Born Sean Paul Henriques on
8, 1973, the multi-ethnic Paul - Portuguese, Chinese, and
Jamaican - grew up comfortably in St. Andrew, Jamaica W.I.
On his Portuguese father’s side there is a family legend about the
shipwreck of horse-rustling ancestors during a daring escape from
bounty hunters. Sean’s mother is a renowned Jamaican painter, and both
his parents were noted athletes. He was a skilled athlete,
excelling in swimming and water polo, playing for the Jamaican
national water polo team.
Although his education was enough
to land a prosperous career, dancehall music
remained Paul's first love, particularly crafting rhythm tracks.
He became a DJ
after he began writing his own songs, patterning his style largely
after Super Cat and finding a
mentor in Don Yute. He
also found contacts in
several members of the reggae-pop band Third
World in 1993, which helped open up business connections.
Then, in 1996 Sean Paul
released his debut single, "Baby Girl," with
producer Jeremy Harding . The first of a series of
undeniable reggae smashes that rocked Jamaica, quickly establishing a
solid base for Sean Paul amongst the island’s dancehall massive. It proved
a significant success, leading to further Jamaican hits like "Nah Get No
Bly (One More Try)," "Deport Them," "Excite Me,"
"Infiltrate," and "Hackle Mi." Hardcore dancehall
fans were captured by his songwriting and rapping skills and Sean
rapidly became a favorite with ladies in the audience.
As his reputation grew in
Jamaica, the rest of the Caribbean quickly picked up on Sean Paul’s
sound. Soon Jamaicans in Miami, New York and London knew the
Yeah” as a signal to hit the dance floor. In 1999 Sean Paul started
make tracks to American audiences; his first collaboration was
dancehall hit maker Mr. Vegas on a production for raper DMX;
comes the Boom" and scored Top ten hit that same year with
"Hot Gal Today",
which became his signature tune. That fall, Paul released his
first album on VP
Records; Stage One
which featured collections of Paul's previous hit singles and
compilation cuts, plus a few
Record-breaking airplay on American hip-hop radio followed, and the
success of STAGE ONE, Sean Paul’s 2000 smash debut album, established
him as VP Records best selling current artist.
Stage One Album:
This extra long CD showcases popular dancehall "riddims"
overlaid with DJ Sean Paul's rather pedestrian "toasting." There
are some enjoyable tunes here, namely the hit single,
"Infiltrate," which burned up
dancehalls with its pumping beat, and
"Hot Gal Today," a duet with
ultra-hot DJ Mr. Vegas, which displays an
interesting blend of Sean Paul's hard voice with Vegas' smoother
vocals. "Faded," a
take on Shania Twain's "Looks
Like We Made It," also illustrates clever treatment.
Dutty Rock Album:
Sean Paul's Dutty Rock is an infectious record, bursting with
filled with energy; it is a surprise U.S. hit. Paul's mix of dancehall
modern R&B and hip-hop is lightweight and easy to dance to. It
near the end as some filler creeps in, but at its best, Dutty Rock
almost revolutionary. The best track, the
stuttering, can't-get-it-out-of-your-head catchy "Get Busy," is
produced by Steven "Lenky"
Marsden and features his staggeringly popular diwali rhythm and a great
vocal by Paul. Other tracks, like the hit single "Gimme the Light"
and the "Louie Louie"-influenced "Like
Glue," are almost as
good. Paul has a good ear for melody and his flat, distinctive voice is
for his sing-jay style (sing-jay being a blend of DJ and singing). Paul
ropes in Busta Rhymes for an
amped-up remix of "Gimme the Light" and
Rahzel of the Roots to provide rapping and silly
noises on "Top of the Game." This is such a good record that even the
skits are pretty good. "Police Skit" may even provide a few chuckles.
Sean Paul's blend of dancehall and hip-hop brings out the best of each
and Dutty Rock should be booming out of your 'Kaar' if you are
a fan of
2004 Grammy Winner
At the 46th Annual Grammy
PAUL won Best Reggae Album, the first Grammy
for a VP artist. With millions of fans tuning into CBS's live
broadcast, Sean Paul performed center stage with rock legend Sting the
reggae flavored Police classic "Roxanne". This marked the first ever
performance by a dancehall artist at the Grammy's. Sean's critically
acclaimed album "Dutty Rock" with hit songs "Gimme The Light,"
Get Busy," "Like Glue," and "I'm Still in Love with You (featuring
Sasha)" has been certified multi-platinum.
We are expecting many more great hits from Sean Paul,
so stay tuned.