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 UK chart-topping single "Spaceman" and #6 album The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes. He has produced/distributed over 20 feature films, including the BAFTA-winning documentary The Imposter, and was executive producer of Simon Pegg's A Fantastic Fear of Everything.
|Birth name||Jasbinder Singh Mann|
|Born||24 April 1971|
Dudley, West Midlands, England
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, piano|
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 his friend Adam Toussaint; they were called The Glove Puppets. Mann personally funded a 7" vinyl single, sold through local record shops in 1987.
The Sandkings, another Wolverhampton band, enlisted Mann as their vocalist in 1988. The group, 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 scored 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 UK, though it did not match the success of "Spaceman". The following two singles charted in the top 40. Three years later, in 1999, a follow-up album was released entitled King Kong Groover. Neither the album nor its single, "All the Money's Gone", were top 40 entries.
In 1999, NME critic Steven Wells dubbed Mann "a puffed-up one-hit wonder wanker" who had exasperated the public by giving "a shitload of interviews where he more or less claimed to be the Second Coming Of Our Lord Jesus Christ Incarnate and to be possessed of a staggering talent." Wells reported that comedy series Brass Eye "stretched [Mann] out over the ant hill of self-parody and left him to die" in a 1997 appearance.
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 an investment from the IFC. Indomina shut its US office to relocate full operations to the Dominican Republic.
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.
- 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". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- Wells, Steven (23 January 1999). "This week's singles". NME. Archived from the original on 31 August 2000. Retrieved 28 November 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "What's happened to Babylon Zoo?". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
- "CCUK". Retrieved 14 July 2016.[dead link]
- Goldstein, Gregg (2011) "Freshman ‘Dance", variety.com, 20 January 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2016
- Adams, Nathan (21 July 2011). "Samuel L. Jackson is Bringing 'Afro Samurai' to Live Action — Film School Rejects". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
- "Indomina Group". ifcext.ifc.org. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
- Yamato, Jen (30 January 2013). "Indomina Shutters Distribution Unit And Lays Off 15 In LA Office". Retrieved 14 July 2016.