Cash Money Records is primarily known as the home of multi-platinum superstar MC Lil Wayne, but that's all starting to change. Last year the label branched out by scoring a hit with Kevin Rudolf's "Let It Rock." Although that tune featured a guest spot by Weezy, it was decidedly pop-rock leaning and virtually void of any hip-hop vibe, save for Wayne's presence. Around the same time that "Let It Rock" was omnipresent on pop radio, Cash Money announced the signing of Jay Sean, a British R&B singer of Indian descent born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti. While Sean scored hits in the U.K. as early as 2003, he's just starting to make inroads in the U.S. with the single "Down," featuring none other than Lil Wayne. It's in the top 20 of iTunes top pop songs chart. Check it out below.
Sean announced his signing to Cash Money at the U.K.'s prestigious MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Awards, where he was nominated against Wiley, Dizzee Rascal, Taio Cruz, and Sway as the Best U.K. Male, and Usher, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, and Estelle in the Best R&B/Soul category. While Sean went home without an award, his future looked bright. It was that night in October 2008 when Sean got word that his deal with Cash Money was finalized. The fact that Sean's video for "Ride It"--a single from his second album, My Own Way--has more than 10 million views on YouTube, was apparently enough to garner the attention of Cash Money CEO Ronald "Slim" Williams and make believe that Sean's appeal could translate to the U.S. Check out the video below.
It's too early to predict exactly how Sean will fare in the U.S., but based on his U.K. success, I think it's a safe bet to say that he has potential to be huge. "Ride It" was just one of five consecutive top 20 hits featured on My Own Way, which debuted in the top 10 of the U.K. album chart upon its release. The album will be reconfigured for its U.S. release this summer with some new tracks, including "Down." Collaborations with Akon, Birdman and fellow Brit stars Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud and Keisha Buchanan of Sugababes are also reportedly in the works.
On one front, Sean has already enjoyed some success in the U.S. He received a BMI Award last October for his song, "Deal With It," which was recorded by High School Musical star Corbin Bleu. With more than 120,000 spins on the U.S. airwaves, it was one of the most-played songs on U.S. radio written by a European songwriter. Stay tuned to see if Sean can match that success with his own recordings in the U.S. In the meantime, check the video for "Maybe," another one of his U.K. hits from My Own Way.