DJ Buck Talks To Sean Paul About The Past, Touring & New Music

Sean Paul doesn’t sleep.

And he never went away, so you can’t really call it a comeback now, as he’s getting ready to drop his seventh studio album. The Jamaican artist is always moving, because he has what he calls FOMO– fear of missing out. “I want to be in the running, I want to know what’s going on. Part of my career is to listen to what’s out there,” he explained. “Even if you don’t see me 24/7 posting, or don’t hear songs from me, I’m out there studying, I’m learning.”

The first single from Sean Paul’s new album is “No Lie,” a pop dancehall record featuring British singer Dua Lipa, and there’s an interesting bit of musical history attached to the track. “The dude who built the track is, funnily enough, from Liverpool. Liverpool is where a lot of reggae was born in England,” Sean explained.  “Way back in the day, people would leave Jamaica to go to work in England, and they would go to Liverpool. It was a port where a lot of the boats would come in. A lot of reggae influenced people from Liverpool; the big artist from Liverpool is Paul McCartney and the Beatles. All of them said they were influenced by stuff being done by the island people there.”

That dancehall by way of England vibe is exactly what producer Sermstyle brought to Sean’s song.  “This kid is younger than me, he grew up in Liverpool, and when I heard the track I was like ‘Damn, why you going so hard in the dancehall?’ I had to hit it up.” he said.  “Big ups to Emily Warren, who wrote the hook.  She’s a big writing talent that’s out there. I’ve written about seven songs with her. Big ups to Dua Lipa, she’s amazing. We looked for someone young and fresh coming out, and when I heard her voice I immediately I said ‘Okay, that’s her. She’s got a part in the song’.”

Sean is following up “No Lie” with his collab with Tory Lanez. “The next song I have is called ‘Tek Weh Yuh Heart.’ It’s just me and Tory Lanez doing our thing,” he explained. “Tory is one of the most inspiring rappers to me right now, in the young generation. He has the ability to sound like he can do the mumble rap or very intricate, deep rap, and also sing with West Indian vibes.”

Features as diverse as Dua Lipa and Tory Lanez shouldn’t be surprising from an artist like Sean Paul. He credits Jamaica as the inspiration for his musical diversity. “We are a country that’s very mixed up. Thousands of years of mixing. It’s a small island, I think it’s very close knit that way,” he said. “We have a motto called ‘Out of many, one people.’ When you grow up in Jamaica with that as your national motto, it forces [you] to realize that people who do have prejudices against other people because of class or race… that’s old thinking. There’s many of us, but we’re one people. It’s a beautiful way to think about the world.”

Sean Paul’s new album may also include some familiar rhythms, which is a common trope in reggae. “It came out of an economic thing back in the day,” Sean said. “Everybody was in a band, and they all wanted to be their own artists. The producers had a problem where they couldn’t record so many people, but they decided to record a few different versions to see which one would pop off, so they would have insurance then.”

“When I produce, I do that also. I put a couple different people on one rhythm track,” he continued. “There’s one dude speaking about love, the next dude is speaking about war, there’s someone speaking something very intelligent, and someone speaking something so crazy it’s funny. You get a full spectrum of reasonings, and I love that… You may forget it’s the same rhythm, it depends on what you do with it.”

Hear the full interview with Sean Paul below:

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