Sean Paul CDs and Biography
Sean Paul Biography
The infectious sounds of Sean Paul have already earned the
young reggae star a permanent place in Jamaica's musical pantheon. At this
writing, Sean is now leading the influential hip-hop-flavored dancehall form
fully into the American mainstream with his breakthrough single, "Gimme The
Light." With U.S. radio stations and video channels opening their doors to
the charismatic artist and his music, the song is a bona fide smash on both the
national R&B/Hip-Hop and Pop charts.
Gimme The Light" is a scorcher which is blazing the way
for the November 2002 release of "DUTTY ROCK," Sean's second album -
and his first via a new long-term worldwide pact between Atlantic Records and VP
Records, the largest independent label for new Jamaican music in the U.S.. As a
result, Sean has now joined the Atlantic roster, following a brilliant run of
hit crossover singles and rapidly mounting media attention.
In 1996, Sean Paul's release of "Baby Girl" was the first of a series
of undeniable reggae smashes that rocked Jamaica, quickly establishing a solid
base for Sean amongst the island's dancehall massive. Part of the wave of
mid-nineties Jamaican deejays that brought new blood into the Jamaican music
scene, he quickly pulled to the front of the pack. Hardcore dancehall fans were
captured by his songwriting and rapping skills and Sean rapidly became a
favorite with ladies in the audience.
As his reputation grew in Jamaica, the rest of the Caribbean
quickly picked up on Sean Paul's sound. Soon, Jamaicans in Miami, New York, and
London knew the words "Dutty Yeah" were a signal to hit the dance
floor. Record-breaking airplay on American hip-hop radio followed, and the
success of "STAGE ONE," Sean Paul's 2000 smash debut album,
established him as VP Records' best-selling current artist. With "DUTTY
ROCK," Sean moves from strength to greater strength, ratcheting his sound
straight up to the heights.
Born Sean Paul Henriques in Kingston, Jamaica on January 8, 1975, Sean Paul's
lineage truly reflects Jamaica's national motto, "Out Of Many, One
People." On his Portuguese father's side there is a family legend about the
shipwreck of horse-rustling ancestors during a daring escape from bounty
hunters. Sean's mother is a renowned Jamaican painter, and both his parents were
noted athletes - a tradition Sean continued as a youth, representing his country
in many international swim and water polo meets. After graduation from UTECH, he
kept body and soul together by working as a chef and later as a teller in a
In his early teens, dancehall reggae became Sean's leading passion. Such artists
as Lt. Stitchie, Major Worries, and Supercat were important influences. A few
years later, as Sean began writing his own n lyrics, he made a link and busted
some rhymes for Cat Coore, Bunny Rugs, and Carrot Jarret of Third World.
"Cat said, 'Your voice sounds great, lets do some demos,'" Sean Paul
Sean Paul developed his skills by making dubs and playing
barbecues. In 1996, after a couple of singles, he made the crucial connection
with then up-and-coming producer Jeremy Harding, owner of 2 Hard Records. Jeremy
had just completed the Fearless riddim, and Sean voiced it with "Baby
Girl," his first woman-oriented lyric. "Baby Girl" became a huge
hit, opening doors all over Jamaica for Sean. During this time, he continued to
learn the deejay trade and mature as an artist. He hooked up with the Dutty Cup
Crew, a group of aspiring deejays. "We used to smoke weed, and a 'dutty' is
a used pipe, but that's not what we were all about," Sean explains.
"In life, if you don't work hard and dutty, you won't get nowhere, so our
cup is full."
In 1998, Sean recorded "Infiltrate" on Jeremy Harding's Playground/Zim
Zimma riddim. The riddim was a reggae smash, both in Jamaica and
internationally, and "Infiltrate" became a top record in the juggling
mix. "'Infiltrate' took me to enough places," Sean recalls. Charting
number one in Belize, the record rocked hip-hop mix shows in New York and Miami.
Hitting next with "Excite Me," Sean's name was spreading to the rest
of the Caribbean, especially Trinidad and Guyana. He then recorded "Deport
Them," which became the #1 record in Jamaica on Tony Kelly's Bookshelf
riddim. The song received major airplay in Miami and on New York's hip-hop mix
shows, later crossing over onto regular rotation on New York's Hot 97.
It was around then that Sean Paul joined forces with emerging sing-jay Mr.
Vegas. Their first collaboration, "Hot Gal Today," on the Street
Sweeper riddim by Steely and Clevie, became a #1 record in Jamaica and
throughout the Caribbean. Sean and Mr. Vegas also collaborated on the dancehall
hit, "Tiger Bone," produced by Richard "Shams" Browne on the
Intercourse riddim. In March of 2000, just as "Hot Gal Today" was
heating up in Miami and New York, VP Records released "STAGE ONE,"
Sean Paul's debut album. Meanwhile, Sean and Mr. Vegas joined forces with
producer Tony Kelly and multi-platinum rapper DMX for "Top Shotta," a
song on the Belly soundtrack, further lifting Sean's rep in the States.
After a wicked re-mix on the Punany riddim, "Hot Gal Today" joined
"Deport Them" in rocking American hip-hop and R&B radio. Together
the two tunes thrust Sean Paul's Stateside career into orbit. He became the
first reggae artist to have two singles added at the same time to a major
American radio station (NYC's Hot 97), and the first reggae artist to
simultaneously chart two singles from the same album ("Hot Gal Today"
at #66 and "Deport Them" at #85) on the Billboard R&B Singles
chart. "Hot Gal Today" also hit #6 on the Billboard Top Rap Singles
chart. With all the radio play in New York, Sean built up a major New York City
base among tastemaker disc jockeys and true hip-hop fans.
Sean was named #3 Reggae Artist of the Year by Billboard and "STAGE
ONE" was named Billboard's #4 Reggae Album of the Year. Meanwhile,
"Hot Gal Today" was featured on the Shaft soundtrack. The sales of
"STAGE ONE" went through the roof. At the same time, Sean continued
his string of Jamaican successes with "No Bligh" for Penthouse
Records, "Check It Deeply" for In The Streetz, and "My Name"
for Shocking Vibes.
Notably, Sean was the first reggae artist to perform on Hot 97's Summer Jam, one
of the most important annual American R&B/hip-hop concerts. "Suddenly,
I was with artists who were my mentors," Sean enthuses. "I met Big
Daddy Kane, Snoop, Aaliyah; there I was, talking to Funkmaster Flex. It was
crazy." That summer, Sean rocked Summer Jam-type shows from Miami to