Jai Paul

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Jai Paul
Birth name Jai Raj Paul
Born June 1988 (age 28)
Origin Rayners Lane, London, UK
Genres Electronic, R&B, pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, record producer, instrumentalist
Labels XL Recordings
Website www.jaipaul.co.uk, paul.institute
Notable instruments
Vocals, drums, guitar, keyboards

Jai Paul (born June 1988) is an English singer, songwriter, producer, and recording artist from Rayners Lane, United Kingdom. He is signed to XL Recordings.[1]

Music career[edit]


Paul's 2007 demo "BTSTU" received widespread blog coverage throughout 2010, and has been played on UK national radio by DJs including Gilles Peterson, Zane Lowe, Nick Grimshaw, Reggie Yates and Fearne Cotton.[2] "BTSTU" was said to be released by Paul's brother and musician A.K. Paul.[3][unreliable source] The song caught the attention of several record companies and a bidding war ensued. Paul eventually signed with XL Recordings later in the year in 2010.[4] In December 2010, BBC long-listed Paul for their Sound of 2011 poll, asserting his style as "a startlingly fresh vision of 21st century pop music".[2]

On 21 April 2011, XL released "BTSTU (Edit)" as a digital download.[5] The single received favorable reviews,[6][7] and was given the title "Hottest Record in the World" by BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe.[8]

On 20 May 2011, Canadian hip hop artist Drake leaked a track titled "Dreams Money Can Buy" via his blog.[9] Shortly afterward, "End of Time", a song by American R&B artist Beyoncé, surfaced online.[10] Both tracks feature a sample of "BTSTU".[11][12][13][14][15] On 30 August 2011, "BTSTU (Edit)" was included on French radio station Radio Nova's "Nova Tunes 2.4" compilation,[16] and on 25 October the track appeared on Annie Mac’s compilation "Annie Mac Presents 2011" (incorrectly listed as "BTSU").[17]


On 30 March 2012, Paul released a new demo titled "Jasmine" via his personal SoundCloud page.[18] The demo was given an official release via XL on 9 April 2012.[19] Pitchfork featured the song as a "Best New Track"[18] within an hour of its release, and as a result, the track gained 500,000 plays on SoundCloud within a month. On 2 April, Zane Lowe played "Jasmine" on BBC Radio One, who chose it as his "Next Hype Track."[20] On 9 April, Annie Mac named it her "Record of the Week."[21] "Jasmine" received critical acclaim in the media, with The New York Times praising its "Prince era sensuality"[22] and The Guardian describing the production as "amazing."[23] "Jasmine" would also appear in the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V.

Paul also appears on the song "Higher Res" on the deluxe version of Big Boi's 2012 album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. Later in the year, around 25 November 2012, a UK radio station played a new demo from Paul, and a bootleg recording was released on the Internet, titled "Flip Out" by fans.[24][25]

2013 album leak[edit]

On 14 April 2013, an unknown user uploaded an album to Bandcamp that appeared to be a release of music by the artist.[26] Several sources, including Pitchfork, reported that the release posted to Bandcamp was Jai Paul's debut album.[27] Rumors arose about the album being fake. On 15 April 2013, Jai Paul posted on Twitter to confirm that the album is fake, warned not to buy the album, and said that an official statement would be released soon.[28] On 17 April, XL released an official statement:

"As widely reported, on Sunday 14th April, music by XL Recordings artist Jai Paul was illegally made available via a fake Bandcamp account. This music was not uploaded by Jai and it’s not his debut album – it is a collection of various unfinished recordings from Jai’s past. Neither XL nor Jai will take any money from the sale of this music. We have been working with Bandcamp and PayPal [Bandcamp’s payment services provider] to resolve this situation and they have told us all purchases will be refunded within the next 7 days."

According to Fader editor Owen Meyers, this unfinished music came from a personal laptop that was stolen from Paul.[29]

Despite the being an unofficial release, the album was ranked highly in year-end lists, at number 32 in the music blog Pretty Much Amazing's "40 Best Albums of 2013,"[30] number 28 in The Guardian's "Best Albums of 2013,"[31] and number 20 in Pitchfork's "Top 50 Albums of 2013".[32]

More recently, the leak was recognized in "The 100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far," a list published by Pitchfork in August 2014.[33]


In an interview with Dazed in June 2014, XL producer Rodaidh McDonald revealed that he had been working with Paul on new music.[34] In November, Miguel posted a photo of himself with Jai Paul and his brother A.K. Paul on Instagram, marking a rare appearance from the artist.[35]


In March 2016, Jai and his brother A.K. Paul announced a new project christened "the Paul Institute".[36] This was accompanied by the release of the single "Landcruisin'", a song by A.K. Paul, via text messages and a website.[citation needed]

