Jay Sean On Fighting Child Hunger With ‘Here’s Hope,’ Covering Donell Jones And Working On ‘Worth It All’ Album

Billy Johnson, Jr.
Hip-Hop Media Training (NEW)
Cash Money Records artist Jay Sean is doing his part to help fight child hunger. The "Do You Remember" singer, Jewel and Owl City have recorded separate versions of the song " Here's Hope" that is being made available as a free download for consumers who purchase specially marked packages of ConAgra food products. A portion of their food purchase benefits children in need. Jay Sean said ConAgra's strategy is a great way to get kids involved in the cause. "Everybody knows nowadays kids go online to get these songs," he said during an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Music. "They're either downloading them for free or illegally or they're going out and going to iTunes, etc. But there's never been a time that I know that you can actually download a song for free but that download goes toward feeding a kid."

Jay Sean said he's always glad to use his music for positivity. "I think [it's great] when music is used to spread a message and used in such a smart way that is a very contemporary and modern use of how kids are digesting music and at the same time you're able to do something to save lives."

Jay Sean, who recently released "It's All Yours" with Pitbull, is prepping his long-anticipated album, "Worth It All." Legal battles with his former pre-Cash Money Records business partners delayed the release of the follow up to his 2009 U.S. debut, "All Or Nothing."

Last fall, Jay Sean dropped the free "The Mistress" mixtape to appease eager fans and to also display more of his R&B roots. "The Mistress" includes a cover of Donell Jones' 1999 classic "Where I Wanna Be." Jay Sean admitted to feeling some hesitation remaking such a critical pick.

"It's a risky move to go there," he said. "To me, he's like one of my all time favorite R&B dudes. Really, it was to pay homage to it. It's like to give a nod to people who know about that kind of stuff. A lot of my fans wouldn't even know. Yo, a lot of fans didn't even know who Bob Marley is because they're real young kids who didn't grow up on that music. These are people who have influenced me in my life and shaped my music."

Exploring his recording styles had a positive impact on "Worth It All." "I was already thinking about how I wanted it to sound," he said. "I wanted it sound very current, very modern, but at the same time give a nod to the music that I grew up listening to. But that was the challenge. I didn't want to do a dated record 'cause you can't. Move with the times. The best of them move with the times. … It allowed me to take those influences but I made it more contemporary with the production."

"Worth It All" is due out sometime this year.

Photo credit: J. Dennis/Einstein, National Basketball Association

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