‘Mr. Boombastic’ still fantastic

Contemporary dancehall artistes are lacking the “crossover appeal” honed by their predecessors in previous years, Grammy-award winning Shaggy believes.

“None of these songs are really crossing into mainstream. In the era where we had it: myself, Sean [Paul] and Elephant Man, you were seeing chart action. I think that is the main difference you can identify,” the Boombastic singer told Bajan Vibes before his fun and flirty performance at the Digicel Reggae on the Hill.

And Shaggy should know what he is talking about.

With 20 years in the game, his smooth lines have been enjoyed major chart success.

What may be unknown to even some of his fans is that Shaggy worked on his singing while in the United States marines, and served in the Persian Gulf War. Real name Orville Richard Burrell, the singer’s 2000 album Hot Shot which was a six-time Platinum in the United States and songs like It Wasn’t Me and Angel were Billboard staples.

“I think it is a package deal. What you are finding now is a guy who has a great song, but they are lazy and don’t have work ethic. Or maybe they have the work ethic but no charisma or the type of song or talent. The package deal is hard to find at times. That is a big disconnect.”

As he surveys the dancehall landscape, the Kingston/New York raised singer has identified some artistes may have what it takes.

“I like what Chronixx is doing and I think Konshens have the full package and I think you will see a surge of young artists that can make it happen. We will keep our fingers crossed,” he added.

A quick search on the internet revealed Mr. Lover is an unbelievable 44 years old.

As he matures in the eyes of his adoring fans – and some newer ones, Shaggy asserted there was no need to hide his age.

“You see some guys are really trying to look really young and I am not [that person]. I’m about me. I keep it simple and I am in a more tailored look these days. But the thing about this look is that it forces you to stay trim, so exercise is necessary,” he said with a smile. (LW)

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