Pop singer Jay Sean talks about how mainstream music is changing, his favourite songs, and upcoming projects

He lets us in on the story behind his latest song, ‘Heartless’.

Harper's Bazaar India

Once a hip-hop kid, British pop singer Jay Sean is ready for a new phase in his career. “I’ll let the music speak for itself,” says the Indian-origin singer. One of the first Asians to emerge in the American pop music scene more than a decade ago, he has come a long way. Jay made a triumphant comeback with his latest single ‘Heartless’, featuring Canadian-Punjabi artist Ikky. The genre-bending collaboration, which blends English and Punjabi elements, is captivating audiences across cultural boundaries. Read on to know the story behind the song, and Jay’s upcoming collaborations.

Harper’s Bazaar: Tell us about ‘Heartless’ and your collaboration with Ikky.

Jay Sean: Ikky and I have been wanting to work together for a while. ‘Heartless’ was the first song we worked on—it was made from scratch, and it came out great! I usually start with the melody first. Once I was sold on the melody, we started to work on the words. ‘Heartless’ explores the theme of emotional detachment.

HB: How do you perceive the fusion of English and Punjabi in contemporary music?

JS: I have always believed that fusion should feel organic and not forced. There are ways to do this in a classy manner that sits right  with the listener. I have always been a strong supporter of trying to push not only Punjabi music, but all music from our South Asian culture.

HB: Insights into your upcoming collaborations with popular artists such as Ali Sethi and Jonita Gandhi?

JS: I wanted to do something special in this album whereby I could collaborate with other artists who I respect, and whose music appreciate. I am very proud of the music of this album, it weaves a very organic tapestry of styles, genres and cultures in a way very few other projects have done.

HB: What beauty do you see in making music?

JS: Music is really magic in the ether that you grab onto. It’s the universal language of love, pain, hurt, joy, excitement and more... because we all understand it. It has the potential to heal, unlike almost anything in the universe.

Songs currently on Jay Sean's playlist:

Angel Numbers by Chris Brown


Lose Control by Teddy Swims


God Complex by Véyah


Nothing Sweeter by Naomi Sharon


Snooze by Sza

Lead Image Credit: Represent Public Relations Firm 

This story originally appeared in the April-May 2024 print issue of Harper's Bazaar India.

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