Mr Lover Lover
Dropping in to kick start your Valentineís weekend, Caribbean crooner Shaggy is set to give Dubai an evening of Pure Pleasure
MR BOMBASTIC HIMSELF Orville Richard Burrell, better known to millions as Shaggy, is returning to Dubai for the second time in two years tonight at Festival City. Playing to a crowd of thousands of screaming fans back in 2007, this concert, also featuring Tobias and DJ Cowboy, is tipped to be even bigger than the last and a jewel in the Dubai Shopping Festival entertainment schedule.
Shaggy will entertain with his numerous tracks including; It wasnít me, Angel and Oh Carolina in the city he has reportedly deemed as one of his favourite in the world. Boasting a host of accolades from across the globe including the Jamaican Order of Distinction, Shaggy is known everywhere for his soulful sub-baritone voice combined with a reggae beat and often tongue in cheek, racy lyrics.
Shaggyís first hit came in the nineties when he re-worked and released the Folkes Brothers ska tune Oh Carolina. A steady stream of top-ten songs followed with Mr Bombastic entering the public consciousness as a result of it being chosen as the theme tune to a Leviís commercial in 1995. A few quiet years went by until 2001 saw the release of It Wasnít me which catapulted Shaggy back into the limelight where he has remained since.
City Times caught up with the main man for a chat about the show tonight and how life is treating him.
Whatís it like being back in Dubai and performing in the Middle East?
Dubaiís the place isnít it? This is as far as the Middle East is concerned this is the Vegas. I went to a club last night and it was pretty happening. Itís good to have a place like this because the Middle East has always been perceived as being strict and traditional. I came here years ago, around 1994 to Abu Dhabi, back then it was just a desert but I would go home and tell people how happening it was. There are a lot of things that happen here and itís a lot of fun.
What are your hopes for the concert?
I donít know what my expectations are. Last time I played here I had a good reception. I donít know what it will be now as far as the crowd is concerned but I know that Iíve just come from Australia where it went well. We played seven shows between Australia and New Zealand. Iím just going to go out and do my thing. We have these monster songs that people like to hear and I just want to throw them down, knock them out and make it a great experience for everyone.
What is it like after the chaos of a tour to go home? Where do you consider home?
I get breaks to go home, three weeks here and there so itís not too bad. Home is New York, Miami or Jamaica, wherever I land first. Jamaica is where Iím from and I just did a concert there after Christmas, it was a charity benefit that I threw, and there was a great response. Itís always a great reception when you go there. Jamaica is a place that is very proud of our accomplishments.
What are you working on at the moment?
A new album at the moment. What I did with the last album was more of an underground record, more of a credibility styled album, I wanted to go back to the dancehall. That was all independent. This time around I want to do an album that I might get back in business with the Major for.
Do you have any particular message with your music?
My music changes but the main focus is entertainment. Sometimes you may put ďedu-tainmentĒ in there as well but my philosophy still stands that there is only so much i can tell you in three minutes. You need to buy a book for the rest of it. If I can make you feel good about yourself then I feel like Iím not doing bad.
How do you go about writing a song?
You have to be passionate and come across with some sincerity. Iím the type of person that if I have an hour to do the song Iíll do it in an hour. Itís whether I like or not, thatís the hard part.
Do you like all your songs?
Can you name any you donít you like?
I didnít say I put out any I donít like. No Iím lying I didnít like Piece of my Heart which is a song on the first single of Midnight Lover and there are a few tracks that because of record companies and compromises here and there werenít my cup of tea. But the big ones out there I did like.
Do you still enjoy the business?
I love music and I like touring. I donít enjoy the airports because they are now intolerable. Thatís the only part that I donít enjoy. That and I really donít like the fact everyone has a camera phone now!
Can you clear up once and for all where you got the name Shaggy from?
Shaggy came about because my hair was shaggy. When I went to England for the first time I found my name meant something else but it was all about my hair.
What have you got planned after this?
Thereís the new album, a new vibe. I want to see where this body of songs takes me. If you see where we started to where we are now thereís a transition so I donít know where these will take me. I think the music will become more melodic.
When: February 12, doors open 6.30pm
Where: Dubai Festival City
Tickets: Dhs125, 250, 450 and 950
Available at: www.timeouttickets.com