London singer/producer/songwriter Jai Paul grew into a highly influential artist on the strength of only a few properly released singles and some pirated demos that were widely distributed amongst ravenous fans. Coming out of the Myspace era with a sound that incorporated both smooth R&B falsetto vocals and scattered, beat-forward production, an early demo led to a contract with XL Recordings. After his songs made the rounds in an unofficial capacity in 2013, Paul largely disappeared from public view until 2019, when he returned with new music and commercially released his stolen demos as Leak 04-13 (Bait Ones).
Jai Paul grew up in northwest London and was making music regularly by the time he was a teenager. Drawing from both J Dilla's collage esthetic and a long line of bedroom producers, the young artist developed a futuristic take on pop music all his own. A demo for his song "BTSTU" slowly caught on through BBC airplay and critical coverage online in the start of the 2010s. He signed a deal with XL Recordings in 2010, already at the vanguard of a new era of pop production. Tracks by superstar artists like Drake and Beyoncé soon showed up with samples of Jai Paul's sole track, furthering his notoriety. In 2012, he released a new song, "Jasmine (Demo)," online. In 2013, 16 tracks of unreleased Jai Paul music appeared online out of nowhere, mysteriously uploaded as untitled files by an unknown source. These unfinished tracks, touted as a leak of his debut album, were unauthorized and possibly even the product of a laptop stolen from Paul himself. He issued a statement urging fans to not download or purchase the songs, but the damage was already done. The partially cooked tracks took on a life of their own for listeners, and Paul, who had always been slow-working and private, all but disappeared from the public eye for the next six years.
In 2019, he returned, officially issuing the pirated tracks from 2013 as Leak 04-13 (Bait Ones) along with the release of two brand-new tracks, "He" and "Do You Love Her Now." ~ Fred Thomas