NEW YORK — To commemorate the first day of trading in the New Year, [artist id="1797999"]Jay Sean[/artist] had the honor of ringing the closing bell at NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square on Monday, and MTV News tagged along for the ride with his family, friends and industry colleagues.
It has certainly been a rather meteoric two-year ride for the Brit in America, and in 2011, the Cash Money R&B singer will release his second Stateside album, Freeze Time. At this introspective moment, Sean wrote about his feelings about his past year and the one to come, just for MTV News:
"So, another year gone, and so much has happened. Sometimes it feels like it's all one big blur, and thankfully, I have photos and calendar entries to see exactly what it was that I did!! 2010 was a year in which I witnessed growth. Growth as an artist, as a vocalist, and a songwriter but perhaps more importantly growth as a human being. 2009 ended with me having wedged my foot in the door, and 2010 gave me the opportunity to walk proudly in, quietly confident. By scoring two more hits in the U.S. with 'Do You Remember' and '2012 (It Ain't the End),' I managed slowly but surely to establish my place in the enormous American music scene, and that's important to get those notches in the belt. One of the coolest memories for me was watching 'The Karate Kid,' starring Jaden Smith, and hearing my song 'Do You Remember' kick it all off. I can't pretend I wasn't overly pleased with myself (mainly because I knew that Will Smith had now heard my music, and anyone can tell you I'm the biggest Will Smith fan! lol).
"2010 brought me back into the studio! Songwriting is actually my favorite part. To sit there away from all distractions in the world and create something that hopefully one day the world might hear and that my lovely fans will hopefully BUY LEGALLY FROM ITUNES AND VARIOUS OTHER DIGITAL AND PHYSICAL OUTLETS for, let's face it, less than the price of two McDonald's meals ... (I digress, but you know what I mean!!) That is amazing for me. Nothing can match that process of creation. I see it as a privilege more than a gift, and I appreciate it. And I appreciate my co-writers and producers!! Big up all yourselves!! I got to work with the best of the best. Together we made an album that I am truly proud of. From its uplifting uptempos to sexy slow jams and melodic mid-tempos, I can honestly say this is my best work yet! If you loved the fun uptempos like 'Down,' you're gonna hear more like that! And if you liked slower sexy songs like 'Ride It,' you're gonna love this album! It's a sick blend of pop, dance and r'n'b. It's called Freeze Time, and it's my fourth album. I can't wait for you all to hear it when it comes out this year!!!
"Also last year, I got to work with some of the coolest artists in the world! From Nicki Minaj to Mary J. Blige, last year I shot six music videos, many of which will come out early in 2011, including my duets with Alesha Dixon from the U.K. and Jessica Mauboy in Australia. I also got to do my fourth song with Lil Wayne (FOURTH!!! WTF?!) which featured on his I Am Not A Human Being album!
"Today, I leave to go to Qatar to do a concert and sing the Asia Cup theme song on which I'm featured. That's gonna be a lot of fun! I also toured heavily with my band last year, and shared the stage and got to have jokes with some of the world's biggest artists: Enrique Iglesias, Bruno Mars, Akon, B.o.B, Pitbull, Sean Paul, Flo Rida, Natasha Bedingfield and Katy Perry, to name just a few! In arenas around the world, to audiences of up to 20,000 in each arena!!! 20,000!!! Eight years ago, I was onstage singing my heart out at bars to an audience of 23 wasted students, whilst dodging bottles of beer and making out like it was a dance move. Oh, and my DJ at the time was my brother. And the sound guy was, umm ... my brother. And now, as I stand on the stage at the O2 in London or MSG in New York, I can honestly say, these are the most incredible live performances I've ever done. From Australia, to London, to Miami and Vegas, I traveled around the globe and managed to sing to all my wonderful fans everywhere. (Why does that make me sound like Santa Claus?) I am fortunate to have such loyal fans, and I love you all and thank you for your continued support over the years. You are all allowing me to live my dream, and I thank you for that.
"My fans also helped me through the lowest point of my life so far. One of my favorite people on Earth left in November, my granddad. He passed away from a stroke, but fortunately I got to hold his hand in his last hours and tell him how much I love him. That taught me something, watching someone take their last few breaths. To take in ALL that we can, because we never know how long it's all going to last. My granddad's motto was 'Don't worry man, be happy,' and I want to live like that from now on, to just not sweat the small stuff and be grateful for what we do have. And to just have fun and enjoy it all!!! Life is about the journey, not just the destination, so I take a lot more photos now so that I can remember all the moments. I'm gonna take on 2011 for everything it throws at me and OWN THAT BIYAAATCH!! I ended 2010 with a bang (and a disgusting hangover) by performing in Vegas for NYE and kicked off the New Year by ringing the closing bell on the first day of trading in 2011 at NASDAQ in Times Square, New York — my unfortunate mug on a GIGANTIC screen in the middle of Times Square, right opposite Diddy! Madness!! 2011 is going to be amazing, I can feel it."