Also, congrats to Jay for making history by becoming the first ever artist of Indian descent to get to No 1 in America.
"This is insane. Its just incredible to have reached No.1 with my first release in America. Its difficult for me to put into words. My head is spinning. I've been grinding hard for the last 7 years releasing records independently and now to have the biggest record in the USA this week, its just a dream come true."
Jay Sean talks to Danielle Lawler
By Gavin Martin on Oct 30, 09 03:00 AM in Music
Up until a couple of weeks ago, the only place where Jay Sean would get recognised was in his mum and dad's local pub. Now he has Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Timberlake battering on his door after his new single Down (featuring Lil Wayne) knocked the Black Eyed Peas off the top of the American Billboard Charts.
Not bad for a drop-out medical student who was ditched by his record label for "not being James Blunt", and who battled racist abuse about his Indian heritage to achieve his dream.
Jay, 28, who gave up training to be a doctor at Barts and The London School Of Medicine And Dentistry, is still on a high about his single success. And he is hoping to match it with Down, now on sale in the UK.
"The success in the States has been pretty incredible," grins the West London-born star. "News travels fast because my phone was going left, right and centre. Then Justin Timberlake called to see if I could play at his charity event in Vegas, and Leonardo asked if he could meet me when we were in Teddy's club in LA."
With this single Jay - born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti - has made history by becoming the first ever artist of Indian descent to get to No 1 in America. And no one is more proud than his Punjabi-born mum Sharan, 51, and his dad Bindy, 52, who supported their son when he made the crucial decision to move into the risky world of the music industry.
"They were cool," he laughs. "That's the funny thing - I don't think it surprised them that their son loved singing, and there was a strong possibility I could make a success of it.
"What makes it even more amazing for me, and for them, is to think that I am the first artist of Indian descent to break America."
Being from an Asian background and growing up in a predominantly white area, Jay has had his fair share of racist taunts.
But he was particularly shocked when he heard Anton Du Beke called Laila Rouass by the P-word on Strictly Come Dancing recently.
"I thought we were moving past that in England," shrugs Jay. "It is stupid to think that calling someone a P*** on Strictly is acceptable. The BBC shouldn't have let them off lightly. They should make an example of them. It shows how ignorant they are. It's just about respect."
Respect is something Jay has earned by the bucket load from his peers. He quit college in 2003 after being lured to sign a £1m deal with Virgin Records on the back of his track One Minute.
His debut album Me Against Myself went to 29 in the charts. But they parted company in 2006 after a bitter wrangle over the label's agenda to make him the next James Blunt.
"The record company wanted me to be like James Blunt or James Morrison because that was working then," says Jay. "But I'm not that kind of guy, so I left Virgin.
"I laugh it off. I mean where is James Blunt now? Actually, he's probably chilling
on an island somewhere!"