Born Orville Richard Burrell, Grammy award winning reggae artist Shaggy is one of the most loved Jamaican-born artists there is, with a catalogue of memorable reggae hit songs, it is always easy to recall a Shaggy song that we love.
‘Boombastic,’ ‘It Wasn’t Me,’ ‘Oh Carolina’ and ‘Angel’ all need no introduction, with ‘Oh Carolina’ being Shaggy first breakthrough hit back in 1993. Most recently, Shaggy was credited for persuading young budding singer Tessanne Chin to compete in the Voice USA, which she ultimately ended up winning. This says it all. His latest released song last year ‘You Girl’ Featuring Ne-yo debuted at number 1, Shaggy never fails to deliver, even 20 years later. Many of us do not know that in addition to Shaggy’s successful career as a reggae artist, he is also a businessman, and philanthropist who served in the US Marine Military Service prior to becoming a dancehall star with a passion for many other things Flavour Magazine, discovered when we recently caught up with him ahead of his Bombtown Fair Festival in the UK this August.
Shaggy, what is your greatest childhood memory of Jamaica?
Playing football in the streets with my friends when I was younger I wanted to become a football player. I was quick and really fast. I was an inner city kid so we didn’t go to the beach as much, so I didn’t do as much swimming as people would think but the beach wasn’t too far. My children now all swim.
Can you tell us something no one else knows about you?
I am a painter. I’m supposed to practice a lot more but I don’t have much time now, I’m always so busy but I do love being creative.
Do you have a song that you could listen to every single day?
Natty Dread! *Shaggy Breaks into song* There’s no Bob Marley song that you don’t like.
[Natty Dread is Bob Marley & the Wailers first released album in 1974]
Is there a new artist you would like to collaborate with?
I don’t really choose collaborations like that, I prefer to come up with the idea and then go for the collaboration. But if I had to choose it would be a collabo with an artist called Chronixx. [Chronixx is a 22 year old young rising reggae artist in Jamaica]
Do you have a favourite decade, and something that you perhaps miss from the past?
I have to say the 90’s. 60’s and 90’s music was great, Shabba Ranks and Super Cat and artists like that. It was a fun time for me, and a fun time in my life.
What are you listening to now, what’s currently on your iPod?
Older classics, Bill Withers tracks, I really love ‘Grandma’s hands,’ I’m a big big Bill Withers fan.
Music has been created for the new generation, if you take for instance Pharrell Williams song, ‘Happy’ the melody is taken from a Stevie Wonder track, drums from Curtis Mayfield and the subject matter from Bobby McFerrin’s ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy.’ When you think about it, it’s similar. Even with Robin Thicke songs, everything is recycled you know? It’s being reinvented for the new generation, so the music that is current now, will be old to the next generation and so on.
We have to talk about the ladies Shaggy! Who is your celebrity female crush?
Lemme see now…Everyone new is so young in the industry right now, it will feel like I’m robbing the cradle! [Laughs]
Uhm, Nicole Scherzinger, she’s a pretty girl.
If you had to give up something what would it be?
I would probably give up drinking..
Do you drink alot?
No I don’t, but if there’s anything I’m giving up, it would be that. I drink occasionally.
Do you drink socially?
Yeah man! I’m a social drinker. Do you have a bar in your house, and mix cocktails or prefer hard liquor or stronger cognacs etc?
I’m not much of a cocktail mixer, but I like white rum and coke. You gotta drink responsibly.
When you have time to kick back and relax, what was the last movie you watched?
That’s hard. Uhm, I watched the movie with Leonardo Dicaprio – ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’
Do you have a favourite actor and actress?
My favourite actor is Tommy Lee Jones, and Julie Roberts, she’s really good.
Tell us more about what fans can expect when you come over to the UK to perform at the BoomTown Fair this summer?
We have some great hit songs. I want to jog people’s memory of these songs, some of these tracks represent a period in people’s lives, and hopefully that will bring back some great memories. It’s good to bring that back. We have a pretty energetic show, make sure you wear something comfortable because you’re going to be dancing! Ladies make sure your up at the front of the stage, I hope there ain’t no dudes up in the front! Perform a little Mr Lover Lover! I’m looking forward to it alot.
Interview by Kemi Giwa Twitter: @kemionline.com