By Davina Henry–
Fans and friends descended on the Milk River Café in Brooklyn, New York, for the release of Shaggy’s 12th studio album.
His success, encompassed in an exemplary career spanning more than a decade, is still something he takes time to analyse.
“Everything changes when you are a reggae artist who falls under the American gaze. The recognition in Jamaica, while paramount, does not measure up to the United States validation of an artist,” said Shaggy, putting his crossover appeal into context.
Produced by Sly and Robbie, Out of Many, One Music promises to excite and thrill music lovers. The album came about by chance when Sly and Robbie and Shaggy ended up on a tour.
The album has already received tremendous feedback from industry tastemakers through various listening parties.
Shaggy told The Gleaner he decided to go ‘back to the roots’ with this album.
“Calling it Out of Many, One Music makes it as Jamaican as it can be. The fact that I’m doing this with Sly and Robbie, who are Jamaican icons, make it a fitting title. That’s why we even did the logo of the album to be a mock-up of the Jamaican coat of arms. We wanted it to be as Jamaican as possible.”
The authentic ‘back to the classic reggae’ album features collaborations with Beres Hammond, Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, Cocoa Tea, Jimmy Cozier, Tarrus Riley, Peetah Morgan, Tessanne Chin, Konshens and Chronixx. R&B superstar Ne-Yo is also featured on the album.
The collaboration with Ne-Yo, titled You Girl, charted at number one on iTunes and the Billboard Reggae Singles charts just days after its release.
“When you look at chart success right now in reggae music, there are very few Jamaicans on it. Most of the chart success is coming from foreigners. There is a total disconnect because although you are seeing all of this success on the charts by a lot of these foreign artists, none of them are being played in the dancehall, or streets or in the club. I wanted to be a force to be reckoned with.”
The album will also be launched in Jamaica on September 29 in Rae Town.
“Mi a carry it back to the origins of where it start from, which is Rae Town and sound system business. To celebrate sound system business, I think Rae Town is the most fitting place. It’s just coincidental that I’m actually from Rae Town, so I’m really looking forward to that.”