Count Jay Sean as one person who does not believe the world is coming to an end in 2012, as the neoDesi pop artist dropped his latest single, “2012 (It Ain’t The End),” earlier this month. Featuring rapper Nicki Minaj on the track, Jay Sean is building up momentum to the planned November release of his latest album, Freeze Time (Cash Money Records/Universal Republic). It is the second American release for Jay Sean, who made waves in the United States by climbing atop the Billboard charts with his smash hit “Down.” The first-ever artist of South Asian origin to hold top Billboard’s Top 100, Jay Sean’s American debut tracks (“Down” and “Do You Remember” with Lil John and Sean Paul) set the stage for him to do bigger and better things in the United States. Earlier this week, Jay Sean spoke with Buzzine magazine about what those “bigger and better” things are.
Already an established artist in Europe as one of United Kingdon’s top urban acts, Jay Sean has essentially been putting out music since 2003. Now considered the most successful male urban artist of either British, European, or South Asian background in the United States, Jay Sean is hoping to shine a new light on his pop star persona -- that of the “sexier” and “edgier” artist.
“The new album is sexier, edgier. It’s got a strong tongue-in-cheek element to it,” Jay told Buzzine, explaining how his latest album is quite different from his previous works, including his American debut album All or Nothing. “It’s meant for an older crowd.”
By introducing “2012 (It Ain’t The End)” as the face the Freeze Time album, the British singer-songwriter believes the track will shed a light to aspects of Jay Sean’s personality where that light was previously not shone.
“I am such a people person and I get along with just about everyone. So when I hear all this talk of the world coming to an end, I just laugh,” Jay Sean candidly told Buzzine, adding that he thinks all this talk of the world coming to end just because a Hollywood film said so is bogus. “I saw the movie (2012). The song is basically my middle finger to the whole concept of the world coming to an end in 2012.”
Jay Sean certainly hopes the world does not come to an end within the next two years, as he has some major aspirations before Father Time and Mother Nature call out his name. Above and beyond the end-of-the-world commentary, Jay Sean told Buzzine there is more to him than trying to be edgier and sexier -- the Indo-Brit pop icon wants to be among the most influential artists in the music business.
“I just want everyone to know I am (first and foremost) a singer and songwriter,” he emphatically and righteously told Buzzine, adding that he hopes to collaborate with other top-level artists such as Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Rhianna, among others. “It definitely helps to be atop the charts, and I definitely have ambitions to do acting and pursue other opportunities. But first and foremost, I want to be known as a singer and songwriter.”
Perhaps that is a reputation he may already have an edge on in Europe, where he had already built up a solid name before debuting in the United States with “Down” and later collaborating with Lil John and Sean Paul in “Do You Remember.” To that end, he acknowledges his work is cut out for him here in the United States, ergo the promotional launch of his sophomoric American album this month with the release of “2012 (It Ain’t Over).”
“People in America only know ‘Down’ and ‘Do You Remember,’ but the rest of the world has had me for seven years,” Jay Sean contemplatively observed. “They have multiple songs and multiple albums. I have to get more out there so the U.S. can get to know more of me.”
Of course, it will not be easy for Jay Sean to be hailed as the best among his peers -- not with the ever-changing tastes of the end consumer. With the constantly evolving state of music, Jay Sean said he has to do all it takes to pay attention to his listeners and give them what they want, fully recognizing that what is hot today may not be so tomorrow.
“The state of music today is crazy with the insurgence of ‘Interpop’ and ‘R'n'B-and-Pop.’ You really can’t fight it,” the musician candidly opined. “There was a time when Lionel Richie was considered the standard of great music.
Nowadays, no one really listens to him. Everyone wants to hear Lady Gaga.
“You have to leave it to the taste-makers, and those are the kids. You have to be willing to figure out a way to fit in and keep up; otherwise, you are left behind.”
With last week’s release of the first single off of his Freeze Time album, Jay Sean will be doing all he can to ensure he is not left behind in the music world because of time freezing in his real life. Should that actually happen, maybe the Mayan prophecies of 2012 will actually come true for Jay Sean.
Then again, such prophecies are generally regarded as fictional lore, and Jay Sean seems to be doing all he can to hold on to his thrown as one of the best pop artists of our generation. Starting with Freeze Time, as long as he continues to keep up with his fans and provide them with fresh materials, time will never freeze for him and he will never be left behind, even after his body leaves this world.
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