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Is Sean Paul really swapping dancehall for line dance?

“It’s funny to note that when Kenny Rogers comes to Jamaica there is a big crowd,” Sean Paul explains. Over the phone, his patois drawl is not as strong as when it’s blaring out the back of a baseball capped youth’s shit car-with-massive-spoiler combo in any destitute town centre around the UK. “Jamaica definitely stays up to date with different trends. And I’m really open- minded.” So does this mean that you would you be up for releasing a country record? “Look at Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift, they are doing songs that could sound country but also sound dance-orientated, so maybe I could do a country and western song – just not the ones that sound like Kenny Rogers – my style is a bit more erratic and crazy, I could give it a try!”

Sean Paul isn’t the kind of artist you’d ever expect to read about in Notion, but saying that he’s also not the kind of artist you’d expect to collaborate with a Grammy Award winning house producer. Tick Tock is the latest offering from Jamaica’s premier dancehall export and Bob Sinclar. How did this happen?

“Bob Sinclar has a love for Jamaica. He has been here several times over the last five years, and I already knew his music because of ‘Love Generation’. I met him briefly when he came to Jamaica and we decided we’d work together another time. Earlier this year he sent me the track and now it’s now ready to hit the streets.”

Sinclar sent the track, which samples 2Unlimited’s 1993 chart topper ‘No Limit’ to Sean Paul with a very specific brief. “He told me kinda what he wanted it to sound like, of course, ladies dancing. He wanted it to sound not very ‘singy’ but more DJ like how I do, and he just wanted me to do my thing on it, which I do.” They’re so pleased with Tick Tock that there are more joint efforts “in the pipeline”.

“There are artists that come together and make a whole new kind of music or just come and do a one-off thing. People have been coming to me and saying, ‘What do we call this track? Is it a dance track, or a dance hall track or an electro track? What do we call it?’ Me and Bob Sinclar are like ‘Call it Tick Tock’.”

Despite the constant irk of having to explain that this track can’t be pigeonholed, Sean Paul remains philosophical and optimistic. “Music is supposed to bring people together, it happened in the ancient times, people had to get together to make it, people couldn’t record it and put it out there,” he muses. “I think that this is where it’s taking us, it’s bridging gaps, it’s crossing cultures and it’s helping the world understand each other a little bit more, which is what the world needs. Even if it’s just a party sound, it gets us together. What we need is to see there is no other side, we are all people together on this little pebble called Earth.”

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