Jay Sean speaks to our music reporter Ninder about career, family and new music
By Ninder Kaur
Jay Sean has been making the rounds on his press circuits in support of his latest mixtape album Mistress II.
I had the opportunity to catch up with the 35-year-old singer on his current UK promo tour to reconnect with his fans.
We’re sat in an interview room at Salford University where the master-class for music students has just wrapped. Jay, as hench as ever, introduces himself with his arms wide open as he invites me in for a hug. Although he was dressed in an all black ensemble, it was his smile and dark brown eyes that had me in awe.
Having never met Jay Sean before (and only dreaming about this moment when I was a 14-year-old fan), I was fascinated to ask him about his career, family life and plans for the future. Not to mention his return to the UK to promote his latest album.
“It’s been crazy-busy but it’s good to be back on home-ground. I am always excited to see my UK fans and share my new album with them which features sexy, fresh and original tracks.”
Jay kick-started his career back in 2003 and if it wasn’t for leaving medical school where he was practicing to be a doctor, Jay wouldn’t have managed to sell 15 million records and become Britain’s first Asian artist to top the U.S charts.
He started out as an underground performer and admits how he found the transition to become a mainstream artist a struggle. “It’s hard enough trying to be a pop star let alone the fact that you’re Asian, so you’re in even more minority. It was very hard but I learnt to push myself.”
“Nowadays, these stereotypes are broken. Look at me for example. I did everything an Asian is not meant to do. I had a love marriage and I quit medicine to pursue music.”
“Asian families need to stop living by stereotypes. We are just as equal and the same as everyone else. I urge people to support their children no matter what they want to do.”
It was later announced last year that himself, Juggy D and Rishi Rich were going to do a 10 year special collaboration. So naturally, the burning question in everyone’s mind is-Will Jay ever return to the Brit-Asian scene? “We have been in the studio and working on a few tracks, but right now we don’t feel as though they are 100%. We want to give our fans something great and they will wait for as long as it takes. That’s why we love them so much. But right now it’s all about R’n’B for me.”
A lot has changed in Jay’s life since we last saw him on the UK scene. He has permanently moved to New York, married his wifeager (wife/manager) Thara and has recently become the proud father of 11 month old Ayva.
Although he may not be a domestic husband because he is ‘rubbish at cooking’, Jay loves nothing more than playing the family man. Describing his wife as ‘superwoman’, Jay admits how she is his biggest supporter. She makes everything possible and she’s great at what she does.”
Describing himself as the ‘fun dad’, Jay explains how fatherhood has changed him. “I am so more at ease with everything. Nothing else matters to me more than my daughter. Everything else is a bonus. I hope I can be her fun dad forever.”
He admits how he would support his daughter if she ever wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps. “I would equip her with everything she needs to know.” It’s obvious to say little Ayva would be in good stead with a performer as a father and a mother as a manager.
Despite living away from his family, Jay assures that he will instil Asian values on his daughter’s upbringing. “Of course, I would share the values that are dear to me that come from our culture like our love for family, manners, generosity and our hospitality.“
Jay very much remains in touch with his desi roots. “Every morning I take cha masala with me to work. It’s a comfort for me.” Despite not eating mountains of paratha and daal (who can blame him with a body like that), Jay unwinds with regular visits to the gym, catching up on NetFlix and enjoying time with his family.
Although he may be an international star that has ‘made it’, Jay admits how he still remains grounded. “It’s all down to upbringing. My mum and dad have raised me too well for me to act like I’m on a high horse. Mentally, I am dad and a husband at home, not a popstar.” He is still that very same person that descends from Harlesden, London.
In terms of the future, Jay is focusing on his very own independent record label- Jayded Records. He has already signed American-Indian singer Rajiv Dhall. He is also planning an intimate tour once he releases more material, but that is yet to be confirmed.
I am sure as Jay continues on with his promo tour everyone will be welcoming him with open arms-you’d be mad not to.
The new album is free to download now on themistresstapes.com