Sting & Shaggy on Joint Album, America & Creative Evolution
Catalog and native countries aside, Sting and Shaggy may not be the odd pairing music critics make the duo out to be. For their surprise joint album 44/876 (a nod to the calling codes of Great Britain and Jamaica), the tandem shared a mutual love for reggae and vivid storytelling while keeping office hours at the studio.
During the bonding sessions, the two also discovered that they shared the same favorite artist — Bill Withers — and launched their careers with singles named after women — The Police with 1978′s “Roxanne” and Shaggy with 1993′s “Oh Carolina.”
Grab a few quotables from Sting and Shaggy from the latest In Conversation episode and watch the full episode on TIDAL below. You can also catch the pair on tour across North America this fall starting September 15.
On joining forces: “It was all a happy accident, a perfect storm that we couldn’t really control. We met two years ago, seen each other around show business, but really, we sat down in the studio, and he played me a song which I liked and asked me to sing on it. I enjoyed the process, enjoyed his company and what he told me to do, and about a year later, we finished that song, and I said [to Shaggy], ‘I’m making an album, come to the studio,’ just to vibe. I would ask him to add to a song, add a verse here, and it became apparent quickly that we should be doing this as a joint project, as a collaboration, 50/50.” — Sting
On contrasting creative processes: “I like that [Sting] got me into the whole daytime working. My creative process normally starts at 2 a.m. but it was good because there’s a whole different creative juice that flows when you just wake up in the morning, and it’s fresh, the day is fresh, so that was interesting. And the instrumentation is very meticulous on the music side of things, and I liked the fact that he tries different keys, different tempos, different drum patterns and throws bridges. It keeps it interesting.” — Shaggy
On creating relatable records: “I find out the more relatable things that you write about, those are normally the most successful songs ’cause people can relate. It’s like I wrote “It Wasn’t Me” not from a personal experience but I knew it was very relatable. There’s three things: either you’re banging, know someone who’s banging, or [someone] you wish you were banging. Some banging going on there … but very relatable, it could happen to anybody and that really connected it. Personally, it didn’t happen to me. I’m too good.” — Shaggy
On living in America: “We must defend what we think are the best parts of the American experiment. The idea of America is a good one, it’s certainly not a perfect society by any means but the idea is one that the world needs and so ‘Dreaming In The U.S.A.’ was our love letter to that America that is already great, that already welcomes immigrants, welcomes people who are suffering. That’s a great America.” — Sting
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