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REPORT SEAN PAUL


Singing it how it is –damn straight!


Grammy award-winning dancehall artist Sean Paul is back in full force following the release of new album Tomahawk Technique, featuring collaborations with Alexis Jordan and Kelly Rowland. We get down with the singer and put questions from you guys...


Does your label ever ask you tone down the patios in your lyrics? No, but I’ve had producers try. I did a song with Akon, which hasn’t come out yet, which is straight English, singing; it’s a great song. To try things like that is the next step for me: I’ve been doing this 16 years, spitting in people’s ears, letting them try to figure out what I’m saying, and I’ve become so popular, why not reach out some more? I’ve done songs in Spanish to reach out to the Spanish; with a French person singing the hook to reach out to my French audiences; and yeah, Jamaica does, literally, we speak English; it’s just broken English. So why not sing a song straight English? I don’t think the label had to pressure or convince me; it’s not the main part of my career, but I’d like to experiment.


Do you know much about the UK dancehall scene? Not really, to tell the truth. I’ve not been in the UK to perform in so long. Last year I did a performance, but it was cut short because of time. Before was like five years, so I’ve been out of the scene, even though people been hearing me on the radio and TV. Being in the streets I haven’t touched much on this; it’s about time I do. Performing in Hackney, touch base with certain peeps, see what’s up.


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Where’s the future of dancehall? In the past 15 years it’s definitely gotten bigger; there are more players, more producers. Unfortunately, the music business has been selling less – I’m not just talking dancehall – that’s put a dampener on broadening our industry. Dancehall is and has been one of the world’s most underground music. It plays in a lot of clubs all over the world, but we weren’t always represented on TV and radio. People like myself found formulas to be headliners of dancehall. We have more talented artists and producers coming out, showing they are very creative and have marks to make on the business, so I see dancehall as still growing.


How big is dancehall’s influence? We’re 10 times bigger than we were 10 years ago. We’re still a growing music and a force to be reckoned with. Our influence is definitely visible and felt in many genres of music, even rap. Certain things Rihanna is doing, Nicki Minaj and all these cats – it’s definitely influenced by certain stuff dancehall’s been doing.


Who is the next big thing? Unfortunately a lot of our artists get locked down, it’s crazy! Busy Signal is a very keen lyricist. I think he’s a great lyricist, so big up to Busy. Another big lyricist is locked up at home, Vybz Kartel. People like Aidonia is coming up, very crazy lyricist, amazing new type of style. People like Assassin. These guys are the lyrical technicians I’m looking forward to seeing step up a lot more.


Visit www.allseanpaul.com


MUSIC


Words: Antonia Nyanzi


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