YV talks to: Sean Kingston
“Have a listen to my track and let me know what you think”
All you Myspace users out there have probably heard something similar from an aspiring artist at least once in your Myspace life. Sean Kingston is all too familiar with this scenario after inundating the mailbox of record producer, Jonathan Rotem with similar requests. Fast-forward a few years and Sean Kingston is now the name on everyone’s lips, radios and televisions thanks to his infections hit, Beautiful Girl. YV’s Nicole Baldwincaught up with the man of the hour to find out what life’s been like in the fast lane
Tell us about Sean Kingston Sean Kingston?
Sean Kingston is a young artist who was born in Miami and raised in Jamaica. He sings, he raps and he does pop. His grandfather is Jack Ruby, who did a lot of stuff for Bob Marley, Burning Spear and Dennis Brown. He’s just signed with Epic Records and has an album coming out September 17th.
What has your journey been like so far?
It’s been cool man. It’s been a long road and a lot of grinding. You just gotta keep making hit, after hit, after hit. In just a short bit of time we’ve come up with some really good songs.
Tell us the story about you being discovered on Myspace?
I was staying at my mum’s boyfriends house one day and I went on the computer and I hit J.R (Jonathan Rotem) up off of Myspace. I was like, “Yo, please take the time out to listen to my music. I really think I’ve got a lot of talent and I want you to hear what I’ve got.” He didn’t reply back so I was like, ‘Yo, I’m going to make this dude reply.’ I sent him a message eight times a day until he eventually hit me back and wanted to hear more stuff. He gave me his number and we take it from there.
So I guess you would agree that persistence is the key?
So are you still a frequent Myspace user?
Yeah I check my own Myspace and I like to talk to the fans. I’m real big on Myspace. So if there’s anybody reading, you guys can hit me up on myspace.com /Seankingston. I check my own stuff!
So what’s the biggest change you’ve experienced since your career has taken off?
There’s just a lot more stuff coming at you. When you’re a new artist you just can’t wait until your time gets near, but when your time does arrive, you’ve got show, after show, city after city, and interview after interview. Basically I’m just saying staying busy and getting ready for this album to drop on September 17th.
Do you think your Jamaican heritage plays a big part in the type of music you make?
Yeah, I think it’s played a huge part. My mum is a born Jamaican and my dad is a born Jamaican, so it’s a good look.
How did it feel having Vybz Kartel on one of your tracks?
It feels good, really good man because Vybz Kartel is like ‘whoa’. That’s the man right there. He’s big in Jamaica right now so just to have him on my track is real cool.
Are there any collaborations we should look out for?
Do you have any role models in the industry?
Nah. There are a lot of people that inspire me, but nobody in the industry [are role models] except Jay-z. Jay-z is just the dude. I’ve got all his CD’s! It’s been good to see him develop as an artist, a businessman and an executive. That’s something that I wanna to do in the future. I wanna keep dropping good albums and build on my fan base until I get known enough for me to get my own label and help other artists launch their career the same way my career took off.
Is there anything else you want to do besides music?
Acting. I took acting classes when I was little and I liked it a lot. So who knows? If the success takes me to where I wanna be then I might branch into acting.
Other than being a Beautiful Girl, what else does a girl have to do to get your attention?
The perfect girl? She has to be everything man. She has to have her head on her shoulders. She has to be smart. She has to be cute – inside and out – and she has to be what Sean Kingston is looking for. I don’t like girls with an attitude. I don’t like girls who lie, and I don’t like girls who are stuck up. I like humble girls that don’t really talk that much. They’re still cute, but they’re just not in the hype or spotlight.
Are you currently single?
Oh yeah I’m single right now. If the right one comes along, she comes along, but I’m not really looking right now. I’m just focusing on my career.
Do girls show you more love now than before?
Yeah. Back in the day I was a shy person. So I didn’t really talk to girls. I would go to school and just chill with my homeboys. They were the ones messing around with girls. But now I’m a rising star and I talk back to a lot of girls now.
Did you ever think Beautiful Girls would have had as much success as it has?
I knew it was gonna be a big record but I didn’t know it was going to blow up that fast. When I wrote that record I was like, ‘Yo, people are gonna either hate this record of love this record’, but the record kept getting added to a lot of radio stations. They said that every radio station that played it got like thousands of phone calls a day for it. So you know, it was like a big, big look.
Are you still in education?
Yeah, but I’m home schooled right now. I’m gonna put it on the side while I focus on my music and see where it takes me. I like school, I like being educated and I like when my tutor comes around so who knows, I might jump back into that.
Do you still get to do normal teenage stuff?
I get to do normal teenage stuff sometimes. But not right now. I’m mostly focusing and making the best of the situation ‘cos this is what I always wanted to do. So if I’ve got to wake up and go to the radio station, I don’t mind.
What does the future hold for Sean Kingston?
I have a nice album coming out now so I’m going to be doing alot of shows. I’ll probably be dropping new albums and keeping my fans updated with what I’m doing. Sky’s the limit for me.
Do you have any final thoughts?
All my fans out there in the U.K make sure you look out for my album Sean Kingston self-titled -September 17th. Hit me up for more details Myspace.com/Seankingston. I’m coming to London next month!
[Issue #47 09/2007 – Young Voices Magazine]
Photo Source: Bumper Shine