Five Questions With Sean Paul
When one holds a conversation with Sean Paul, it becomes immediately evident why he is one of the most successful entertainers to come out of Jamaica. His passion for music was evident in his voice as he spoke about the industry. His love for Jamaica was undeniable as he shared that despite travelling the world, there is indeed no place like home. Then, as he spoke candidly about things like what he enjoys doing in his down time, the possibilities of having more children and what fatherhood means to him, his down-to-earth, charismatic personality shun through. He made corny jokes, laughed at them then, but was firm and resolute when necessary. It was a side of him people do not often get to see. Today, however, dear readers, you are in luck as Five Questions With shares little gems and nuggets from a recent conversation with the Grammy Award-winning dancehall artiste.
Beach or River?
Fried breadfruit or fried dumpling?
Breadfruit, definitely (laughs).
Steamed fish or escoveitched fish?
Dang! Da one deh hard, but me a go say steamed fish.
Where is your favourite chill spot in Jamaica?
I haven’t been there in a long time, but I love Portland. That’s where I go when I’m on vacation. Portland is a really nice parish. There isn’t a specific place or spot that I can pinpoint, I just love the whole place, and whenever anybody asks me, that is the parish that comes to mind first at all times. I love Tahiti, too, because it’s just like a bigger Portland. The water clean, the air is fresh. It’s just really beautiful.
Do you want any more children?
(Laughs out loud) Whoi, da one deh! Da one deh. My wife comes from a three-sibling family and me come from a two-sibling family, so I am like, ‘Yea, me good’ and she’s like ... If she didn’t get Remi, our daughter, the second time around, she would have wanted to go one more time to try and get the daughter, but we got the son and the daughter, and so we had the pair. But a likkle while later me hear she talk some things, and mi a say, ‘Wow, a wonder if me ready fi it.’ She ready to go again, but parenting is a lot. One of the biggest blessings, but it can be one of your biggest ‘stressings’. Yuh affi be ready fi it. For me, the two is fine, but if a next one come, I would be good, too. My father was one of seven siblings and my mom, I think she have about five siblings, so ... let’s see.
What are some of the things that you would like to see change in the music industry?
I would like to see everyone really look at themselves in their true light. Sometimes, there are people who are great at writing, but they really do not have the voice and can’t perform on the stage properly. I think they could make a lot of money just being a writer if they would realise that is their true purpose. I know many people who write international songs for people. You have people here that are great writers, but they want to be artistes, and so their career just keep bucking to a certain place. I wish that they would understand that, ‘Oh, you know say I am more of a writer’. Invest in the things that you are good at naturally. Not everybody is going to be an artiste or a star athlete. Because when Jamaica was good at football, everyone wanted to be a football player, then when tracks kick up and Bolt and the others a run di place, everybody wah do that. And I am not saying it’s not good to aspire to certain things, but at the same time, you have to realise what you are good at.
I use myself as an example. At one point I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer, and I still swim to this day and I am good at it. I got two bronze medals at the Carifta Games, but I realised at a certain point that I am not Olympic standard, that just wasn’t me, and so I tried something else. That is what I wish for our genre. I love that people are determined and focused, but I would love if that focus and determination would be channelled in the right direction. I evolved into who I am, and I want that for others in this industry. There are some people who are pursuing a career as an artiste who would be more helpful, more productive as a publicist, a producer, a manager, etc.
Your list of accomplishments in music are incredible. Do you have anything else you want to achieve?
I would love to produce a song for an artiste (not just in Jamaica) that becomes a hit. Right now I am a hit artiste, but I want to be a hit producer. I am a struggling producer right now, I can say that. I have never had a hit. But truth is, if I wasn’t an artiste and made money that way, I probably couldn’t produce and do the things I am doing now for artistes like Chi Ching Ching and the guys who are Dutty Rock, because it takes money to shine the light on them. So, I am happy for my journey as an artiste, but I want to now try to be a hit producer. Also, I want for the genre itself to break another artiste who achieves the success level of like a Koffee or Shenseea, and myself and Shaggy.