Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques (born 8 January 1973), known by his stage name Sean Paul, is a Jamaican dancehall rapper, singer-songwriter, and producer.
Life and career
1973–1996: Early life
Sean Paul was born in Kingston, Jamaica to parents Garth and Frances, both of whom were talented athletes. His mother is a well-known painter. His paternal grandfather had Sephardi Jewish ancestry, from a family that had emigrated from Portugal, and his paternal grandmother was Afro-Caribbean; his mother is of English and Chinese Jamaican descent. Sean Paul was raised as a Catholic, though aware that his grandfather came from an old respected Jamaican Jewish family. Many members of his family are swimmers. His grandfather was on the first Jamaican men’s national water polo team. His father also played water polo for the team in the 1960s, and competed in long-distance swimming, while Sean Paul’s mother was a backstroke swimmer. Sean Paul played for the national water polo team from the age of 13 to 21, when he gave up the sport in order to launch his musical career. He attended the Wolmers High School for Boys, Belair School, Hillel Academy High School, and the College of Arts, Science, and Technology, now known as the University of Technology, where he was trained in commerce with an aim of pursuing an occupation in hotel management.
1998–2000: Stage One
Sean Paul’s manager and producer Jeremy Harding first heard about the singer when his brother told him about seeing someone at a small open mic event in Kingston who sounded a lot like the popular dancehall DJ and toaster Super Cat. Harding eventually met the singer when Sean Paul came by his studio to ask for some advice. During the meeting Paul recorded a vocal over Harding’s rhythm track and in the process created the song “Baby Girl”. Sean Paul began hanging out at the studio every day, and the pair collaborated on several more tracks. When they recorded “Infiltrate” they decided they had something good enough to get on the radio. As Sean Paul started to attract local attention, Harding began looking after his affairs. He later told HitQuarters that his support of Paul’s fledgling career initially led him assuming the roles of “DJ, manager, road manager and security guard.”Sean Paul made a quick cameo appearance in the 1998 film Belly on stage performing. He made a very successful collaboration with DMX & Mr. Vegas (Top Shotter) as a soundtrack of the film. In 2000, Sean Paul released his debut album, Stage One with VP Records.
2001–2004: Dutty Rock
2005–2008: The Trinity
Sean Paul’s third album The Trinity was released in on 27 September 2005. The album produced five big hits, “We Be Burnin'”, “Ever Blazin'”, “Give It Up to Me”, “Never Gonna Be the Same” and the U.S. chart-topping smash hit “Temperature”. The video of “Give It Up to Me” (featuring Keyshia Cole) was also featured in the movie Step Up in 2006. He was nominated for four awards at the 2006 Billboard Music Awards, including male artist of the year, rap artist of the year, hot 100 single of the year, and pop single of the year for his hit “Temperature”. He also won an American Music Award for “(When You Gonna) Give It Up to Me” beating Kanye West and Nick Lachey who were also nominated for the award. His song “Send It On” from “The Trinity” featured on the 2005 Vauxhall Corsa advert. Sean Paul often contributes his songs to various Riddim Driven albums (by VP Records). In March 2007, he returned to his native Jamaica to perform at the Cricket World Cup 2007 opening ceremony. Sean Paul appears on the game Def Jam: Fight for NY as part of Snoop Dogg’s crew and again in the game’s sequel, Def Jam: Icon.
2009–2010: Imperial Blaze
“Imperial Blaze” was released on 18 August 2009. The lead single, “So Fine”, which was produced by Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, premiered on Sean Paul’s official website on 26 April 2009. Speaking to Pete Lewis of ‘Blues & Soul’ magazine in August 2009, Sean Paul stated that ‘Imperial Blaze’ “Actually signifies ‘The King’s Fire’. It’s that thing inside of you that gives you the desire to do whatever you do, and be the best in the world at it.” The new album consists of 20 tracks including “So Fine”, “Press it Up”, “She Want Me”, “Private Party” which are party tracks and also love songs such as “Hold My Hand” (feat Keri Hilson), “Lately”, “Now That I’ve Got Your Love” among others. Producers on the album include Don Corleone, Jeremy Harding, and Sean’s brother Jason ‘Jigzagula’ Henriques. All the full songs of the album have been added to Sean Paul’s Myspace page on the day of release of the album.
Up until now there have been eight music videos: “Always On My Mind (with Da’Ville)”, “Give It to You (with Eve)”, “Watch Them Roll”, “Back It Up” (with Left Side/Mr. Evil), “(I Wanna See You) Push It Baby” (with Pretty Ricky), “Hit ‘Em” (with Fahrenheit and his brother Jason “Jigzagula” Henriques), “Come Over” with Estelle, and also the video of his first single, “So Fine” from the new album. He has recently been featured in Shaggy’s video, “Save A Life”, which also includes appearances from Elephant Man and Da’Ville, among others. In an effort to raise money for a children’s hospital, Shaggy, Sean Paul and others will be having a benefit concert. All proceeds will go towards getting new equipment and technology ‘For Aid to the Bustamante Hospital for Children’. In an interview in 2009 he says he is planning to release a new album in 2011. During the premiere for MNET’s Big Brother Africa 5: All-Stars on 18 July 2010, he performed his songs “Temperature”, “Hold My Hand”, and “So Fine”.
2011–2012: Tomahawk Technique
The first single Got 2 Luv U features vocals from American singer Alexis Jordan. It was released on 19 July 2011 by Atlantic Records. The song was written by Sean Paul, Ryan Tedder and Stargate, and it was produced by Stargate.
“She Doesn’t Mind” is the second single from the album. It was written by Sean Paul, Shellback and Benny Blanco and was produced by Shellback and Benny Blanco. It was released on 29 September 2011 on NRJ & Skyrock (French radios), and to iTunes on 31 October. Like its proceeder, “Got 2 Luv U”, featuring Alexis Jordan, it topped the charts in Switzerland, but it debuted at that spot. Sean appeared on the Never Mind the Buzzcocks episode which aired on 21 November 2011. This album is released on 18 September 2012 in USA. The album nominated for the best reggae album in the 55th Grammy awards.
Sean Paul is featured in the Simple Plan song “Summer Paradise”.
In 2012, Sean Paul was asked to team up with electronic artist Congorock and Moombahton artist Stereo Massive to feature vocals on their song “Bless Di Nation”, there is an instrumental version also.
2013–present: Full Frequency
In 2013, it had been confirmed that Sean Paul is working on his upcoming sixth studio album Full Frequency, set to be released on 18 February 2014. The first single off the album “Other Side of Love” was released to iTunes on 10 June 2013. The second single “Entertainment” which features 2 Chainz and Juicy J was released on 25 June 2013. Sean released the official remix to “Entertainment” on 3 September 2013 with an additional feature from Nicki Minaj. “Turn It Up” was released as a single in the UK on 20 October 2013. It will be released in Germany on 22 November 2013. “Want Dem All” was released as a single in the U.S. on 5 November 2013. The album features guest appearances from Damian Marley, Iggy Azalea, Brick & Lace, Konshens, Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz & Juicy J.
Also in 2013, Sean Paul featured on the single “What About Us” by British girl group The Saturdays. The single went straight into the Official UK Charts at number one with over 100,000 sales in its first week.
On 26 January 2014, Sean Paul has been invited as the main international artist at Fiestas Palmares 2014 in Costa Rica, where every year more than 15,000 people gather for the closing concert.
Sean Paul appeared on the Apocalypse Soon EP by electronic group Major Lazer, on the track “Come On to Me” , which was released as the second single from the album, after “Aerosol Can”, a collaboration with Pharrell Williams. He also collaborated with Nigerian recording artist Timaya on a remix of his song “Bum Bum”. An accompanying video directed by Shutah Films was released online on 11 April.
In September 2014, Atlantic Records confirmed that they had dropped Sean Paul from the label.
- Studio albums
- Stage One (2000)
- Dutty Rock (2002)
- The Trinity (2005)
- Imperial Blaze (2009)
- Tomahawk Technique (2012)
- Full Frequency (2014)
- The Odyssey Mixtape (2009)
Awards and nominations