Shaggy is already talking new music for 2023, but the legendary Jamaican artist says he’s due a “Shaggy record” after spending much of his recent time either collaborating or sampling new music.
While speaking with the Grammys about his nomination for Best Reggae Album for the Sting collaborated project ‘Com Fly Wid Me’, the artist spoke about working on a new record, mentoring younger artists, and dealing with the loss of his mentor Robbie Shakespeare from Sly & Robbie.
According to Shaggy, he has been working on a “Shaggy record” for the past three years despite the uncertainty of the pandemic.
“I’m excited about production projects with young writers and musicians. I’m like a kid in a candy store. Everybody keeps asking for a Shaggy record. But when Sting says let’s go now, you go now! So we did the Sinatra album. It’s like I’m his little project. But I’m overdue for a Shaggy record,” he said.
He added that he has an extensive list of songs recorded, but he has been in production mode tweaking and changing the songs.
“I’ve been working on my latest record for the last three years. I have about 100 songs, and keep redoing it. I get inspired over and over again with new stuff. The hardest part is taking stuff out,” he said.
While Shaggy hasn’t given a timeline for when fans can get new music, he revealed that the sound of the project, much like Com Fly Wid Mi, would have a new sound, unlike anything he has released before.
“Whatever I do next won’t be what’s expected. If I do what’s expected, then I’ve failed. I’m always looking for that new sound. I make records selfishly to please me. I don’t want to be bored, I’m allergic to boredom. If I’m not bored, then the record is timeless,” he said.
The artist also shared wisdom imparted to him from others and spoke about using that to mentor young people.
“James Brown told me once in my dressing room that they can take away your wife and your house, but not your talent. I believed him. None of those accolades I can take with me, but I can inspire, and change someone’s family. I’m the only musician in my family, and now I have a niece at Princeton. We have changed the cycle of our lives, and that moves me, that excites me,” he said.
Shaggy also spoke about how his year 2022 went as he revealed the impact of the loss of Robbie, who helped to shape his outlook on life.
“The year was bittersweet because I lost [bass player and producer] Robbie Shakespeare of Sly and Robbie. He was a mentor of mine, like a father figure to me. We went to the funeral and that was rough,” he began.
Shaggy added, “Shakespeare was one of the greatest musicians and also an amazing person. Humility is the biggest thing he taught me. As a person from the ghetto, he helped me realize my purpose. He would say you’re here as a servant to change people’s lives.”
Robbie died in December 2021 after complications with liver and kidney transplants he had had.