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Jay Sean is up with 'Down'

By Shanon Cook, CNN
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Getting 'down' with Jay Sean
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • British R&B star Jay Sean had No. 1 hit with "Down"
  • Singer dropped out of medical school
  • Jay Sean, who has Indian roots, is already huge in South Asia
RELATED TOPICS
  • Lil' Wayne
  • R&B
  • United Kingdom

New York (CNN) -- Jay Sean's hit "Down" is prompting people to boogie in unexpected places.

In one of the latest viral videos to rock the YouTube-sphere, the staff of a Portland, Oregon, hospital wear pink gloves and dance their stethoscopes off to the song to raise awareness for breast cancer.

It's quite fitting, given that Sean dropped out of medical school in his native London, England, to chase a music career.

"Down," which features rapper Lil Wayne, has been a massive welcome-to-the-U.S. anthem for the 26-year-old, who had already built a sizeable audience in his homeland. It topped the Billboard 100 chart twice in October and has locked in more than 2 million digital downloads.

Last week Sean dropped his U.S. debut album "All or Nothing" on Lil Wayne's label, Cash Money Records.

Some nuggets from his chat with CNN.com:

You say tomato ...

Sean might be down with being one of Lil Wayne's pals, but don't think he's mastered how to sound cool saying the rapper's name with a British accent: "I can't say it! I say 'little' Wayne and it makes him sound cute as opposed to a gangster."

When asked if Wayne seemed blasé about serving his upcoming prison term for gun charges, Sean says that Wayne is blasé about a lot of things: "He's just seen it all and done it all. He's seen so much in his life. He's got all the money, he's had all the girls. I think all that drives him is to stay on top. So he's looking at this like, 'Oh OK, let's get this out of the way and get back to work.' "

A salute to his roots

Sean, whose real name is Kamaljit Singh Jhooti, grew up in the UK, though his ancestors are from India (you'll hear the influences in some of his music). He has a massive following in South Asia .

When we caught up with Sean, he was hosting a TV program for AVS, a South Asian television network based in the United States: "That's the scene I grew from, so it's really nice to do something like that for them, because they're so superproud about what's going on [with my career at the moment]."

Hip-hop flip-flop

While Sean has positioned himself as an R&B smoothie (check out his second single "Do You Remember?"), his first musical love was hip-hop: "I'm talking hard hip-hop, like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Lords of the Underground. I was 10 years old and I'd try to emulate it. But of course that fascination went into R&B and that's when I really started to find myself as an artist."

Would he rap now? "Not really. I get drunk and freestyle sometimes, but I'm never gonna do that in front of Cash Money or Lil Wayne. Ever. I'd be making a fool of myself if I thought I was a rapper."