Most of [artist id="1797999"]Jay Sean[/artist]'s Stateside fans have come to know the British pop singer for his uptempo radio-friendly hits like "Hit the Lights," "2012 (It Ain't the End)," "Do You Remember" and, of course, his #1 chart single "Down."
And after embarking on a tour with co-headlining pop singers JoJo and Joe Jonas (it kicked off in Boston on Tuesday), it's fair to say Jay Sean is widely known on these shores as a pop star. But the millions of his fans across Europe and Asia, folks that have followed Sean through two previous albums before his 2009 U.S. debut — '04's Me Against Myself and '08's My Own Way — know that he's more than just pop.
In fact, the Hounslow, England, native has a real affinity for beatboxing and, to an even greater extent, R&B music. It was his R&B jam "Ride It" that first caught the attention of Cash Money Records CEO Ronald "Slim" Williams, and now Jay is flexing his rhythm and blues muscle in a big way, with a new mixtape titled The Mistress. The 15-song tape was released this week for free and features nothing but original tracks, all produced by OFM, the production outfit behind virtually all of Jay Sean's Stateside material.
"This, for me, was really my passion project," Sean told MTV News on Tuesday. "All R&B songs; I always wanted to do a whole album for the songs that I love, inspired by songs that I've grown up listening to. It's soulful, it's sexy, it's edgy. It's more grown-up. And this is what I wanted to say to my fans, 'Thank you for your support over the last nine years. Here's something for you. It's entirely free.' "
After building his American fanbase with a string of pop-radio successes, Sean hopes The Mistress will show fans another dimension of the Cash Money crooner. And it's a side he also plans to showcase on his next studio album, Freeze Time, tentatively due for a late-November release.
It's certainly a move his hard-core fans will be looking forward to. "A lot of them have been like, 'Yo, Jay, we love your uptempo songs and everything, but we want to hear those sexy slow jams,' " Sean admitted. "So this is for you — all R&B joints, entirely free.
"It's called The Mistress. I'm warning you, it is a little edgy," he teased. "A little sexy, a little controversial, but that's what I wanted to write about. Songs about love triangles. Promiscuity. Monogamy. Polygamy."
The Mistress is available for download for free online. Jay Sean, JoJo and Joe Jonas will be on the road all month, wrapping things up in New York on October 6. Head on over to Jay's site for a complete list of tour cities.
Share your reviews of Jay's mixtape in the comments below!