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Sean Paul first sent shockwaves around the world with the release of his 2002 album Dutty Rock. The record, featuring the singles Gimme the Light, Get Busy, Like Glue and I’m Still in Love with You made the Jamaican one of the biggest artists on the planet.
17 years later and Sean Paul’s ability to create a hit record has not deteriorated.
The musician has enjoyed a raft of hit singles and has become a go-to voice for other artists who are looking for someone to give their track the kind of unique sound that only the Jamaican-born singer and rapper can provide.
Pop stars who have turned to Sean Paul to provide his services include The Saturdays, Little Mix, Clean Bandit and Sia, racking up billions of streams with tracks such as What About Us, Hair, Rockabye and Cheap Thrills.
Other artists who have collaborated with the musician include Dua Lipa, Sigala, Major Lazer, Meghan Trainor, Wiley and J Balvin, who features on Paul’s most recent release Contra La Pared which is just starting to hit the airwaves.
Sean Paul returns to the UK this spring, bringing his infectious tunes and personality to arenas around the country. Ahead of the shows, we caught up with the star to discuss what fans can expect and why he has so much love for the UK.
How much are you looking forward to your upcoming UK tour?
The UK fans are always so amped, the energy they throw at me whenever I tour there is incredible! Now that I have three new tunes on fire over there I’m really looking forward to feeling that crowd reaction.
What’s one song in your set that you really look forward to performing at the moment?
(Laughs) All of them! But especially Shot & Wine and Boasty, as those are UK favourites right now. Also, my new single Contra La Pared with J Balvin.
Apart from playing massive shows, what’s your favourite thing about coming to the UK?
I have family over there so it’s always great to catch up and see how everyone is doing. The weather is usually warm in May, so I love that. It has all the Brits in a good mood!
You’ve collaborated with loads of different artists. Who’s someone you’ve never worked with that you’d love to?
I always say the same thing when people ask me this question…Alicia Keys… I think she must’ve heard this by now!
What’s one thing from home that you have to bring on tour with you?
My drum machine. I’m producing now for my Dutty Rock Productions label so every spare moment I get is spent with headphones on, working on beats and my riddims.
Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
I do but they’re secret so I’m not telling you! Nah, I just warm my voice and body. If you’ve ever been to my shows you know they are a workout. You gotta be prepared!
You’ve worked with some amazing UK artists like Dua Lipa, Wiley, Stefflon Don, Little Mix, Clean Bandit and loads more. Where does that love of British music come from?
I think it’s because of the Jamaican connection with the UK going all the way back to Bob Marley and beyond. I feel like we speak the same musical language and can find common ground quite easily. I grew up with my mom always playing The Beatles at home so maybe that’s a part of it too.
We love your new track with J Balvin. How did that collaboration come about?
It came through the producer actually. His name is Tainy. He works on a lot of Latin hits and he heard what I did on the tune and was like, let’s hit up Balvin for this! I’ve wanted to collaborate with him for a while so this was perfect.
What can fans coming to your upcoming shows expect?
An energy-filled show. I’m bringing my band and my dancers so expect lots of dancing and hits, plus a few surprises!
Sean Paul’s UK tour kicks off in May 2019. Here are the dates:
28 May 2019 – Bonus Arena, Hull
29 May 2019 – Utilita Arena, Newcastle
1 June 2019 – Inside Out Festival, Cardiff
1 June 2019 – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
2 June 2019 – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
4 June 2019 – The Brighton Centre, Brighton
5 June 2019 – M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
Tickets for the tour are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk