Sean Paul is fresh from the One Love Peace Festival Summer tour that saw him through Portugal, Rome, Naples, Cape Verde, Germany, London, Bristol, South Cyprus, Canada and the non-stop party island of Ibiza. Not content to rest on his laurels, Sean Paul is set to begin touring in support of his fifth studio album, Tomahawk Technique, in December in the United States and across Europe.
Armed with a new look and energized passion for music, the past year has produced a creative outburst from Sean. This is seen through his emergence as a producer, in which he helmed the track "Roll Wid di Don." Also, working with artists like Cecile, Tami Chynn, Mr. Vega, and Wayne Marshall on his critically acclaimed Riddim album "Blaze Fia," and the follow up album "Material" has been matched by a stream of new music and collaborations with artists including Pitbull, T-Pain, Ludacris, Bob Sinclair, CongoRock, Mya and Kelly Rowland.
With touring, producing, collaborating and performing, Sean still found time to sit down with me and shoot the breeze about life, new directions and some of his favorite spots to chill.
JB: What does Tomahawk Technique mean?
SP: I called the album “Tomahawk Technique” because it’s the cutting edge of music. I’d be in the studio and everyone would freak out saying I was cutting through the tracks because the lyrics were so sharp.
JB: How was 'this' creative process different from your past experiences?
SP:On this album I branched out as far as the producers I worked with. I noticed that a lot of pop music has had dancehall influences of late so I asked some big name producers like Stargate, Rico Love, DJ Ammo and Benny Blanco to make their interpretation of a dancehall beat. I also produced a song on the album myself, “Roll Wid Di Don.”
JB: It seems you have had the kind of staying power some artist can only dream of having and I feel it is safe to say the musical scene has change a lot since your first album. How has this change affected you personally or creatively as of recent?
SP: I think the accessibility is the biggest change. I take my iPad with me everywhere now and can make different beats or riddims on it. When I first got my start we were still using reel to tape so it’s definitely a huge difference. People have so much access to tools that help them make music these days.
JB: How has the time between albums suited you? Any vacation stories?
SP: I recently went to Tahiti. I swam with sharks and stingrays…it’s so far away and there’s nothing around it. It’s beautiful.
JB: Between visiting Portugal, Rome, Naples, Ibiza, Germany Cape Verde, how did you enjoy the One Love Peace Festival? Any special locations you would like to recommend?
SP: It was great. A lot of energy and excitement there. I take time in each city to go around and see the sights so I’d recommend everyone do that too.
JB: Do you notice a difference in the musical reception you get from crowds in the US vs. other countries?
SP: Every country has their own identity. My songs are very big in France, Germany, Japan, Spain, so they go particularly crazy for the music but everywhere I go I feel the love and the US is no different. I definitely appreciate all my fans support across the globe.
JB: It would seem that not only has your music gone through an evolutionary change but so has your hair. Is there any significance to the mohawk versus the braids?
SP: It was time for a change, it just so happened that it made sense with the name and direction of my new album. Everyone assumes the album title has something to do with the hair but it’s just a coincidence.
JB: Lastly, has anyone ever spoken with you about how hard it is to karaoke to one of your songs? If they haven't, I'll tell you right now, it's impossible.
SP: You gotta practice more then!
JB: Thank you for this opportunity Sean, and I can't wait to see you on tour.
SP: Appreciate that, “Tomahawk Technique” is in stores September the 18th and I’ll be playing the House of Blues in LA on the 19th to kick off my tour. Come check me out!