He may have made headlines for the wrong reasons after a nearly fatal Jet Ski accident two years back, but now Jamaican-American star Sean Kingston wants you to know he’s back. So much so, he named this year’s new album – his third – Back 2 Life. Performing in Abu Dhabi at the opening party of hot new superclub O1ne Yas Island, we cornered the rotund rapper for an intimate chat.
Your new album Back 2 Life has recently been released, was this inspired by your near-fatal Jet Ski accident?
Yes, you know, the accident was pretty bad and it really made me reassess my life. Coming out of the accident I just wanted to really focus on the writing process and make sure my music was well put together. Music is my life.
You had your major breakthrough at just 17 with the smash-hit ‘Beautiful Girls’, how did you cope being thrown into the media spotlight at such a young age?
It was a whole new world, everything was overwhelming for me. I was flying all over the world and I was only 17, it was crazy. My song was number one in twenty-five different countries, just been able to do that was a blessing for me.
You have been like a big brother to teen star Justin Bieber, working together on the tune ‘Eenie Meenie’. Did you give him advice on how to handle his fame?
He’s a massive superstar now, but you know really he is a good kid. Everything he has had to go through has been a massive learning curve for him. Coming into the industry so young it can be overwhelming and hard at times and you have to have the right people in your circle and just remember everything is a learning process. Once you get older, you mature and everything just seems to pan out.
Who do you mostly admire currently in the music industry?
Jay-Z, I hung out with him at his concert tonight. It was an amazing show, Timbaland was there too, he’s a legend and a great friend of mine. Kanye West too. I would love to do a Justin Timberlake and collaborate with Jay-Z, that would be a dream.
What does the future hold for Sean Kingston?
Working more, I’m putting together a new project right now, that’s all I can say. Writing new music, I’ve just splashed the cash on a new studio in LA, so that’s where I am going to be spending most of my time.
O1ne Yas Island, Leisure Drive, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (052 788 8111).