British Singer Jay Sean Makes U.S. Music History British singer Jay Sean is topping the U.S. charts with his song "Down." He is the first Anglo-Asian singer to have a No. 1 single in the U.S. Sean is a Punjabi-Sikh who gave up studying medicine to become a singer. Sean is from Britain and his ancestors are from India. Sometimes you hear that Indian influence in his songs.

British Singer Jay Sean Makes U.S. Music History

British Singer Jay Sean Makes U.S. Music History

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British singer Jay Sean is topping the U.S. charts with his song "Down." He is the first Anglo-Asian singer to have a No. 1 single in the U.S. Sean is a Punjabi-Sikh who gave up studying medicine to become a singer. Sean is from Britain and his ancestors are from India. Sometimes you hear that Indian influence in his songs.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

A record label known for producing hip hop took a chance on a different kind of artist. The record label is Cash Money, and the news here is not so much the music as the kind of person who made it.

(Soundbite of music, "Down")

Mr. JAY SEAN (Singer): (Singing) You won't be lonely even if the sky is falling down. You'll be my only, no need to worry. Baby are you down, down, down, down, down?

INSKEEP: That's a song called "Down," the debut American single by a singer who goes by the name of Jay Sean. He's performing, here, with the rapper Little Wayne. And the song is a hit reaching the top of the pop charts, which means he made history because he is the first British South Asian to do that. He comes from Britain and his ancestors come from India. Sometimes you hear that Indian influence in Jay Sean's songs.

(Soundbite of music, "Ride It")

Mr. SEAN: (Singing) It's been about a month and 20 days and we're going round round playing silly games. Now you're saying, slow it down, not right now. Then you wink at me and walk away. Now, let it be, let it be, let it be�

INSKEEP: Before his music hit the United States, Jay Sean was a star in Britain where Adele Ray was one of the first DJs to play his music.

Mr. ADELE RAY (British DJ): Jay always - you know, he's always been an urban artist really, with an R & B sound and a slightly hip hop sound as well. And then there was elements of Asian music that came along with some of his tracks. Well, I think it was slightly different to where it is now. He's - in a way he's mellowed down into more of a pop field.

INSKEEP: The pop music he's released so far in the U.S. draw on African American influences, which breaks another barrier.

Mr. RAY: My thing would be that if it inspires anybody of any ethnicity, of any color, of any diversity to become an artist in what is predominately a black music area, if it encourages to people to go, well actually you can break that barrier, you can get through that door, and that's fantastic.

INSKEEP: And Jay Sean now has another single climbing on the charts in the U.S.

(Soundbite of music, "Do You Remember")

Mr. SEAN: (Singing) Do you remember, do you remember, do you remember all of the times we had? Do you remember�

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

(Soundbite of music, "Do You Remember")

Mr. SEAN: (Singing) �remember all of the times we had? Let's bring it back. Bring it back. Let's bring it back. Bring it back. Let's bring it back. Bring it back. Let's bring it back, Bring it back. Oh, bring it back. Yo Jay, sing for these ladies. So long since you've been missing it's good to see you again. How you, how you doing? And how about we don't let this happen again? There's nothing to say. Don't waste another day. Just you and me tonight, everything will be okay. if it's all right with you then it's all right with me. Baby let's take this time, let's make new memories. Do you remember, do you remember, do you remember, yeah, all of the times we had�

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