Sean Paul Dishes On Reggaeton Explosion, His Collaboration Process

By Diana Samson | Feb 23, 2018 08:30 AM EST
Sean Paul performs at the MTV Live Stage in 2017. In an interview, the Jamaican hip-hop artist talked about the difference between reggaeton and dancehall music. Paul is set to release a new album in the coming months. (Photo : Dave J Hogan | Getty Images )

Sean Paul is excited to tap into the recent boom of reggaeton after the success of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" last year.

The Jamaican hip-hop artist first broke into the scene when he joined Enrique Iglesias in the remix of "Bailando," a bilingual track that hit the top of the charts in several countries. He also collaborated with Farruko in the 2014 track "Passion Whine."

He has also collaborated with the likes of Beyoncé, Pitbull, Rihanna, and Chris Brown. Just recently, he released the track "Mad Love," his collaboration with fellow hip-hop artists David Guetta and Becky G.


Reggaeton has been around for quite some time now, but the genre experienced a steep rise in popularity last year when, as mentioned, "Despacito" hit the U.S. shores. It became the most popular song of 2017 and the artists behind it, Fonsi and Yankee, were both nominated at this year's Grammy Awards.

The song, which unseated PSY's "Gangnam Style" as the most-watched video on YouTube, was a viral hit and it opened the way for more Latin-language music to permeate into the mainstream music industry.

Paul is ready to inject Jamaican flavor into the genre.

"'Bailando' went No. 1 in so many different countries, and it definitely reflected dance, reggaeton, reggae," he told Billboard. "What's happening with reggaeton is special to me because it reflects what we've been doing in dancehall for quite a few years. It just means the music is becoming bigger and there's more people loving the vibe. It's a real party oriented music. Even if you talk about something not having to do with partying, it ends up being a party song. Its very infectious and I think people like having a good time."

He also compared reggaeton with dancehall music which had its shining moment in the late '90s. He said that both genres were very similar except for the language.

Collaboration Process

He briefly talked about how he decides about his collaborations. He said that he wanted, first and foremost, to hear something new and original. However, it also needs to be familiar and authentic.

"Sometimes I may have done something very similar to that so I don't' feel the track anymore," he explained. "New tracks I love, but it has to be reminiscent of what I know to be authentic dancehall music. So it's a little bit of the old and the established standard of the genre."

New Album

"Mad Love" will likely make it into Paul's still-untitled seventh studio album. The artist has been working on his upcoming work since 2016 when he signed with Island Records, reported Complex.

Paul said that while he likely will not release an exclusively Latin album, the hip-hop star said that there will be a couple of tracks in his forthcoming album that will have Latin renditions. That said, he joked that he should have taken his Spanish-language classes in school more seriously.

Paul's next album will likely be released later this year.


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