Shaggy in Dubai

Jamaican Lathario Shaggy tells Time Out about the music industry and ‘Mr Boombastic’

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Following his gig for Atelier at the Cavalli Club, Jamaican Lathario Shaggy tells Peter Feely about the music industry and ‘Mr Boombastic’.

How are you Shaggy?
It’s Dubai – you have long nights here.

What do you think a night out with Mr Boombastic [character from the song] would entail?
[Laughs] It would definitely involve women (hopefully very attractive women) and he’d be the life of the party. Dressed well – I don’t know if it would be dapper or just cool.

And would other guys like Mr Boombastic?
I would think so because of the fact that a lot of male people like the song.

What time in the morning would Mr Boombastic get out of bed?
It would have to be afternoon, because the nights are long – after 2pm.

Would you like to collaborate with more Jamaican artists, like Lee Scratch Perry [Bob Marley producer]?
I know Scratch very well but I’ve never done any music with him. Everything for me musically boils down to energy and a relationship. ‘Fight this Feeling’ is the first single coming out from an album called Sly and Robbie Presents Shaggy. The second single is ‘You Girl’ and features Neo. It’s all straight reggae, roots reggae. Sly and Robbie [producers] have done Chaka demus and Pliers ‘Tease Me’, ‘Murder She Wrote’,‘Twist and Shout’ to ‘Hey Baby’ (No Doubt), ‘You Really Love Me’ (No Doubt), every Grace Jones hit, every Dennis Brown hit, Peter Tosh, so these guys are legends but no one is really paying any attention to them. Sometimes you send a track to someone and they just send their part back to you. I’ve done that with Janet Jackson on ‘Love Me Love Me’ and you know – I still didn’t get to meet her (it’s weird).

Do you do anything aside from music
Nah. I’ve been offered everything from movie roles all the way down; I don’t do things I’m not passionate about. Back in the day, I think it was Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records who told me that if he had a crystal ball it would be a different situation because everyone was so concerned about the masters when really and truly now (because of technology) the masters are free – but now it’s the brand.

So you do events and tours....
Exactly – if you’d owned Bob Marley’s brand, with one in five people wearing Bob Marley t-shirts, they make more money than just his records. It’s been licensed to a Canadian company (the same one that has Hendrix). That’s why you see speakers and sneakers and all kinds of things. That’s the only way that the estate can make money now – the music is free. My thing was never about fame or records, it was just about music and performing in front of a live audience.
‘Sly and Robbie Presents Shaggy’ is out in September.

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