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Last Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007, 17:11 GMT
Talking Shop: Jay Sean
R&B artist Jay Sean is one of few UK Asian artists to have had chart success. His new single and album are to be released in early 2008.


Jay Sean
Jay Sean had two UK top five hit singles in 2004
How does it feel to have crossed over to the mainstream?

I guess it's a privilege for me - sometimes it does shock me that it's taken this long for an Asian artist to go mainstream. My main goal is to make a stamp on the mainstream and stay there.

Why aren't there more British Asian artists in the mainstream?

There is talent - it's just undiscovered. In the mainstream, an Asian person singing R&B music is still very rare. I'm sure when the first black soul artist came along followed by the second, third and fourth, eventually it wasn't a matter of it being "specialist" - it became the norm.

I'm still a very specialist thing. People say "Jay Sean the Asian R&B", but in reality I just happen to be an Asian who sings R&B. They don't call Eminem "white hip-hop". I think the time will come when more Asians will come through, but it will take some time.

Do you think the music industry is ignoring Asian artists?

I just think they're oblivious, that's all - it's just they don't know about the scene. We're still an ethnic minority in this country and I think if one of the big execs from some major radio station came down to a Mela in Bradford and saw me performing in front of 80,000 people who all know my songs - they'd probably be surprised and want to know what's going on.

They just don't know because it's not in their world. Just as I am sure there is some amazing Filipino artist somewhere in England who has millions of screaming Filipino girls after him, but we'd never know unless we went into that world and actively went out to discover it.

Tell us about the single

Ride It is just a fun, sexy R&B track - it's nothing life-changing. It's a story about a girl and a guy who play games when they clearly know they're into each other but they act like they're not.

I tried to be clever with the lyrics and make it more of a story, name drop a few places in London to paint a better picture. It seems to resonate with the fans - fingers crossed it's doing well so far.

Jay Sean was speaking to BBC Entertainment 24's Shabnam Mahmood.

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