Update 4/17/13: In a statement to Pitchfork, Jai Paul’s longtime label XL said: “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 or Jai will take any money from the sale of this music. We have been working with Bandcamp and PayPal to resolve this situation and they have told us all purchases will be refunded within the next 7 days.” We’re still curious about Jai Paul’s take on things, though.
Update 4/15/13: The album has been removed from the Bandcamp page—though it’s still streaming below—and was briefly replaced with a track called “___(Demo),” which carries the description “NOT A JAI PAUL RELEASE.” It didn’t especially sound like a Jai Paul release.
Update 4/15/13: It seems this was all too good to be true,
though the music has oddly not been taken down yet. This morning Jai Paul tweeted his first tweet: “To confirm: demos on bandcamp were not uploaded by me, this is not my debut album. Please don’t buy. Statement to follow later. Thanks, Jai.” An A&R named Nadia Moon says “someone nicked his laptop.”
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Six years since Jai Paul recorded the demo for “BTSU,” and three years since signing to XL Records, the Rayners Lane-based enigmatic pop mastermind has surprise-uploaded what is presumably his debut LP to Bandcamp, where you can hear it in full and buy it for ₤7. In an interview with NPR last year, XL label owner Richard Russell said, “The way [Jai Paul is] going about things is, I think for many, baffling. But it’s how he’s going about things, and as such it can only be right because it’s his way of doing it.” Apparently, and god bless him for it. The record consists of 16 untitled tracks, one of which—track nine—is a fully-formed version of his 2012 demo “Jasmine.”
It’s worth pointing out that XL has yet to publicly acknowledge the album, which could either suggest something fishy afoot or simply be keeping slyly consistent with Paul’s atypical “way of going about things.” Crack in the Road, the blog that discovered the release’s existence, has linked the upload to Jai Paul’s email address. In any case, the album’s origins and officialness seem like something of a technicality: for the first time in history you can own 40 minutes of Jai Paul’s music, and Jai Paul seems to be getting paid for it.