Ahlan! Chats to Shaggy in Dubai

07 Jul 2013
By Ahlanlive.com

It's Mr Boombastic himself! Nineties pop sensation Shaggy gives us the lowdown on his latest Julie, his new album and what it's really like to be called Orville!

Grammy Award-winner Orville Richard Burrell aka Shaggy exploded on to the music scene in 1993 with a dancehall rejig of a ska hit by the Folkes Brothers, Oh Carolina. He followed up this massive hit with the chart success of Boombastic, which went certified platinum in 1995. But his biggest hit to date has to be It Wasn't Me, which topped the US Billboard charts and was recently covered by band of the moment One Direction on the London leg of their worldwide tour. When Shaggy sits down for a chat with us, he tells us it certainly wasn't him... he's too good to get caught!

Hello Shaggy, welcome to Dubai! What have you been up to here?
It's a pleasure to meet you. (laughs) I've been boring, I got here yesterday and came to the Cavalli Club last night, I was sat right over there. It was fun.

Were there any others celebs at your table? I heard Gerard Pique is also in town.
Really? Who’s he?

He's Shakira's baby daddy and a brilliant footballer
Ah okay, I’m not up on all celeb gossip.

Ah well, that's what Ahlan!'s here for. How long are you staying in Dubai?
I leave tomorrow, gutted

So you haven't even got time to go up the Burj Khalifa? You're a regular visitor to our region though.
Yeah, I've been here too many times to count. I love it, it’s exciting, there is lots to do! The nightlife is crazy and the restaurants are cool, you know what I am saying. The weather is a little bit like Jamaica.

We love that your real name is Orville! So have you heard of the other Orville?
The duck? I'm actually really proud of the name Orville! I love it.

Are you a fan? I brought the lyrics to his big hit I Wish I Could Fly, I was hoping you could sing it for me.
Yeah, I'm a fan, but as you brought the lyrics, I think you should sing it to me!

I couldn't possibly sing it to you, I don't have a voice like you, Shaggy. You exploded on to the music scene two decades ago, of all the songs you've sung, which is your fave?
Out of all of them, I think it has to be Boombastic!

And where did the inspiration for Boombastic come from? I heard you wrote it when you where in the US Marine Corps?
The inspiration for Boombastic came from me, Shaggy is indeed Mr Boombastic! I always live by that character

Your biggest hit to date is the infamous It Wasn't Me. Is the song a biographical moment from your life?
I think it probably is for many men but not me; I'm too good to get caught!

So we have Mr. Boombastic vs. Mr. Lover Man,  you became the first Reggae artist to  hit No.1 on the Billboard charts since Shabba Ranks. Was he someone you looked up to in your career and an inspiration to your music?
Well, I've known Shabba for years, but I’m Mr. Lover Lover, and he’s Mr. Lover Man. I love no man. He was kind of an inspiration, we kind of did the same circuit together, you know, but I wouldn't say that our careers ran the same way. I’m here now and he doesn’t exist.

You sang with Ali G on the smash Me Julie, which was a brilliant song. Are you still mates with Sasha (Baron Cohen) and will you collaborate with him again?
I saw Sasha in LA at The Dictator premiere after-party (I don't do premieres), we just chatted briefly. I mean we don’t pick up the phone and call each other but if I see him I holler, but it's not like I go out of my way for lunch and he doesn't come to Jamaica to see me! Would we do another song? I mean I never rule anything out.

Speaking of Julie's, do you have a current Julie?
How could Mr. Lover Lover not have a Julie? I have many Julie’s, Julie, Michelle, Sharon, the list goes on.

You have recently released Fight The Feeling, off your hugely anticipated new album, how is all that going?
Good, it is doing very well, I’m very pleased with it, and it's 12 weeks in and I’m doing a video for it. I just saw the first edit of it today

Would you ever re-release any of your old classics?
I would be up for that, you know the record company still puts them out  here and there.  I was asked by a couple of famous DJs to remix them!

Can you name the DJs?

Come on Shaggy, that’s no fun!
I’ve been asked by a couple of them, I can’t tell you that because I am considering doing it, I don’t want to call one person’s name and then it’s the other person.