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Ahead of his first performance in India, Grammy-winning reggae artiste Sean Paul talks about a new sound, his water polo days and zardozi work.
Roll back in memory and stop right at 2002. Now, try to recall the music that "the generation in baggy pants" was listening to. Justin Timberlake was crooning Cry me a river after his break-up with pop princess Britney Spears, Coldplay released their epic track The Scientist and Linkin Park's In the end defined their rock identity. Away from the big names, controversial break-ups and cult songs, a dancehall artiste sneaked in and made us dance to those addictive Jamaican reggae beats with Get busy and Gimme the light. This was 29-year-old Sean Paul, the man who re-introduced reggae and dancehall and the cheesy "eh-ohs" to the international music arena.
Clubs across the world played his tracks, deejays remixed Baby Boy and the ladies grooved to his 'gangsta' voice. The scene in Delhi and Mumbai was no different. Now, a decade later, Paul is all set to tour India to promote his fifth album Tomahawk Technique. "The album has been a rage in Europe and the US; now I want to see the reactions of my Indian fans. Indians have good taste in music, I must admit. What else does an artiste crave for," remarks Paul about his maiden India tour, which begins on November 2 with a performance at Quantum in Noida.
It was his third album, The Trinity, in 2005 with smash hits such as Temperature, Give it up to me and We be burnin that inked him permanently on the music scene. "I have evolved as an artiste. I did everything I could have done in dancehall, it was now time to expand in terms of style and sound. For the new album, I've worked with new artistes and producers such as StarGate, Benny Blanco, Rico Love &DJ Ammo and got them to make dancehall from their perspective," he says.