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Sean Paul: ‘A new generation are making dancehall their own’

Sean Paul is a party-starter. Few artists have a back catalogue better primed for the dancefloor than the multimillion-selling Jamaican artist. This year marks 20 years since his breakout second album, Dutty Rock, took the syncopated, bass-driven genre of dancehall global with hits Get Busy, Like Glue and Gimme the Light. In the ensuing years, Paul has had three US No 1s, a Grammy and collaborations with the biggest names in pop, including Beyoncé, Sia, Dua Lipa and Little Mix.

Now he is readying for the release of his eighth album, Scorcha. It plays like peak Paul: undulating bass and tripping rhythms backing up energetic lyrics on the subject of girls and ganja. It’s well-trodden territory, drawing on his decades of experience whipping the dancefloor into a frenzy. Yet Paul is now 49 and a father of two – five-year-old Levi Blaze and two-year-old Remi – and his life has expanded beyond the bravado; outside his music, there is more to him than just the party. Perhaps there always was.

Read the interview in the Observer New Review.

[This piece was published on 29/05/22]

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