Collab with J-Lo adds to Sean Paul’s catalogue

August 28, 2023
Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez
Sean Paul
Sean Paul

Platinum-selling singer and songwriter Sean Paul, who has been nominated for Crossover Artiste of the Year in the Billboard Latin Music Awards, is in demand for collaborations and has done hundreds with artistes from various genres.

Among his collaborators have been artistes such as Blu Cantrell, DMX, Konshens, Damian Marley, Sia, Clean Bandit, Enrique Iglesias, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Pitbull, Kelly Rowland, J. Balvin, Rihanna and Beres Hammond. For Sean Paul, saying yes to a collaboration is oftentimes a no-brainer.

"I often say yes because I love music ... and whatever song sounds good to me. I feel a good collab is great and can add a good vibe, too. Even though J-Lo is a pop icon and actress and all that, I did a song with her recently. Some are real 'poppy', so I can add a nice dancehall sound to it, and some are really raw, so me add a sweeter sound to it," Sean Paul told THE STAR.

He confesed that there have been so many collaborations that he can't even remember all of them, but he does have a favourite.

"From Dutty Cup days to Mr Vegas, to Blu Cantrell and Beyonce days and the list goes on. There is so much to be grateful for. My favourite? I would have to say Rihanna. And that's because at the time, nobody would come to Jamaica to record, really. I would always have to go abroad or they would send it via the Internet. And when she came here, she wanted to taste the pan chicken, she wanted to go to the Bob Marley Museum, which was the first place we took her. We took her to the beach, the club, so it was cool to have another international artiste to just check out the country and see how we do things," he shared.

Break It Off, a song from Rihanna's second studio album, A Girl Like me (2006), featured guest vocals from Sean Paul. Elaborating on his proclivity for collaborations, Sean Paul said that "dancehall in general is a collaborative effort of our music".

"We all have our individual careers and songs that are singles, but during the '90s, or the 'golden years' of dancehall as people like to call it, it was about collabs in terms of with many artistes on one riddim. Plus, back in the days with U-Roy and Big Youth, you had to be versatile and chat on any riddim that they gave you. It was the back of the record ... it was a version, and you had to have something for it. So that versatility leads to great collabs," Sean Paul said.

Quizzed as to why many people want to do collaborations with him, Sean Paul pointed to his success rate.

"There are many songs that couldn't get on the radio like that before I went on it. Bailando (with Enrique Iglesias, Descemer Bueno and Gente De Zona) wasn't doing so well until I went on it. The song with Sia was the same thing. It was a big tune all over, but it needed a radio boost, and when I put my signature on it, it kinda went through. It's not every song that I do go on ... but it seems that way to people, and so a lot of people come check we fi 'di-ver-sa-tile-ity' ... proof inna di puddin," he quipped.

He added that he was "very honoured" to be selected for one of the nominees for Billboard Latin Music Awards, which takes place on October 5 in Coral Gables, Florida.

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