One of the most popular voices on the club music charts, Sean Paul doesn’t believe in diversifying his tunes for the sake of it. Here, the Jamaican artiste says he will continue to reinvent and belt out the best in foot-thumping dancehall reggae till the time it reverberates through the farthest corners of the world.
You’ve been described as a dancehall, reggae, hip hop rapper. Do you agree?
I see myself as a messenger who is helping to bridge the gap, bring recognition to dancehall reggae and introduce newer musical styles to the world of entertainment. My impact is not only my impact; it’s people like Buju Banton and Shabba Ranks who helped me pave the way. The influence that dancehall has had on popular music culture is immense.
All your songs are upbeat and groovy. Is it a reflection of your personality?
Mostly, my message in music is to party and get with the ladies. I think that music should reflect life. I don’t think you should try to do what everyone else is doing. My message is to have fun before life is over.
Bailando is still topping charts across countries. How did the collaboration with Enrique come about?
Yes, it’s crazy. We reached out to over 30 countries. It was Latin and dance-oriented music so Enrique felt that I could do justice to it. I’ve done a lot of experimental work for my genre and to still be noticed is an amazing feeling.
You recently left your record label to become an independent artiste. Have things changed?
I’ve been trying to blend dancehall music with what’s popular right now. A lot of people have done certain flavours of dancehall, but there’s more things to listen to now. There’s trap music, techno is back, and I wanted to blend stuff with that. For the music to grow it means more pie for the people involved.
Your dream collaboration?
I would like to work with anyone in the business who wants to give respect back to the Jamaican vibe. I wanted to work with No Doubt. No Doubt was a big, big thing for me and I missed it. I was upset. I didn’t get to meet them while they were in Jamaica at all. I’ve been a fan of theirs since Don’t Speak.
What is the greatest compliment you’ve received from a fan?
One of the songs titled Hold On that I dedicated to Usain Bolt for his Olympics performance actually inspired a fan. He came over to Jamaica, flew a thousand miles just to thank me and tell me how that song changed his life forever. It was quite touching.