1883 Magazine

Sean Paul is an artist who has managed to maintain his momentum for over two decades now. Born-and-raised in Jamaica, the dancehall artist first gained regional popularity with his debut ‘Baby Girl’ back in 1996 and, ultimately, world-wide recognition ‘Stage One’ which includes the legendary hit single ‘Deport Them’. Stating Jamaican legend Bob Marley as his main influence, Sean Paul’s sound shows strong influences of Reggae yet his main musical style represents the genre of Dancehall.

To this date, the Grammy-winning artist has worked on chart-topping singles with the likes of Beyonce, Sia, Clean Bandit, Dua Lipa – the list goes on and on.  No matter what genre, or what kind of artist: Everything Sean Paul touches undoubtedly turns into a hit song, all around the world. We spoke to the hitmaker and talked about Stefflon Don, Mad Love The Prequel and how he manages to stay relevant in an ever-changing music scene.

You seem to be collaborating with everyone these days! How do you decide who to collaborate with?

It’s all about the song and the rythm. I like collaborating with young artists. I have worked with Sasha on ‘I’m Still In Love’, I have worked with Beyoncé on ‘Baby Boy’ but I also work with up and coming artists. If the track is great then I am about it. People call me, they hit me up and if it’s a good opportunity and the time is right then why not.

You also just released a new project, which features one of the UK’s hottest newcomer Stefflon Don – how did the collaboration come about?

Stefflon Don has great talent. Her 16 Shots song is great. We have recently mentioned to work together. She is really special, we met in a studio in London and kind of have more tracks together. She is very beautiful, and her roots are also from Jamaica. I’m really looking forward to working more with her and waving the Jamaican flag.

Are there any other UK artists you have your eye on regarding working together?

Yes, with Rita Ora I am trying to finish a track. It’s amazing, it has a different type of sound as we have different ideas. We still have to develop the song.

Let’s dig deeper into your project Mad Love The Prequel – how long did the project take you to put together?
It took me one year and a half, there will be an album in the next few months. I didn’t finish the prequel so it was to give people an insight in what’s to come. The sequel will have the right people on it. It has a few African artists on it, but it still represents Jamaica.

Obviously you’ve been releasing music for almost two decades now, and you’re still relevant, and still stayed true to your sound. How do you manage staying relevant?

The Jamaican language is one way to make it easy to keep the sound. My ears are staying to the ground, I have put out a lot of songs and some make the album, some don’t. I don’t have a secret, I just work hard. Hip Hop and Dancehall are my favourite. I stay aware of what is going on, I check out new music all the time.

I feel like everything you touch turns into a hit single immediately. What is your approach when you’re about to record a new song? How do you know which song works for a release?

The song has to move me, there has to be a rythm. Otherwise it has no big deal. When I work on a song with other people I have to hear the rythm, if you can wine up on a girl with it, or if you can cling onto it. The rythm has to be a feeling to set me back to it.

You have come a long way ever since you dropped your hit singles Deport Dem, Get Busy or Like Glue! How would you say have you developed yourself throughout all these years?

As an artist I was writing just to get to people’s ears. I’m also producing myself and work with a lot of other Jamaican artists. It’s that I’m both artist and producer which has contributed.
I see you’re doing shows in quite a few UK cities this year. Every time I saw you live there was always an incredible energy in the venue – what is your secret recipe to making your live shows so energetic and memorable?

I just make the most out of it. The most important thing is euphoria. I’m very energetic because of training and fitness, it’s physically hard work. With UK shows, and European shows I get into the performance without expecting validation but that adds excitement. When the crowd is jumping down it creates an electric feeling, there is nothing like it. This year I’m not touring as much as last year due to personal reasons. I’m around my family more and I’m working on the album.  

For the latest on Sean Paul visit www.allseanpaul.com

Interview Antonia Künzel

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