Jay Sean on Music, Fame and the Hottest Girls He Knows
Jay Sean’s highly-anticipated summer release with Pitbull, ‘I’m All Yours’, has finally hit iTunes and is climbing the charts. In honor of our favorite British-desi import’s new release, Divanee got a chance to sit down and discuss all things Jay Sean, including his upcoming album, the sexy new video, Bollywood and even his favorite NYC eats!
Tell us about the inspiration behind ‘I’m All Yours’ and about the video!
‘I’m All Yours’ is in line with what America knows I do and I do very well. Hopefully it makes people feel good. People always come up to me and tell me ‘Down’ makes me feel happy and ‘Do You Remember’ always puts me in a good mood. The way I look at it, it’s always a great thing to do for someone. So I was like, why not give that to them again. It’s an up-tempo dance record but instead of talking about the club or popping bottles why don’t we put in that thread of romance into it. And put that melody into it. I think that’s missing on the radio right now so that’s why I decided to do that.
We were told the music video’s going to be spectacular and ‘out there’ with yachts and hot girls…
It’s fun–it’s just fun. It’s good times! Gil Greene is the director and he’s done some of the biggest videos in the game. This is my second time working with him. I’ve done ‘Do You Remember’ with him and that was one of my favorites. I wanted this video to have a real life setting. I didn’t want green screens or night clubs. I wanted it to be out in the open. I want the beautiful blue skies, the rich sand, the ocean, pretty girls and yachts and fast cars! I wanted it to be sexy and glamorous!
Tell us about ‘The Mistress’ mixtape and what kind of sounds we can expect on your upcoming album ‘Worth It All’?
What happened actually, last year I couldn’t talk about this, but I can now- the reason my album, ‘Freeze Time’, didn’t come out was because I was going through a horrible lawsuit. Unfortunately, it was a long process. People managed to stop me and Cash Money from releasing any new music. I was so upset my poor fans had to wait – it was terrible. And I said I’m going to give them a new album for free. That’s what I can do – they can’t sue me for that. And that’s what The Mistress was. It was a thank you to my fans. Thank you for waiting. I’m sorry I kept you waiting and that I couldn’t even tell you why the album wasn’t coming out. The feedback was amazing even though people were asking me “why is this free?” and I was like “I can’t tell you!” It had an R&B vibe and they loved it so I made sure when my next album comes out it does have those urban sounds and sexy slow jams.
Any songs that I felt were amazing on ‘Freeze Time’ I kept and revamped the production so it would sound more modern. This new album, ‘Worth It All’, it’s now…it’s what it’s meant to be. It has the best songs I could potentially do for this album. I wrote and recorded hundreds of songs for this so finally putting it together was the hardest part.
Why the title ‘Worth It All’ for your album? Any special significance behind it?
One of the songs is actually called ‘Worth It All’ and it’s funny because it actually just leaped out at me when I was looking at the track list. It was screaming and flipping its arms out at me like “Hello! Worth It All!” Makes sense! You made your fans wait this long.
Being signed with Cash Money, can we expect a collaboration with any of the artists on that label?
There’s one collaboration I can talk about: the song Sex 101, which is also a street single that I’m putting out around the same time as ‘I’m All Yours’. That’s the R&B joint that features Tiger on it. This song, as the name would suggest, is slightly more risqué and grown up. Listen man, we’re human beings and to pretend we don’t all like to get down once in a while and have some music that fits with the vibe would be lying and unrealistic. So I said let’s do it… let’s go there. My fan base is maturing with me. Some of my fans who’ve known me for 10 years now, who were ten then are 20 now. The people who’ve been my fans from day one are 20 now!! At least 20, if not 30. We can grow this album up.
Is there a dream collaboration?
Jay-Z, because he wont work with anybody he doesn’t want to work with. No amount of money is worth it to him. If he doesn’t think you’re dope, he wont work with you. He only works with people he thinks are fly and that would be a big kind of check for me.
Tell us about your own label and the motivation behind starting it. What are your plans with it? Do you see yourself going out and scouting for new talent?
First, let me mention that Jaded records is no more. Jaded Records was the first record company I set up and I put my second album out on that. That is no longer because of this messy lawsuit stuff. But I am starting up a new label. The whole point of that label is to bring forward talent. It’s also more of a production company so I can start doing films and music videos of my own and develop songwriters, producers, actors…whatever it may be.
So are you into filmmaking?
If you were to go by any of my amateur videos I’ve made with my iPhone you’d see I love photography and film. Majority of the apps I have on my phone are all film apps or photography apps. So yeah!
Let’s talk about your charity work with Con Agra and Feeding America.
I recently did a charity song for Con Agra foods called ‘Here’s Hope’. It’s pretty incredible –I was shocked when I heard it- that one out of every five American kids…1/5th of the united states population of children don’t know where their next meal comes from. Which is shocking considering this is America. You say that in India…everyone thinks that of India but it’s in America too. Basically the charity is very simple. You go into a grocery store, you see my face on an iTunes card, pick that item and buy it, and that money will go towards a hungry kid. So simple but so effective.
As huge Indian cinema and music buffs, we want to know…is there anything in the pipeline for your desi fans?
There is something actually…potentially massive! But if I do potentially pull it off it’s going to be quite epic. It’s no secret I have a soft spot in my heart for Bollywood, especially a lot of the Bollywood actors I’m good friends with. It’s special to me because it’s a world we all grew up with and love. One of the most iconic things that Indians are known for in this world IS Bollywood.
We have to know…is Bipasha Basu as hot in person as she was in your music video?
Yeahhh. I’d say Bipasha and Priyanka are two of the hottest girls I a) know b) have in my phonebook and c) are my friends. They’re gorgeous. Aishwarya is actually ridiculously beautiful but then again Abhishek is a dear friend of mine so I’m not going to say anymore (laughs).
Any desi collaborations we can look forward to?
I actually just did a song with Sonu Nigam. He has one the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard. His voice gives me chills when I hear it.
How do you feel having such an impact on contemporary American music being British? And paving the path for so many other British artists now?
There’s definitely been a huge influx of British talent here in America now. To be the first in a long time felt amazing. The fact that I came here and had more success than I did anywhere else on my first attempt was so rare that it blew a lot of minds in England. A lot of the record companies in England were scared to go to America because it takes a lot of money and effort to break in an artist but they thought if he can do it, then we can try sending our artists out too. Obviously I’m not saying it all comes down to me, but I definitely think it opened a door. It’s great seeing my friends come here!
Who would be your favorite British import right now?
My favorite? Adele. 100 percent. The reason I love her so much is because she defies all the odds. You listen to mainstream music right now and let’s be honest, the majority of songs aren’t saying anything life changing. Nothing wrong with it! But Adele is real music for us music buffs and connoisseurs. She’s just the voice beyond voices. She sings so painfully that it makes you want to cry. She’s the truth and when you’re the truth like that, you win.
We Divanees are huge foodies! Share with us some of your favorite NYC food spots!
Chimmy Churi Grill is really nice. I like places that are independently and family owned because they take pride in their food. I like good wine so I try to find places with a wide selection. I love eating at Peter Luger’s steakhouse. I like Lavo and their meatballs…and pizza (even though I shouldn’t be eating pizza). What’s that Japanese place with M? Megu!
Any last words for your fans?
To all my fans out there, you’re my life…you’re the reason I can carry on doing what I love! Follow me on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook!
WATCH: I’m All Yours feat. Pitbull
Saniya Tabani is a contributing writer to Divanee.com.