Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Sean Paul

Ever since his impressive single debut "Baby Girl" in the spring of 1996 for producer Jeremy Harding on the 2 Hard Records label, Sean Paul has captured the eyes and ears of the Dancehall community as "...the one to watch". Born to a Portuguese-Jamaican father and a Chinese-Jamaican mother, Sean Paul Henriques grew up known to his friends as the "copper- color Chiney bwoy...", excelling in sports in his teen years. Sean played water polo for the Jamaica National team as well as representing his country in swimming in the 1989 and 1991 Carifta Games. However his love for the arts was fostered at an earlier age by his mother, a well noted Jamaican painter. "When I was 13 years old , my mother got me this little thirty dollar keyboard. I remember thinking that this was all I needed to make dancehall riddims!" Nonetheless, it wasn't until 1993 that the then aspiring dancehall DJ from St. Andrew got his introduction to the music business through musicians Carrot Jarret, Cat Coore and Bunny Rugs from Third World, as well as producers Rupert Bent and Paul Castick.

"I am very grateful to those musicians for giving me my first exposure to the business. But I wasn't really feeling the direction they were going in. Dancehall was really the right avenue for me to express myself, to get people to hear me out about how I saw the world". With a style and voice reminiscent of the great Super Cat, the 26 year old DJ also credits Major Worries, Shabba Ranks, Lt. Stitchie and Papa San as heavy musical influences. After a string of hits such as "Infiltrate" and "Hackle Mi" for producer Jeremy Harding , "Nah get no Bly (One More Try)" for producer Donavon Germain, and "Deport Them" and "Excite Me" for producer Tony Kelly, Sean Paul is currently enjoying the success of "Hot Gal Today" with Mr. Vegas on producers Steely and Clevie's "Streetsweeper" riddim. Sean also appears on the cut "Here Comes the Boom" with Mr.Vegas and rap artiste DMX on the soundtrack to video director Hype Williams' debut film "Belly" on Def Jam Records.

With his debut album for VP Records on the way this fall, Sean Paul says despite his achievements, he still feels like a rookie. "I'm still working on my career, still trying to learn from other artistes and develop my skills and my style. The world still hasn't seen the best of Sean Paul." The DJ has appeared on most of the major music festivals including Sting, Reggae Sunsplash, Reggae Sumfest and Reggae SuperJam, as well as showcases in Great Britain , the Caribbean, and numerous US club and arena venues. Sean has also started his own record label, Bassline Records, to sharpen his production chops and make a greater impact on the reggae industry.

"Not enough time is put into the full production of Dancehall. The talent is there, but we have to look at the rest of the world as a marketplace as well, not just Jamaica. People should stop just trying to make a quick buck and develop the music. Then reggae can move forward again." Sean Paul standing tall...


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