Jay Sean talks about return to Bollywood, new music with Rishi Rich and “Ride It” sequel

Jay Sean never ceases to amaze us with his heart-melting voice and the ability to experiment with sounds that most artists can only dream of. His latest offering, “With You” featuring Gucci Mane and Asian Doll is solid proof of his versatility.

If you’re a ‘90s kid, you’d remember the magic he created with the Rishi Rich Project and introduced the sound of urban punjabi to the world. Just like you, we’ve been waiting for him to release some desi stuff and guess what, he’s coming up with something soon!

Excited much? Well, that’s just a fraction of beans he spilled when he went OnRecord about his return to Bollywood, a new studio album and his love for India!

You were in India recently, how was it coming back to Mumbai?

It’s always an incredible time. My Indian fanbase has always been so supportive. Mumbai especially holds a dear place in my heart since it was the first Indian city where I performed. Since then the love and support have only got stronger.

What is so special about India and the fans here that you can’t get enough of them?

India is one of the few countries in the world that has known my music ever since the beginning from the first song, “Dance With You” with Rishi Rich. This means that when I perform, I am able to span 15 years of music and that is a rare thing. The enjoyment I get from seeing the crowd’s reaction to all of my hits is unparalleled.

We’ve heard you perform Hindi/Punjabi songs during your gigs here, do you do the same when you’re touring other countries as well?

Yes! Due to the vast Indian diaspora across the world, Indians are very prevalent at all of my shows. This means I can be in Hong Kong or Russia and still have Indian fans at my shows who know those hits. Of course, certain songs are bigger in different territories so I pay attention to what I am playing for my audience. But that doesn’t mean the non-Indian fans don’t enjoy my Hindi/Punjabi stuff, they love it too!

Do you ever plan on going back to your Urban Punjabi roots and possibly releasing some music with Rishi Rich?

Yes. In fact, Rishi Rich and I have worked on such songs. So, listen out for those very soon!

From right to left: Jay Sean, Rishi Rich, Juggy D

We’ve not heard you on any Hindi movie soundtrack since 2005, is it a far cry for us to expect some Bollywood music from you?

Ha! Again, look out for that very soon! I’m excited for what is about to come.

You dropped your first track of 2019, “With You,” a couple of weeks back. Tell us something about the story behind this one?

“With You” is a playful, sexy uptempo banger about “friends with benefits.” They both know the situation but he is letting her know she’s special.

How did you end up working with Gucci Mane and Asian Doll on “With You”? How was the whole experience?

After I recorded the song I wanted a couple of rap features on it. I’ve always wanted to work with Gucci Mane since he is a legend. Asian Doll is one of the new hot rappers and has a lot of heat on her already. So, it was amazing to get both of them on one song.

Could you breakdown the track for us in terms of production and songwriting?

The production of the song I would classify as an R&B trap song. It’s sexy in its musicality yet still makes you want to dance. The melodies came very naturally and organically to me the second I heard the track. I went behind the microphone and put down the first thing that came to mind. It just felt right and I didn’t question it.

You haven’t released a studio album since 2013, is “With You” a sign of a bigger project?

It is definitely part of a bigger project! Look out for more and more bangers this year!

 

Over the last 15 years, how do you think you’ve evolved as a singer as well as a performer?

The vocal chord is like a muscle in the body, it gets stronger the more you use it and learn how to use it. So, I think I have become stronger as a vocalist. As a performer after 15 years and thousands of shows, you really learn how to rock an audience worldwide on any kind of stage.

You started out in this industry when music distribution was limited to cassettes and CDs. How do you think streaming services like JioSaavn have changed the industry for both artists as well as listeners?

What I love about streaming is that it caters to the consumer of this generation. We don’t want to wait for a song to come on. We want what we want and when we want it. If we want it now, streaming allows you to do that.

If someone hasn’t ever heard a Jay Sean song, how would you describe your signature sound to them?

I don’t like to put myself in a box but I would say, if I really had to, I would describe myself as a Pop R&B artist. But global is how I like to see myself!

What do you think of your fans who want to hear a sequel to “Ride It” or something similar to it?

Listen to “Tears in the Ocean” or “Message In A Bottle.”

 

Wrapping up this interview, what’s next for Jay Sean and what sound according to you will rule the charts in 2019?

I will be continuing to bring more and more music your way. This year will be the year of volume and breaking barriers.

I don’t think one particular sound will rule, there will be people like me trying to change that! Haha!

Stream Jay Sean’s biggest hits only on JioSaavn.