Through the years, the Reggae/Dancehall fan base has grown in America, especially through its popularity in most nightclubs. Reggae artists in particular who carry the torch within our society include Bob Marleys sons Ziggy and Damien,
Shabba Ranks, Barrington Levy, Beenie Man, and a host of others.
Sean Kingston is another Reggae-inspired artist soaring to new heights and garnering commercial
success. The teddy bear framed singer with the glowing smile broke into
the spotlight in 2007 with his catchy hit single Beautiful Girls.
His self-titled debut
released via Epic Records went to number one in 21 countries and sold
over one million records worldwide. He also sold more than six million
digital singles and more than 4.5 million ringtones.
Now Kingston is back with
his sophomore effort, and hes promising that this one will leave a
mark! His first single Fire Burning is blazing in the clubs,
has sold more than one million downloads on iTunes and is also nominated
in the Choice Summer Song category at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards.
We spoke with the entertainer about his new album Tomorrow, his
home country Jamaica, his fly new crib in Florida and where he would
[if he could] take actress Meagan Good on a date!
AllHipHop.com Alternatives: On September 22nd, you
will be dropping your sophomore album. Can you talk about this new project?
Sean Kingston: Tomorrow is a sick album; I feel like its going
to be a classic! Its way better than my first album and I worked
with a lot of people on it. I feel like with this album I grew up so
much vocally, concepts of the songs, the melodies, my writing skills
I worked with Lil Wayne, The-Dream, Wyclef, Good Charlotte. Its an
amazing album, this album is going to set Sean Kingston apart and let
everyone know I’m a real solidified artist.
AHHA: So what is behind the title Tomorrow?
Sean Kingston: It’s
so futuristic. I feel like its ahead of me like as far as the sounds
of Pop, Reggae, R&B, Rap, creating all of them and fusing them together.
We all live for tomorrow, we don’t know what tomorrow holds for us in
life. So I feel like nobodys going to know what this album holds,
their going to be really shocked. It’s definitely ahead of me! My last album
was yesterday and this is the new Sean now, this is the new me,
When it comes to the production on the album, how much control did you
have in the selection?
Sean Kingston: I spoke
to my A&R and told him who I wanted to work with. I wanted to work
with Wyclef; I wanted to work with Detail because he’s a new producer.
He has been doing things for Akon and it has been sounding great! I
also wanted to hook up with Red One because he did all of Lady Gaga’s
stuff and I wanted that type of crossover. Red One has that sound that
just brings it to a whole different level.
I still got my big brother
holding it down J.R. [Rotem], who produced like four or five tracks
on the album. So I’m the one who told my A&R who I wanted to work
with and he just put it together, which was cool and everybody came
While creating this new album, did you find yourself comparing
it to your first album?
Sean Kingston: The last
album was good, so I had to come back dope on this. I had to do it bigger,
there are alot of artists out there you can hear their growth. You can
see their growth when they come out with their sophomore albums. That’s
what Sean Kingston is going to do, it’s not going to be the same old
stuff, and its going to be dope!
Right now we are back stage at a Barrington Levy concert, what brings
Sean Kingston: Barrington
Levy, he knows my mom, Ive been to plenty of his shows. He’s definitely
an icon in Jamaica. Hes somebody that I look up too from his performance,
his music and his writing skills. So I had to come check him out!
AHHA: As an artist representing
Jamaica, how do you believe the country influences your music?
Sean Kingston: Just
the scenery and the life down there. People have so much to write about,
poverty, the struggle and the stuff thats going on makes you want
to write about so many things. A lot of people don’t know it, Jamaica
does have all of the tourist spots and all that, but it is a gritty place.
The different stuff that you can explore and see I think it makes your
music come out more stronger and better.
AHHA: So how are you
received when you go back to visit Jamaica?
Sean Kingston: It’s
big; Jamaica has alot of love for me and I have love for Jamaica. Everything
I do, I represent Jamaica, I throw Jamaica in there, I don’t forget
them at all. So they see that and they cherish that, when I go home
through the airport it’s chaos, the kids, everything, it’s great! It’s
nice and I feel at home.
AHHA: So I was watching
the MTV cribs and you were showing off you new fabulous home in Florida.
How much of a role did you really play in selecting this home?
Sean Kingston: That
same area where you saw my house, before I was signed I actually used
to drive around there and say you know I’m going to get a house around
here. When stuff started coming in and my dream came true, I was like
mom this is where I want to live. So that crib was actually built from
the ground up and it’s just how I wanted it. It’s a great house, Im
comfortable, I’m blessed and I’m excited!
AHHA: Now youre always
serenading the ladies, so do you have a special young lady in your life?
Sean Kingston: I’m single;
I haven’t found the right one yet. I’m really focused on my career now,
so for someone to come into my life they have to be able to complement.
They cant come in, bring me down, and have me stressed out because
being in this industry is already stressful. So I just want to focus
on my career and take my career to the next level. If something comes
along, Im not going to stop it! Im going to see what its about,
but Im not really going out there searching.
AHHA: I was on your Twitter
page and one of your Tweets said, “I
cant stand girls who are over 21, but act ten.” Can you tell us
about the situation that prompted that tweet?
I keep getting these unknown calls from these same girls. They keep
blowing me up, playing on my phone, and Im like thats so childish!
These girls are not ten years old, so Im like why do they keep calling.
I got angry, so I posted that Tweet.
AHHA: What are some characteristics
in a female that you dont like?
I dont like drama, so I dont want the he said she said,
I dont like that at all! Liars, attitudes, girls be quick with there
little attitudes. There are a lot of things!
AHHA: So lets say
you could take any chick on a date, who would it be and where would
you take her?
Oh Meagan Good! We dont even have to go any further [laughs]. Meagan
Good, shes beautiful! I would probably take her to Jamaica. We would
go to the beaches and I would show her where Im from and just have
AHHA: This is a cutthroat
business and sometimes I know it gets hard, what keeps you pushing to
stay in this industry?
My family and my label Epic Records, theyve been great! I have a
good team, I cant be mad. Everybody, we keep it pushing and we work
hard. I bring the music and they bring exactly what Im doing right
now, which is amazing. This is a good look to be on AllHipHop.com!
If you were talking to a group of young singers, rappers or producers,
that were trying to break in the music industry, what would you say
to inspire them?
Stay humble, keep God first and persistence is the key. You have to
have persistence, you cant give up. You have to keep going, practice
makes perfect. I wasnt always where Im at and I still have room
to grow. Jordan wasnt always Jordan and Ali wasnt always Ali,
you just have to keep going!Fire Burning – Sean Kingston