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Sean Paul
Sean Paul needs no formal introduction ~ his very name conjures images of raunchy videos and amazing belly shaking rhythms. Sean made his foray into the music circle way back in 1996 by carrying on the work of dancehall superstars like Yellowman, Shabba Ranks and Super Cat and bringing the infectious sound of the Kingston streets to a wider audience. He believed and went on to prove that authentic Jamaican dancehall reggae could be embraced as popular music on a global scale.

Since his rise to fame, Sean Paul has represented Jamaica on numerous television programs around the world and became the first reggae artist to appear on the cover of VIBE magazine. He traveled widely and took his explosive live show on the road, rocking stadium-sized venues from Vegas to Ethiopia, and then celebrated by visiting the Pyramids of Egypt.

After a gap of three years he’s back with the 17-track album The Trinity, working with some of the hottest young producers on the Jamaican dancehall circuit and Sean is proud to say, “it was all done right here in the Third World.” Hence “trinity,” a spiritual concept that signifies a unity of three in one. It’s been said that three is a magic number, and The Trinity is definitely a blessed piece of work. Sean Paul possesses an almost supernatural ability to create irresistible hooks that can fill up any dance floor.

You started something called reggaetón. Can you tell us what it is?
Sean Paul: Reggaetón is a Spanish-language dancehall hybrid that has become muy caliente on urban radio. I see reggaetón as just another cousin to reggae music. I’ve teamed up with Puerto Rican sensation Daddy Yankee for the title track on my new album. I got to know reggaetón artists like Tego Calderón, Ivy Queen and Don Omar when they were all coming up in New York’s Latin clubs. I definitely represent with them, but I’m not going to change my style for anybody. I’m a dancehall artist all the way.

What is the specialty on this new album?
SP: I like doing what I’ve always done best. I’ve expanded my artistic reach with a marked growth in terms of composition and production. Gimme The Light has two verses and a chorus, while most of these songs have three verses with a bridge part. So there’s growth that way, and also in the deepness of some of the tunes. I can still do songs like Breakout and Give It Up To Me and the hype things for the ladies, but on the more serious side now, you got a song like I’ll Take You There. It’s still a party tune, but there’s a violin on the track that sounds sad to me, and I think it perfectly matches what I’m saying about how we’re all tired of the killing and blood spilling. Because we reach a place where all over the world, people are just tired of that. And we still wanna live life. We still wanna party and socialize and do we thing in a safe environment.
On that note, what would you think about the world today?
SP: Planet Earth seems to be stuck in a state of war and fear. We had 600 people killed in Jamaica in the last six months. I can’t stop talking about it, and I will keep talking about it. This is not Iraq where they’re fighting about oil. Brothers have been fighting and killing each other for a few dollars. It’s madness. The message coming through The Trinity is that even in the darkest times, people have to find a way to enjoy their lives. Life is a gift and you must treasure it. We’re all here for a certain period of time, and we’re definitely gonna leave one day. Butterflies have two weeks, we have sometimes 90 years, sometimes 30. We just don’t know, but we’re definitely going somewhere after this. In the meantime, the important thing is to make the most of the time we have without taking away from anybody else.

You can read the rest of our feature on Sean Paul in the November 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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