Jas Mann

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Jas Mann
Birth nameJasbinder Singh Mann
Born (1971-04-24) 24 April 1971 (age 51)
Dudley, Staffordshire, England
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • film producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass guitar, piano
Years active1986–present
LabelsNew Atlantis/EMI

Jasbinder Singh "Jas" Mann (Punjabi: ਜਸਵਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਮੱਨ, born 24 April 1971)[1] 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 No. 6 album The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes.

Early life[edit]

He was born in 1971, Dudley, West Midlands, England, to a Punjabi Indian father and a mother of Sioux descent.[2][3] 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.[citation needed]

The Sandkings were the opening act for Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses in the early 1990s, but Mann left the band because of creative differences.[4]

Babylon Zoo[edit]

The single "Spaceman" charted at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart, in January 1996 after appearing on a Levi's commercial, selling 420,000 copies in its first week. It became the fastest selling single in the United Kingdom in over thirty years, since The Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love". "Spaceman" became a number one chart hit in 23 countries, including the United Kingdom. As of November 2012, "Spaceman" was the 74th best selling single in the history of the United Kingdom, selling 1.14 million copies. Critic Jon Savage wrote, "Staring into the cameras, as sexy/strange as Mick Jagger in 1965, Mann cast the nation under his spell."[5]

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 Albums Chart The following two singles charted in the UK top 40: "Animal Army" (No. 17) and "The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes" (No. 32). 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.

After "Spaceman"[edit]

Mann appeared on the "Drugs" episode of 1997 comedy series Brass Eye, which, according to Steven Wells of NME, "stretched [Mann] out over the ant hill of self-parody and left him to die". Wells dubbed him "a puffed-up one-hit wonder" who had exasperated the public by giving interviews in which he claimed "to be possessed of a staggering talent".[6] Multiple mainstream outlets besides NME have dubbed Babylon Zoo a "one-hit wonder";[4][7][8][9][10] BBC America's Fraser McAlpine ranked them among the "10 Greatest British One-Hit Wonders".[7] Justin Myers of the Official Charts Company argued that the band's two further UK top 40 singles absolve them of the "one-hit wonder" label.[11]

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.[12] In 2005, he announced he would be issuing the new Babylon Zoo album, Cold Clockwork Doll, although this has yet to be released.[13]

In 2008 Mann co-founded the Indomina Group, an independent studio based in Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic, as well as Pinewood Indomina Studios in the Dominican Republic.[14] Mann sold his ownership to the Vicini Group after an investment from the IFC,[15] and Indomina shut its US office to relocate full operations to the Dominican Republic.[16] Indomina distributed the 2012 films The Imposter (2012)[17] and A Fantastic Fear of Everything.[18]

Mann is also a board member of the children's charity International Child Art Foundation, providing arts programming in schools.[19]

In 2013 Mann co-founded Virgin Produced India, a film production company in partnership with the Virgin Group.[20]


  1. Betts, Graham (2004) Collins Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004, Collins, ISBN 978-0007179312, p. 47
  2. "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?
  3. Donnell, Alison (2013) Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415862509, p. 23
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sutton, Michael. "Babylon Zoo: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  5. Savage, Jon (Summer 1996). "Ziggy Redux: Jon Savage on Babylon Zoo". Artforum. pp. 32–33. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  6. 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)
  7. 7.0 7.1 McAlpine, Fraser. "10 Greatest British One-Hit Wonders". BBC America. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  8. "What's happened to Babylon Zoo?". The Scotsman. 15 February 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  9. Hayes, Jim (28 January 2015). "The top ten chart this week in 1996". Irish Independent. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  10. Lewis, Anna (12 April 2017). "The guy from Babylon Zoo is a real-life grown-up now". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  11. Myers, Justin (2 February 2017). "Flashback to 1996: Babylon Zoo at Number 1 and the birth of TFI Friday". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  12. "What's happened to Babylon Zoo?". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  13. "CCUK". Retrieved 14 July 2016.[dead link]
  14. Goldstein, Gregg (2011) "Freshman Dance", variety.com, 20 January 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2016
  15. "Indomina Group". ifcext.ifc.org. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  16. Yamato, Jen (30 January 2013). "Indomina Shutters Distribution Unit And Lays Off 15 In LA Office". Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  17. "Archive » Indomina to uncover The Imposter". Realscreen.com. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  18. "British Council Film: A Fantastic Fear of Everything". Film.britishcouncil.org. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  19. [1]
  20. Tsering, Lisa (19 November 2013). "Virgin Enters Bollywood with 'Virgin Produced India' | Global". Indiawest.com. Retrieved 15 May 2020.

External links[edit]

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