The UK soul scene is booming.
The likes of newcomers Joss Stone,
Jamie Scott and Amy
Winehouse are large and in charge out there right now
and with the emergence of the Asian style panjani beats coming to
light, it was just a matter of time before there was to be a first
asian R&B singer.
That singer is Jay Sean, the
UK's first Asian crossover superstar. Sean's story is one of premise
and promise. The promise was that he was heading for a promising
career in the medical field before he realised what his premise
was and what he wanted to do more than anything else - make music.
"I started rapping
11 years ago," Sean remembers. "I was in
a group called Compulsive Disorder,
it was a punk-rap group. We got ourselves a few gigs and when DJs
such as Choice FM’s 279 played it,
we received a lot of local notoriety." But then the
focus shifted to the colour of his skin rather than his music and
rap not thriving as much as it was here in the US, he decided to
switch to the R&B arena. "Hip hop was my first love,
but as soon as I got into producing, R&B became my mistress.
As a teenager, I grew up on a cocktail of music. I was surrounded
by a lot of different influences from black, white and Asian friends,"
says the 22 year old.
Key to the success of the under
the radar star was his partnership with UK superproducer Rishi
Rich (responsible for producing hits for the likes of
Mis-teeq and Beverlei
Knight) As Jay puts it - "Some close friends heard
an early song I wrote called 'One Minute'.
Rishi Rich was one of the people that heard it. I had heard about
him through the streets. When we met he asked me to sing for him
on the spot! Rishi told his management about me, and on the strength
of my impromptu performance, they wanted me to join their crew."
Rishi put his winning ways
on the album and the finished product is the debut set 'Me
against Myself'. The song on review today is the fore
mentioned 'One Minute' - a soothing
and mellow desi beat/R&B groover that has hit written all over
it. Lush production given by Rishi is evident but it's Jay's vocal
presence is the highlight of the song - very posied, polished and
by all standards very musch not a rookie effort.
The album called Me
against Myself is out now and you can bet your bottom
dollar that it will claim top ten status before years end - a
Listen to Jay
Sean - 'One