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Sean Paul
By Lady Zimma & Miss Mention, Dainty Crew
(more articles from this author)
2001-02-21
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His fans better know Sean-Paul Henriques by his first 2 names, Sean Paul. He was born 27 years ago in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in the parish of St. Andrew.

Back in 1994, Sean Paul wrote his first full tune and went to the studio. His first tune called 'Baby Girl' was released in 1996. The track was produced by Jeremy Harding of 2 Hard records who also produced Beenie Man's smash hit 'Who Am I' and later went on to produce another hit for Sean, 'Infiltrate'.

After Sean did 'Infiltrate', he was bombarded with requests from producers asking him to voice for them. Sean ended up voicing for a number of producers doing 'No Bligh' for Penthouse, 'Faded' for King Jammys and then 'Deport Them' on the Bookshelf rhythm for Tony Kelly. As he recalls, "A so de business go, it open up".

Sean got into the business because he says, "I always been a fan of music". He started expressing himself whilst at school when "everyone used to lick dem hand pon de table and try DJ 4 lines straight". Even though it started out as a joke, Sean found he started putting tunes together stemming from experiences he would see or be involved in such as arguments in the street, etc. He saw it as a way of "self-expression" and has written his own lyrics ever since. He writes tunes that he feels will "get de crowd hype".

This form of self-expression for Sean definitely hit the mark and he can't even begin to think what his most successful single to date has been. He says, "All of dem do different works" and cites a few as being successful such as 'Deport Them', 'Hot Gal Today' with Mr Vegas, 'Infiltrate' and 'My Name' which is doing very well in Jamaica. His first album, 'Stage One', is also doing well with copies being sold worldwide.

Sean has performed in a number of shows including Hot 97's Summer Jam in New York alongside the likes of DMX and other big names in Hip Hop. He has also been on the line-up for Sting and Sumfest and performed in Barbados, Panama, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, England, the East Coast and Atlanta. He hopes to get a chance to go to Japan although he says, "Me hate long flight".

His talents have given him the opportunity to work with a number of artists such as Vegas, DMX, Angie Martinez, Salt (of Salt 'n' Pepa) and Pras to name a few. Sean has also worked with "most of de prominent producers in Jamaica" including Steely & Clevie and Shocking Vibes.

Recently there was rumoured to be a rift between Sean Paul and Mr Vegas over the 'Hot Gal Today' track and how it was being marketed as Sean Paul's track and not a combination. Sean wanted the record set straight and explained, "Tune came out here (Jamaica) a year before any a dat hype start tek off. One a de biggest tune on de Streetsweeper (rhythm). VP (Records) already owns such records as 'Infiltrate', 'No Bligh', etc. All a dat time, de tune was equal, but what Vegas was upset about was when VP come now an seh dis is their tune dat they license from Steely & Clevie, they own it and they basically the right to promote their artist who is signed to them which is Sean. So, when dem put out de tune, dem put a picture of me on de cover an put Sean Paul an never put featuring Mr Vegas. On de back dem give him credit and he was kinda upset bout dat and certain tings I don't have any control over. VP asked Greensleeves (Vegas' record label) if he'd feature in the video, so is pure politics now, but no vibes between me an him".

Currently, Sean feels good about Dancehall Reggae music as he likes how "big stations in de world now a play (Reggae) music an royalties have to get written down… They're playing Dancehall, not crossover".

Talent must run deep in Sean's family as his brother, Jason 'Jigzagula' Henriques, spins for Coppershot sound system. His other favourite sounds include Stone Love and Renaissance, but when it comes to favourite artists, the list is long and includes the likes of Flourgan, Super Cat, Pinchers, Shabba, Major Worries, Spragga, Cobra, Buju, Beenie and Bounty.

It's funny that Super Cat is one of Sean's favourite artists as he has been likened to him in terms of vocal sound. Sean says, "Is just a style. Dat a dat, but he was a big role model for me as a kid. Me jus start DJ dat way".

Sean is currently working on a new album and says he wants to "do as much combination wid any foreign artist right now an some old vintage". He has a chance to work with Barrington Levy and Gregory Isaacs and says of this album, "Me wan spread out… get a different vibe. Tings like crossover, Hip Hop an One Drop". He hopes this album will be released in early 2001.

Not many people will know that Sean likes keeping fit by playing basketball and was also on Jamaica's swim team between the ages of 14 and 22. He also used to play water polo and says, "My dream back then was to go to the Olympics".

We're sure his fans are happy Sean decided to pursue his musical career instead of an athletic one. His final message is, "Respec for checking me out that way… Is jus a feeling from me heart and me glad fe know seh people can share dat feeling deh. In a word me wan seh unity. Unity, peace and love. There is one creator, so we mus be one". Check it deeply.

The album 'Stage One' is on stores now.

Anyone interested in booking Sean Paul should contact Jade Promotions on 876-960-6143 or 876-908-4258 or by email on jadepromotions@cwjamaica.com.


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