Jay Sean talks to NewLilWayne.com about coming to America and working with Lil Wayne
In the interview below Cash Money Records‘ newest artist, Jay Sean, speaks with NewLilWayne.com about his experiences coming to America, working with Lil Wayne and Birdman, his first American single “Down,” and his upcoming album release. Check it out below and let us know your thoughts on the interview and his arrival to America in the comments section. Look out for exclusive pictures from the “Down” video shoot coming soon.
NewLilWayne: First of all Jay, I would just like to thank you for taking the time to speak to us. It’s greatly appreciated.
Jay Sean: All good man!
NLW: Tell us a little about yourself Jay. What represents you as an artist?
Jay: Well, as a person, on the whole I don’t really take life that seriously, I’m pretty laid back. But as an artist I take my craft very seriously. I’m a hands-on artist..I get involved in every aspect of my career. From writing my own songs and co-producing with the producers on my album (the Orange Factory and Alan Sampson), to choosing who shoots my press photos and album artwork (amitandnaroop.com). Even for the videos I work closely with the director and come up with the concepts. I believe in raising the bar so I never stop working..I chase the dream not the competition!
NLW: So everyone’s heard that you’re now with Cash Money, but no one knows exactly how this signing came about. Could you enlighten us a bit on how this deal went down? Did Slim and Baby just hit you up and ask if you wanted to be on the label? Did you have to consider it at all or did you agree right away?
Jay: Slim heard my material through my producers in USA and was into it. He started asking for more material, videos, pictures, stories, and stats and asked if I had a deal in the states. Eventually I got on the phone to Slim and he was mad cool, and so complimentary. He genuinely loved the music and that meant a lot to me. He also understood my story. This album I put out on my own record label, Jayded records, and independently sold around the world. I think he respected this because that’s how Cash Money started too. So he was like, “man, we just want you to do you, we got your back, we’ll take you to the next level”. That’s all I needed to hear. Labels just aren’t like that anymore! That’s what makes cash money so unique.
NLW: It’s been announced that you’re going to be re-releasing your latest record from the UK, “My Own Way”, with five new songs in America. I listened to the album and I love it. Judging by ‘Down’, I’m guessing you’re not going to change your style much for America?
Jay: I can only do what I do and what I know best. I don’t want to “change to fit in, or to be accepted”..and I don’t mean that in an arrogant way, I just know that you can’t ever please everyone, so the way I see it, I will offer America what I do, and I can only hope they like it! I’d rather succeed doing “me” than to change everything I know and lose my identity as an artist.
NLW: Speaking of ‘My Own Way,’ any idea of when the album is going to be released?
Jay: We’re looking at sometime in the fall!
NLW: Jay we know you have played for large crowds of people in Europe and Asia. Are the crowds any different over here in the United States? Do you prefer small venues where you can get really close to the fans, or do you prefer huge crowds?
Jay: Every show and every country is different. That’s what makes my job so much fun. The crowds vary in terms of their “nuttiness” as I call it..some are very cool and laid back and other are crazy and bombard the stage! On the whole, I like to get involved with my fans, talk to them, vibe with them, catch joke with them. That’s what’s important to me. They’re like family!!
NLW: What’s the craziest fan encounter you have had both over in Europe as well as in the states? What’s your favorite place in the U.S. so far?
Jay: Well I definitely remember a case in Australia where one of the girls caught a plane to each of my shows during my tour there. She came to 6 different cities and was there in the front row each time. At the last show she ran on stage and jumped on my back during my performance. Security kicked her out, but she waited and ran after the car. We thought she was gone, but she showed up at the hotel, security kicked her out AGAIN..except I woke up to find her asleep outside in the hallway so she could catch me in the morning. So yeh, she was pretty nuts. Lol.
NLW: So you just recently shot your video to ‘Down,’ what was it like meeting and working with Lil Wayne and the Williams brothers? When can we expect to see the video?
Jay: Man, that experience was crazy. First off, slim and baby made a trip down to UK with their whole crew, so all the guys were there repping. We did a bunch of interviews together and rolled together the whole time and that allowed us to get a real cool vibe with each other. We all real tight with each other now. Like a family. It was their first time in UK so I tried to show them a good time. We shot Down in 2 days, them moved straight on to the Birdman joint which features myself. And shot a vid for that too. Then it was straight to Miami to shoot with Lil Wayne. He was mad cool. So supportive, chill and professional. He’s amazing in front of the camera. He welcomed me to the family and said that he really loved “Down”. That was a great experience for me man.
NLW: We’ve heard that you’ve got Lil Wayne hopping on a remix to ‘Tonight’ and that will be your second US single. Will there be a video for that? When can we expect the remix to come out?
Jay: Actually, that was just a rumour. There’s no truth in that unfortunately!!! The next joint is crazy too though, so watch out!
NLW: Jay, you’ve been called the English version of Ne-Yo. Do you agree with that? Who are your favorite American artists to listen to?
Jay: I take that as a compliment. Ne-yo is an unbelievably talented singer-songwriter and I think he changed the game when he brought melody back to pop/rnb. He’s one of my favourite artists. I grew up listening to mainly hip hop and rnb. Artists like Big L, de la soul, a tribe called quest, das efx, krs one, gangstarr to name a few. I also loved listening to jodeci, blackstreet, joe, brian mcknight, glenn lewis, dwele, musiq..these are some of my favourite singers.
NLW: I just saw on your official site that you’ve been adding tour dates this summer, any chance you’ll be joining Lil Wayne and Drake on their tour in July that NewLilWayne confirmed?
Jay: That’d be amazing. I hope so, I may be joining Wayne on his UK dates in July so let’s see…
NLW: Last year at the Grammy awards, you mentioned that you’d like to work with Akon. We think that would be great; are there any collaborations with Americans outside of Cash Money we can look forward to?
Jay: You’re gonna have to wait for the album!!
NLW: Is there anything else you’d like to add Jay?
Jay: Man, I just wanna say how excited I am to be here in America with my music already on the radio! I hope that y’all feelin it and that you come catch me at my shows..the American audience has been amazing to me so far I just can’t wait to see where it goes from here! And make sure you keep your ears open for my new single “Down” which is on the radio right now!
NLW: Alright, well thank you again for taking the time out to talk to us. Good luck with your album, and keep in touch!
Jay: Fa real. Thnx man. Peace!
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