Shaggy A ‘Wealth Of Knowledge’

Mr Lova Lova was in town last weekend for the annual Chum FM breakfast concert here in Barbados.

Shaggy performing at Chum FM last Thursday.
Shaggy performing at Chum FM last Thursday.

Orville Shaggy Burrell, who has been in the music industry for over 25 years, took the hundreds in attendance on a journey down memory lane.

He performed a string of hits from his well-known repertoire including It Wasn’t Me, Mr Boombastic, Angel, and In the Summertime.

Watching the Strength of a Woman singer on stage, was definitely a joy. From his good looks, the 47 year old singer easily could have been mistaken for someone 20 years his junior.

Bajan Vibes caught up with the veteran entertainer before he took to the stage at the Sugar Bay hotel in Hastings.

Shaggy admitted that his secret to staying relevant and being able to fit in with the younger crowd, was through “keeping up with the changing times and keeping my ear to the ground”.

“I’ve been in the music industry a long time. A lot has changed, the entire game has changed. The whole vibe has changed,” he remarked.

“Social media is a big part of it now. When I started, I was criticized for doing crossover music,” he added.

“Now everything that happens is that style of music. So some might say I was ahead of my time, but it has now become a cool factor.”

Shaggy said it was good to see that dancehall and reggae were becoming ‘cool’ again, especially since he was part of the group that helped to take those genres to the world initially.

“There was a time when we kicked off the whole dancehall revolution. Myself, Sean Paul, Elephant Man and so on and that was a movement,” he recalled.

“Now you find reggae coming back again as a cool factor with the recent success of Justin Beiber’s with Sorry, OMI, myself, Rihanna with Work, . . . putting dancehall back into the limelight.

“They just give it a new name and call it Tropical House to make it seem fresh to the kids, but it’s really dancehall,” he added with a chuckle. “All eyes are now on the Caribbean especially with the success of Rihanna.”

Shaggy has worked with and pushed many upcoming artistes over the years including Barbadian Rayvon, who is best known on the hit song with Angel.

Another is fellow Jamaican, Tessanne Chin, the 2014 winner of the international singing competition, The Voice.

Shaggy described himself as a “wealth of knowledge”, and said he was willing to share the information with all who wants it.

“I have done my fair share. I’ve worked with Rick Rock, Rayvon, Tessanne. I’m a wealth of knowledge that is here,” Shaggy said.

“I’m willing to listen and share the information but I can’t make people soak it up. But you know, you can carry the donkey to the water but you can’t make him drink.”

The veteran entertainer offered some advice to young artistes looking to go far and remain relevant despite the passage of time. He said it was important for them to recognize that music is a business and all about proper branding.

“Music is a business. We have to figure out how to make it into a brand that we can make a living off of. I don’t think a lot of dancehall artistes figure that out as yet,” Shaggy said.

“The more an artiste realizes that branding is what is going to take them through to the future and have a successful career, it would be smart that they start to involve themselves in things that would make them a viable brand to partner with.”

Shaggy further advised young artistes: “Be yourself. Master your craft. You will stand out if you do that. It will set you apart.”

Despite his success, the 1996 Grammy award winner for Best Reggae Album said remaining humble was one thing he makes sure of.

“I was always a simple guy. Simple things are what move me. And I have never been a boastful type person so I guess it’s easy for me to remain humble,” he said.

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