|Birth name||Jasbinder Singh Mann|
24 April 1970|
Dudley, West Midlands
|Instruments||Vocals, bass guitar, piano, drums, bells|
Jasbinder Singh "Jas" Mann (born 24 April 1971) is a British songwriter, musician, singer, record producer and film producer. He was lead singer of Babylon Zoo, known for their 1996 single "Spaceman" and top five album Boy with the X-ray Eyes. He has produced/distributed over 20 features films, including the BAFTA winning documentary The Imposter and was executive producer of Simon Pegg's Fantastic Fear of Everything.
He was born in 1971, Dudley, West Midlands, England, to a Punjabi Indian father and a mother of Sioux descent. Mann formed his first band at the age of 15 with friend Adam Toussaint called The Glove Puppets, and personally funded a 7" vinyl single, sold through local record shops in 1987.
The Sandkings, another Wolverhampton band with a strong following, were keen to sign Mann as their vocalist, and he joined them in 1988. The Sandkings, named after a 1981 collection of sci-fi short stories by George R. R. Martin, released seven singles and an EP with Mann between 1988 and 1992 as well as an album. They were moderately successful, scoring three Top 10 hits in the UK indie single chart.
In 1993, a three-track demo from Mann's next project Babylon Zoo earned him a contract from Phonogram Records. In 1996 Levi's used "Spaceman", their first single, for a TV advert after hearing the song on a UK radio station. An album entitled The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes was produced at Mann's New Atlantis Productions music/artwork/video centre. It was released in 1996 and peaked at No. 6 in the album chart, though it did not match the success of "Spaceman". The following two singles both achieved top 20 status. Three years later, 1999, a follow up album was released entitled King Kong Groover. Its single "All the Money's Gone" reached the top 40. The album did not chart well, suffering from poor promotion from their record label, EMI, and from little press coverage.
In 2004, Mann staged a competition in which he asked fans to sum up their lives in one word, which he would then write into the song lyrics of his new album. In 2005, he announced he would be issuing the new Babylon Zoo album, Cold Clockwork Doll, although this has yet to be released.
In 2008 Mann co-founded the Indomina Group, a vertically integrated independent studio, based in Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic, as well as Pinewood Indomina Studios in the Dominican Republic. Production of the live action Afro Samurai film with Samuel L. Jackson was announced in 2011, but Jas sold his ownership to the Vicini Group after a big investment from the IFC. Indomina shut its US office to relocate full operations to the Dominican Republic. Virgin Mobile and Virgin Atlantic have operated successfully in the Indian region for years. Now, a tie-up between the Hollywood production and distribution company Virgin Produced.
Mann is also a Board member of the children's charity 'International Child Art Foundation', providing arts programming in schools that inspire creativity and empathy. https://www.icaf.org/about/
- Betts, Graham (2004) Collins Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004, Collins, ISBN 978-0007179312, p. 47
- "India today, Volume 21". India Today. Living Media. 21. 1996.
Mann's father is from Pun jab and his mother a native American. Literally Apache Indian, what?
- Donnell, Alison (2013) Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415862509, p. 23
- "Babylon Zoo | Biography, Albums, & Streaming Radio | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
- "What's happened to Babylon Zoo?". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
- "CCUK". Retrieved 2016-07-14.[dead link]
- Goldstein, Gregg (2011) "Freshman ‘Dance", variety.com, 20 January 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2016
- Adams, Nathan (2011-07-21). "Samuel L. Jackson is Bringing 'Afro Samurai' to Live Action — Film School Rejects". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
- "Indomina Group". ifcext.ifc.org. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
- Yamato, Jen (2013-01-30). "Indomina Shutters Distribution Unit And Lays Off 15 In LA Office". Retrieved 2016-07-14.
- Reporter, Lisa Tsering, Staff. "Virgin Enters Bollywood with 'Virgin Produced India'". Retrieved 2016-07-14.