the age of 13 and he enjoyed singing, especially rapping. In his youth, Sean was even a part of a rap duo called “Compulsive Disorder” at the age of 11 with his cousin.
As a young college kid, when he had the chance to meet with Rishi Rich, the legendary urban desi music producer, Sean impressed the producer with an impromptu freestyle at their first meeting. The producer took Sean under his wing right away, and thus began his journey with Rishi Rich and Punjabi singer, Juggy D. The trio’s flavour of Bhangra and R&B led to hits like “Push it up,” and “Dance with you.” Aside from their musical chemistry, the trio often released fun videos of their corny jokes and hilarious adventures online before the age of vlogging every second of your life was cool.
With his spiky hair, smooth lyrics and mischievous personality, this prince charming instantly won the hearts of millions around the world. His debut album, “Me Against Myself,” was released through Virgin Records and showed off not only his rapping skills but his singing talents as well with tracks like “Stolen” which became #4 on the UK top 10 charts. The album did well in the UK but it was even more successful in Asia, especially India. His international fame grew even further when he was featured in the hit Bollywood comedy “Kya Kool Hai Hum,” performing the song “Dil Mera” with Juggy D and Veronica.
Sean left Virgin Records and released his second album “My Own Way” independently in 2008 via 2Point9 Records. This album showed the world a different side of Sean as his lyrics matured and he had more soulful R&B tracks. “My Own Way” debuted at the number six spot on the UK albums chart, with tracks like “Ride It” and “Maybe” becoming fan favourites. His fan base had grown internationally at this point from India and America to Portugal and Romania.
Sean’s stardom rose infinitely when was signed to Cash Money Records in 2009 and dropped the mega-hit “Down” featuring Lil’ Wayne. The addictive song was chart-topper for weeks and launched Sean into the mainstream music scene with a bang. Sean became the first solo artist of South Asian origin and the first UK urban act to top the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Being a part of such a renown record label opened doors to the artist which were previously too difficult to reach as a South Asian trying to break into the mainstream. He released the album “All or Nothing” under Cash Money Records with hits like “2012” featuring Nicki Minaj and “Do You Remember” featuring Sean Paul and Lil’ Jon.
The album was a full-on pop-filled album, the OG fans knew this wasn’t the real Jay Sean, so it’s no surprise the artist released an R&B mixtape titled “The Mistress” with seductive tracks like “Sex 101.” He later released the album “Neon” via Cash Money Records with tracks featuring talents like Rick Ross, Ace Hood and Busta Rhymes.
Sean left Cash Money in 2014 and returned to working as an independent artist. The British Asian artist has been releasing a steady stream of amazing tracks. Sean released “The Mistress II” mixtape and “The Mistress II” EP which included acoustic versions of the tracks on the mixtape. In 2016 he dropped “Make My Love Go” featuring Sean Paul, “Jameson” and many more. He even joined forces with his old friends Juggy D and Rishi Rich for a reunion track titled “Freak” that gave the OG Jay Sean fans all the feels.
2. Our Favorite Jay Sean Jams
Check out all the foot-tapping jams and summer-beach loving music videos Sean has released since he went back to the independent artist life.