August 16, 2011

Jaya Turns Dreams Into Reality



Always one to dream bigger, Jaya has no room in her ambitious life for anything that is less than groundbreaking. The electropop and R&B singer was born in Wembley, North London to a Hindu priest, and she makes no bones about using her music to challenge cultural convention.

"I want to break the perception that all Asian women can do is be housewives," she said. "Whilst that's an important role, there are so many of us that have dreams ambitions and are out there achieving things. Being an Indian pop singer I am aware that it makes me pretty unique, so any small successes are likely to be historical."

Jaya became the first British Indian female to sign a recording deal with a major UK label this millennium when in 2009 she signed a singles deal with AATW/Universal. Her dream was fast becoming reality.

"My dream is to be a successful pop artist and I really want to put Indians on the map in a commercial way, so people are more aware of who we are and what we do," she said.

From there she went on to tour with N-Dubz, Tinie Tempeah, Mz Bratt and Esmee Denters. She also supported Peter Andre on tour and gave a show-stopping performance at the Asian Music Awards.

She capped it all off with her debut single "DJ Do It Again," which was released in March through AATW/Universal. It was a fortuitous beginning to a series of successes. "DJ Do It Again" climbed to #2 on the MTV Dance charts, #8 on the Music Week Club Charts and #3 on the inaugural BBC Asian Music Charts.

Powered by the wave of enthusiasm her music generated, Jaya turned inward to perfect her art.

"2010 was a learning experience for me," she said. "We released a record, and me and my management team felt like we wanted to spend time behind the scenes getting the sound and the direction of the project right before moving forward."

Jaya also said she and her team were having creative differences with the label, which were tough to get through. "But now I'm back," she said. "I'm out of my deal, and I'm happier with everything creatively."

And it shows in her ever-expanding dossier of accomplishments. This March she released her single "Outta Control," which she co-wrote with Anthony Marshall (Craig David, K-Ci & Jojo). The track featured Jojo Simmons (Runs House) and Wretch 32, as well as remixes by True Tiger, Marvell and Tinchy Stryder's Ruff Squad. Jaya has released five other singles, including "Runway," "No Other Girl," "Mist-Ache" and "OMG." She has collaborated with Leah Haywood & Dan Parker (Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus) Parker & James (Chipmunk, Jessie J), Yogi (Wretch 32), Anthony Marshall (Craig David, K-Ci & Jojo), The Thundercatz (Professor Green) and many more.

Her most recent single, "Young Sexy Free Famous," is a pop-dance anthem that celebrates her unwavering pursuit of her dreams, and she said she hopes that message resonates with her audience.

"I just hope I can be a positive role model to females, especially Asian females and let them know not to be afraid to dream," she said. "Because I'm chasing mine."