Jay Sean, one of the first UK Asian recording artists to enjoy international success, has been making people dance since 2003.
Born and raised in the London borough of Hounslow, Sean had a natural flair with words and began rapping at 11 years old. Recognizing that being an Indian rap star was elusive based on representation at the time, Sean switched to making R&B music instead. He made a fateful decision while at medical school and dropped out in pursuit of a career in music.
I’ve never been the type of person to stop there and call it a day. I’m always striving to be better in everything that I do. I know what I’ve achieved and what I’m yet to achieve. But I know what I want and I know where I’ve yet to go.
He emerged onto the U.K. underground scene in 2003 with the Rishi Rich Project and their hit single, “Dance with You (Nachna Tere Naal).” This success unveiled Jay Sean as the shining star of the group and, in 2004, he signed with Virgin Records and enjoyed two top 10 solo hits (“Eyes on You” and “Stolen”). In 2009, he signed with the American label Cash Money Records, one of the most iconic hip hop labels in history and home to powerhouse artists like Drake, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj.
Sean went on to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his R&B single “Down,” making him the first South Asian artist to do so. The song also became the seventh best-selling song in 2009, having sold more than three million copies in the U.S. alone. His American debut, “All or Nothing,” debuted at #37 on the US Billboard 100 chart.
Yeah, there is a pressure. But pressure seems to have a negative connotation in the world and I don’t look at it like that. Pressure makes me motivated. Pressure is what athletes need in order to win a game. Pressure is what I need to put on my best performance and make my adrenaline flow before I go on stage. So pressure is what I need to do this album. Pressure is what I need when this album comes out so I can go out there and sing it and give it my best and prove all the critics right or wrong.
His list of awards is impressive. He’s won the UK Asian Music Award for Best Album for Me Against Myself in 2005; for Best Urban Act and Best Video for “Stolen” in 2007; for Desi Hits! Artist of the Year in 2007; for Best Urban Act and Best Video for “Ride It” in 2008; for Best Male Act in 2009, 2010 and 2011; and for Best Album for My Own Way in 2009 and for All or Nothing in 2010. He also won Best UK Urban Act, Best Single (for “Down”), Best Male and Best Album (for All or Nothing) at the Brit Asian Music Awards in 2010.
One thing is clear, Sean is an artist who is and always has been focused on following and seeing his dreams come to fruition.
Jay Sean was included in The ANOKHI Prestige List in 2012 and received The ANOKHI Award that same year.
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