It’s a friendship that has surprised many.
“I had a song called ‘Don’t Make Me Wait,'” shared Shaggy. “I was working on a record, working on the song in L.A. and Sting’s manager, Martin Kierszenbaum, who used to be my A&R guy at Interscope Geffen, sent him the song. And Martin said, ‘By the way, Sting is coming over here.’ And I’m like, ‘Pft, whatever.’ And then he walked in singing our song, and says, ‘Shaggy, um, so this is a hit record … produce me!'”
British musical legend Sting said his pairing with Jamaican reggae star Shaggy was intentional. The duo spoke to ABC News’ “Nightline” about their chemistry, their new album and the political undertones of their new songs.
“I think surprise in any artistic enterprise is the most important element when you’re composing music you need surprise in the first four or eight bars. When you choose the kind of music you’re going to do next, you want to surprise people,” said Sting. “When you hear the music, you will be surprised again and then you’ll think, ‘Well that isn’t so surprising because they, they do blend together in a very remarkable way.’”
Shaggy pointed out that massive hits of the Police, Sting’s former rock band, like “Roxanne” and “Message in a Bottle,” were deeply influenced by reggae.
“Early Police records have a very heavy reggae influence.” The Police “used to tour with Steel Pulse Steel Poles and you know some of the earlier reggae,” he said.
The “Boombastic” star revealed that the prospect of working with Sting left him “terrified because this is the 100 million selling guy with 16 Grammys.” but that he quickly realized Sting “was like a kid in a candy store and that really connected me right off the bat.”
Agreeing that there was “fair amount” of trash-talking between them, the two laughed about competing over Grammy wins.
“Why you gotta bring that up? I only have that one right there,” joked Shaggy adding that “King of Pain” star had won “innumerable” Grammys. (He’s won 16.) He also said that the two never argued and compromise was simple.
“It’s almost like the universe is driving us up and even making the album itself,” he said.