Relationship with media and industry[edit]

There has been media speculation about Paul's background and motivation, as he has remained out of the public eye, and his professional music career has not followed convention thus far. British publication Clash commented on Paul's 'mysteriousness', saying, "Hype is a fascinating commodity. Where some quickly melt down the attention for liquid purpose, promising talent Jai Paul removed all his music from MySpace and went to get his shit together".[37] XL Recordings founder and owner Richard Russell acknowledged Paul's unpredictability, saying, "Jai is a wizard...the way he's going about things is, I think for many, baffling. But...he's going about things in the most Jai Paul way you could possibly go about things. And who knows where that may lead."[38] Guardian writer Michael Cragg (who interviewed Paul in 2011) observes that Paul's enigma "seems genuinely uncontrived – Jai just doesn't seem into the idea of rushing or teasing new material if it isn't ready." [39] More recently, Rolling Stone magazine asked singer Nao (who has collaborated with A. K. Paul) whether the Paul brothers' attitude was intentionally "mysterious", answering: "I get the impression from working with them not that they're intentionally cagey but that they're quite perfectionists with their music ... they're okay with taking their time as well. They're not tapped into the industry in that way and I don't know if they give a shit." She added "They're normal guys that are trying to find their own route without playing the game."[40]



Year Title Peak Chart Positions Album
UK UK Indie
2011 "BTSTU" 139
2012 "Jasmine (demo)"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.


  1. ^ New Signing – Jai Paul, Chrysalis Music News. Retrieved on 18 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b Sound of 2011 – Jai Paul, BBC Music website. Retrieved on 18 December 2010.
  3. ^ "BTSTU". nogenremusic.com. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "Jai Paul". allmusic.com. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "BTSTU (Edit) – Single by Jai Paul". Itunes.apple.com. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "The Playlist: Jai Paul – "BTSTU (Edit)"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Cragg, Michael (22 April 2011). "New music: Jai Paul – BTSTU | Music | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Lowe, Zane. "Zane Lowe's Hottest Records blog: Hottest Record – Jai Paul – BTSTU". BBC. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "Drake Leaks New Song". Mtv.co.uk. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Beyonce "Till the End of Time" MP3". Thefader.com. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "Listen: Drake Raps Over Jai Paul on New Track". Pitchfork. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  12. ^ "Drake – Dreams Money Can Buy (feat Jai Paul)". ABEANO. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  13. ^ "Drake Debuts "Dreams Money Can Buy" Off His Upcoming Take Care Album (Updated)". MissInfo.tv. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "Beyoncé's End of Time sample of Jai Paul's BTSTU". WhoSampled. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "From Drake to Beyonce, Is Jai Paul a Famous Songwriter in the Making?". Desihits.com. 25 May 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "Nova Tunes 2.4". Discogs. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "Annie Mac Presents 2011". play.com. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  18. ^ a b "Jai Paul: "Jasmine"". Pitchfork. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Jasmine (Demo) – Single by Jai Paul". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  20. ^ "Zane Lowe". BBC.co.uk. 5 April 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  21. ^ "Annie Mac". BBC.co.uk. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "New Releases". New York Times. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  23. ^ "New Music: Jai Paul – Jasmine (demo)". The Guardian. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  24. ^ "Jai Paul - 'Flip Out' (Demo)". The 405. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  25. ^ "New: Jai Paul - Flip Out [DEMO] - Crack in the Road". Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  26. ^ "Jai Paul". Bandcamp. 13 April 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "Download Jai Paul's Self-Titled Debut Album". Pitchfork. 13 April 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  28. ^ https://twitter.com/jai_paul/status/323775821561090049
  29. ^ "Jai Paul's album leaked from stolen laptop". Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  30. ^ "PMA's 40 Best Albums of 2013". Pretty Much Amazing. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  31. ^ "Best albums of 2013: 30–21". The Guardian. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  32. ^ "Pitchfork – The Top 50 Albums of 2013". Pitchfork. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  33. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far (2010-2014)". Pitchfork. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  34. ^ "The xx and Jai Paul Working on New Music, Producer Rodaidh McDonald Confirms". Pitchfork. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  35. ^ "Elusive Jai Paul Surfaces on Miguel's Instagram". Pitchfork. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  36. ^ http://pitchfork.com/news/64287-jai-paul-and-brother-ak-paul-launch-new-project-paul-institute/
  37. ^ "Electronic Talents #5: Jai Paul". Clash Music. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  38. ^ "New Music: A Record Label With The Midas Touch". NPR. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  39. ^ "New music: Jai Paul – Jasmine (demo)". theguardian.com. 2 April 2012. 
  40. ^ "Meet Nao, Avant-R&B Star Moving From Back-Up Singer Shadows". rollingstone.com. 29 July 2016. 

External links[edit]