In 2003, his debut album "Me Against Myself," sold two million copies worldwide –- immediately launching him into the international spotlight.
Now, more than a decade after entering the music industry, the 37-year-old multi-platinum artist has signed with Sony Music and recently released his new single, "Make My Love Go" featuring Sean Paul, who also collaborated with Jay Sean in his 2010 single, "Do You Remember."
On this episode of "Real Biz" with Rebecca Jarvis, Jay Sean talks to ABC’s Chief Business, Technology and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis about his childhood, breaking down barriers, inspiring the next generation of artists, and what we can expect from his next collaboration.
Here are four surprising things about Jay Sean:
1. His earliest musical influence was the “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” soundtrack.“I swear, I’ll never forget this,” said Sean. “I was in the music store and I bought Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey soundtrack at the age of, like, 8. But then I went and picked up a Lionel Richie album.”
His musical influences today? Michael Jackson, Prince, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder and Jay-Z, “These people have been doing it for 20, 30 years. It’s insane to be able to be that relevant and that successful in an industry where you have so much choice now,” he says.
2. He started his first rap group at just 11 years old.
“I used to re-create the beats that I heard,” Sean says. “I used to dance around, I used to sing a lot, I remember, and beat box.”
What did his parents think? “My mom didn’t understand anything because it was hip-hop,” he says. “For her it was just cute. My Dad was like, ‘OK, son, I don’t know what you’re saying, but um, if you’re going to say anything, make sure it’s poetic and deep and moving.’”
3. He was a straight-A student and almost became a doctor.
“I really enjoyed studying,” says Sean who was accepted into the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.
4. He’s the first British Asian singer to sign a deal with an American recording label.In 2008, Jay Sean signed with Cash Money Records, releasing his hit single “Down” with rapper Lil Wayne. The song instantly jumped charts to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Jay Sean the first British artist since Freddie Mercury to do so -- and the first solo Asian artist ever to hit that milestone.
Watch Jay Sean’s full interview on "Real Biz" with Rebecca Jarvis to find out more, and hear him create a special #RealBizwithRJ beatbox on the spot.