Sean Paul, Exclusive Video Interview

16 March 2006

Sean Paul - Exclusive Video Interview

Sean Paul - Exclusive Video Interview

The worldwide ambassador of dancehall reggae, Sean Paul is back with THE TRINITY, the highly anticipated follow-up to his six-million-selling, Grammy-winning breakthrough album, DUTTY ROCK.

Looking back from this moment in 2005, it's easy to forget that just a few years ago, raw uncut Jamaican dancehall was still considered "underground" music. It is hard to remember a time when hip-hop stars were not rocking Rasta colours and R&B idols were not jumping on reggae beats. But that is the way it was just a few years back, before Sean Paul's landmark DUTTY ROCK (VP/Atlantic) changed the game.

"We flip the switch and the game just change," as Sean rhymes on the new album. "Dutty Cup music drive them insane." And now it's time for him to "Change The Game" all over again.

The music scene has not been the same since Kingston, Jamaica-born Sean Paul Henriques blazed a firestorm of hit tunes – from 'Gimme The Light' to 'Get Busy' to 'Like Glue' – that went straight from the hardcore dancehall audience to the international market with no remix required. Then came Sean's massive duets, 'Baby Boy' (with Beyoncé), 'Breathe' (with Blu Cantrell) and 'I'm Still In Love With You' (with Sasha), which kept the flame burning bright and swelled the ranks of believers even more. Carrying on the work of dancehall superstars like Yellowman, Shabba Ranks, Super Cat, and Beenie Man in bringing the infectious sound of the Kingston streets to a wider audience, Sean Paul proved once and for all that authentic Jamaican dancehall reggae could be embraced as popular music on a global scale.

Besides containing five smash singles, DUTTY ROCK was certified RIAA double-platinum in the United States and sold nearly six million copies worldwide with UK sales amounting to almost 900, 000 copies. In the wake of the album's groundbreaking success, Sean racked up numerous prestigious awards, including the Grammy for Best Reggae Album – redefining the category in the process – along with nominations in the Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best New Artist categories. He won MTV Europe's Best New Artist Award, while earning MTV Video Music Award and American Music Award nominations. He gathered multiple ASCAP/PRS kudos in pop, R&B, hip-hop, rap, and reggae categories, and earned Source, MOBO, Juno, Much Music, and International Reggae and World Music awards.

Sean Paul represented Jamaica on numerous television programs around the world and became the first reggae artist to appear on the cover of VIBE magazine, dressed in the national colours. He 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. The amazing part is that nobody saw it coming, not even Sean himself.

"Sometimes I almost have to sit down and ask myself, 'Did we really do all that?'" says Sean, posted up behind the mixing board inside the Kingston headquarters of 2 Hard Productions. "Almost six million records sold? That's crazy! Years ago that was just a dream. Well, it's time to make it happen again."

With THE TRINITY, Sean Paul's set to do that and then some. Working with some of the hottest young producers on the Jamaican dancehall circuit – Steven "Lenky" Marsden, Don Corleone, Renaissance Crew, and Snowcone, to name a few – Sean spent three years completing his third album. And although many of the biggest names in hip-hop wanted to work with him, Sean is proud to say that, "it was all done in the Third World." Hence, the album's title THE TRINITY - a spiritual concept that signifies a unity of three in one. Sean possesses an almost supernatural ability to create irresistible hooks that can fill up any dance floor.

Maybe that's why the ladies love them some Sean Paul. "As the world turns and as time burns, girl you know I'm gonna be there," Sean pledges on "Ever Blazin'," a track that reunites him with Lenky, producer of his number one smash, "Get Busy." Lenky's dreamy "Masterpiece" riddim provides the backdrop as Sean testifies about "a love that's never-ending." On the old-school dancehall romp "Yardie Bone," Sean joins forces with rising dancehall star Wayne Marshall, spitting game in full papi chulo mode. "Internationally speaking," as Sean puts it, "we got the girls them tweaking."

The Latin fan base has had Sean's back from day one, and he has always shown love in return, even releasing a Spanish version of "Punkie" on his last album. Since then, the Spanish-language dancehall hybrid known as reggaetón has become muy caliente on urban radio. "I see reggaetón as another cousin to reggae music," says Sean, who teamed up with Puerto Rican sensation Daddy Yankee for a track on THE TRINITY. Sean 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 wish them all the best, and I definitely represent with them," he says. "But I'm not gonna change my style for anybody. I'm a dancehall artist all the way."

THE TRINITY finds Sean Paul doing what he has always done best. "You done know we got to take care of the ladies," he says," and I'm still giving you those party vibes." But this time out he is also expanding his artistic reach with a marked growth in terms of composition and production. 'Gimme The Light' had like two verses and a chorus," Sean observes. "Most of these songs have three verses with a bridge part coupled and also, there is a deepness in 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. Cause we reach a place where all over the world, people are just tired of that. And we still wanna live life.

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