Jay Sean

Jay Sean
Jay Sean. Photo by John Ricard / Getty Images

Early Life and Career 

Jay Sean was born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti in London, England to a family of Punjabi descent on March 26, 1979. He was interested in music from an early age and formed a hip hop duo with a cousin at the age of 11. While studying medicine he created a demo which attracted the attention of British Asian producer Rishi Rich. The pair, in collaboration with Juggy D, put together the single "Dance with You (Nachna Tere Naal)." The song hit the UK pop charts and peaked at #12 in 2003.

Major Label Contract and Me Against Myself

"Dance with You (Nachna Tere Naal)" brought Jay Sean to the attention of Virgin Records. They signed him to a major label contract, and he set to work on his first full-length album Me Against Myself. The album was released in November 2004 and included two top 10 pop singles in the UK, "Eyes On You" and "Stolen." Jay Sean made a brief appearance in the Bollywood movie Kyaa Kool Hai Hum, and his album then ended up selling over two million copies in India. Plagued by delays in release of a follow up album, Jay Sean left the Virgin label in February 2006.

Top Jay Sean Hit Songs

  • 2003 - "Dance with You (Nachna Tere Naal)" - #12 UK
  • 2004 - "Eyes on You" - #6 UK
  • 2004 - "Stolen" - #4 UK
  • 2008 - "Ride It" - #11 UK
  • 2009 - "Down" featuring Lil Wayne - #1 US #3 UK
  • 2010 - "Do You Remember" - #10 US
  • 2010 - "2012 (It Ain't the End)" featuring Nicki Minaj - #9 UK
  • 2011 - "Hit the Lights" featuring Lil Wayne - #18 US

My Own Way

"Ride It," the first single from Jay Sean's second album, appeared in late 2007 and just missed hitting the pop top 10 in the UK. The album My Own Way was finally released in May 2008 and debuted at #6 on the UK album chart. My Own Way was certified platinum for sales, but critics wondered openly whether Jay Sean had already lost the momentum he had gained commercially and artistically from his first album.

Jay Sean Signs With Cash Money In US

In October 2008 Jay Sean announced that he had signed with Cash Money Records in the US. He was the first British Asian singer to sign a deal with an American recording label. Initially a deluxe edition of My Own Way was planned for the US. However, those plans were scrapped in favor of All or Nothing, Jay Sean's international debut album with Cash Money. The first single from the project was "Down" featuring rapper Lil Wayne. It became a nearly instant succes in the US pop and R&B markets ultimately reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Album Delays

Jay Sean began working on a new studio album titled Freeze Time in the summer of 2010. The singles "2012 (It Ain't the End)" and "Hit the Lights" were hits released in advance of the album. However, in 2011 Jay Sean announced that the project had been scrapped due to legal issues. He set about working on a new set first under the title Worth It All and then renamed Neon. The new album was ultimately released in the summer of 2013, but it failed to produce any hit singles and peaked at a disappointing #116 on the album chart.