Sean Paul said producers should make dancehall So it’s sounding more international than dancehall
Bangalore fell in love with Sean Paul over the weekend and why not, when the artiste ensured he sang and performed his best hits to an expectant audience that gobbled up all the love and great music! But all said and done, the artiste stayed true to his dancehall sound. DNA caught up with the Jamaican crooner to find out more about his personal style and here are some excerpts from that interview...
You are often called the biggest name behind dancehall music, do you accept this tag and how did it all happen?
Woah. I didn’t really know that I was considered ‘The Man!’ I like the sound of it. Reggae is in Jamaican blood, so dancehall is something which is not out of my league. I have done everything I can in dancehall music. In my present album, Tomahawk Technique, I branched out as far as the producers I worked with. I noticed that of late a lot of pop music has had dancehall influences, so I asked some big name producers like StarGate, Rico Love, DJ Ammo and Benny Blanco to make their interpretation of a dancehall beat. I’ve done everything else I can do in dancehall, the hit songs, every award there is to get, songs about different topics!
You have been collaborating with a lot of pop artistes recently. Do you think collaborations work better than singles?
I’ve always said two is better than one. Collaborating helps creative exchanges happen and helps take the tempo to a different level altogether. That is the reason why for Tomahawk Technique I got producers (those I mentioned earlier) outside the reggae game to get them to make dancehall from their perspective. And I’m producing and voicing for Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Spragga Benz — for the biggest artistes dancehall has ever seen. It is all about putting up the balancing act. I have however noticed that most of my biggest hits are with women artistes — Blu Cantrell, Beyoncé, Keyshia Cole, Alexis Jordan. So, it’s all about the chemistry and I am a lucky man. Collaboration is the best way to expand.
That said, your best collaboration, so far…
Like I said, I am voicing for the biggest artistes dancehall has ever seen and collaborating with people such as Future Fambo and I have many favourites. I would call it an eclectic mix when I worked with StarGate and Rico Love. One of my recent favourites would be the dancehall track, How Deep Is Your Love with Kelly Rowland. It is altogether a different concept and approach. I did a tour with her last year in Australia and it kind of just clicked. I like this collaboration thing.How has Jamaican culture and music influenced your personal style?
It is Jamaica, the place that has evolved this music for all these years. There is this thing about reggae — the unique bouncing music with the sticky beat and the emphasis on percussion and bass formed out of mento, rocksteady and ska. It is something you can do and of course, seeing Jamaican men like Alton Ellis, Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Desmond Dekker has been too much of an inspiration.Dance music is getting really big today. What are your thoughts on it becoming the biggest international trend right now and can we expect some ‘dance music’ from you soon?
I have reached a point where I don’t have to prove myself to anybody in dancehall or reggae music. I’m up there with the best of them, so right now I’m just expanding. I’m trying to bridge the gap, broaden my artistry. I’m asking the producers to try and make dancehall from their perspective. So it’s sounding more international than dancehall — so, maybe