Interview with Sean Kingston prior to his worldwide fame. He tells the story of how he was discovered on Myspace.
Describe your style of music.
I’d say it’s a little bit of reggae and a little bit of rap – you know, international.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making music since the age of 8. It’s something that has always been a part of me. I wrote my first song when I was 9 and I took it from there.
Did you always want to be a musician or is there something else you wanted to do?
It was always music. Growing up, I wasn’t like the regular teenager. I wasn’t really interested in going to the movies or playing video games. I was always a music head. I would come home from school, do my homework, and write a new song. That’s what I wanted to do since infinity. My grandfather was a big producer in Jamaica. He did a lot of memorable stuff. He passed away the other day but he’s very big in the reggae culture. It’s been a part of me growing up.
Who are some artists that you look up to?
Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z, Biggie, Akon. I really like Lauryn Hill. I’ve loved her since the Fugee days. She’s tight.
Tell me about the single “Colors”. What’s the story behind that?
It’s a pretty dope record. It’s very different. We sampled it from Ice T. We remixed the beat. J.R., my producer, did the beat. We got Game on it and Rick Ross. It’s a crazy record that the streets will like. We’ve got it on the radio. Khaled’s been blasting it off in Miami and we’re getting great feedback.
What other songs will be on your album?
We got a lot of stuff. I got some stuff with Damian Marley. I got stuff with Juelz Santana. I got a whole lot of songs with a lot of variety. When I make music I do different stuff like catchy hooks, club songs, girl songs, party songs, whatever.
You’re a fairly young artist. Do you think that’s an advantage or disadvantage?
I think it’s an advantage ‘cause I do a lot of songs and people come to me and ask if I write my own stuff, am I really only 17. People tell me I’m so good for my age ‘cause I come up with the stuff I come up with. That’s pretty dope.
How are you managing school with your music career?
It’s doing pretty good. I’m actually at home school right now. I have a teacher that comes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when we go to the studio. It balances out really good.
What’s the situation with your record deal?
Right now I have a deal with Beluga Heights which is through super producer J.R. Rotem and Epic Records. We shopped around with a lot of labels and had a little bidding war going on but we did the deal with them. I felt like Epic was a good situation. I felt comfortable; I felt at home so we made the deal happen.
How were you able to shop around for a deal? How did you make those types of connections?
Myspace. I met J.R.’s brother through Myspace, which is crazy. I sent him three songs and didn’t really think he was gonna hit me back but he listened to the three songs, called me back and flew me out. We started working and developing some tracks. When we found the right three songs he shopped me around we made it happen.
What are some things that the music business has taught you so far?
It’s taught me to stay humble. When I first got signed, I thought everything was just going to come to me. But you gotta be humble, stay focused and make the right moves. I’ve learned a lot about the ropes and stuff so it’s a pretty good situation.
Since you have an album coming out, is the label schedule a tour for you?
They’re talking about a tour but I’m not sure if they’re ready to make it happen. They’re talking about putting me on the Chris Brown tour that’s coming up and the Bow Wow tour. That’s about it. It’s a good look. I just can’t wait for the album come out. I’m very excited right now ‘cause the album’s crazy!
Is the album going to be your first project or have you put out other CDs in the past?
It’s my first project.
Do you want to venture into other areas of the entertainment business in the future?
Yeah, I’d like to be a CEO. I started a label called Time is Money Entertainment. I just got it incorporated. I got an in-house producer that I just signed to the label. We’re working with J.R. I’m just trying to make it big and follow in the footsteps of Jay-Z. I’m trying to be an entrepreneur, sign some good artists, get a distribution deal and make it happen. It’s going good so far. I also went to school for acting when I was younger, too. I got a little bit of acting skills so I’d like to make it happen with acting, too.
Do you want to give out any contact info?
You can check out my Myspace page www.myspace.com/seankingston for more information on me. I do check Myspace. I want to give a shout out to Epic Records, my manager J. Shapiro and J.R.
Interview by Ms. Rivercity for OZONE Mag