BIO-Sean Kingston’s self-titled 2007 album may have sold more than a million copies worldwide and spawned three back-to-back Top 10 singles, including the double-platinum smash “Beautiful Girls,” which hit No. 1 in 21 countries, but it turns out that the Miami-born, Jamaica-bred teen was just getting warmed up on his debut.
Kingston’s second album is aptly titled Tomorrow, as it reflects this 19-year-old’s growth as a person as well as his evolution as a singer, songwriter, and entertainer. “I called it Tomorrow because the album is about everything that’s happened to me over the past two years and how much I’ve grown and changed since my debut came out,” he says. “The songs are about me being hopeful and looking toward the future. We don’t know what tomorrow holds for us. People don’t know what Sean Kingston holds for them. I have a lot in store, personally and musically.”
He proves it on Tomorrow — a buoyant collection of pop-fueled feel-good anthems and dance-floor clarion calls that bumps everything from electro-pop (the club-banging first single “Fire Burning”) to rock (“Shoulda Let U Go” featuring Good Charlotte), to reggae (the breezy “Island Queen”), to R&B (“Wrap U Around Me” — Kingston’s current favorite track because “I’ve always wanted to cut a straight-up love song”).
“Everything comes together on Tomorrow,” says Kingston, who collaborated with a host of top-notch songwriters and producers, including J.R. Rotem (who produced Kingston’s debut), RedOne (Lady Gaga), Wyclef Jean (who also contributes vocals on “Ice Cream Girl”), Detail (Akon), Lucas Secon (Jordin Sparks), and The Smeezingtons (Flo Rida). The melodies are irresistible, and Kingston’s Caribbean-inflected voice sound better than ever. Then there are the lyrics, which showcase his growing conceptual maturity. On first listen, Tomorrow may sound loaded with “girl songs” (as he puts it), but for Kingston, writing about his relationships serves as a prism for his deeper messages. “Face Drop” is about self-acceptance and shutting down the haters, “Magical” addresses true romantic connection, while “War” (featuring Lil Wayne) finds Kingston fighting for the one he loves. On “Over,” he brushes off a girl who just wants to get with him for his fame. Through his songs, Kingston lets listeners in on what his life is like through good old-fashioned story-telling.
Sean Kingston, is a multi-platinum recording artist whose self-titled debut album, which was released in 2007, sold more than 1 million copies worldwide and generated three back to back Top 10 singles, including double platinum smash “Beautiful Girls” which hit #1 in 21 different countries.
Andrea Samadi interview with Sean Kingston in 2009.
A- Where are we reaching you today, Sean?
S- I’m actually in Miami.
A-Sean, you obviously have a lot of fans out there. Yesterday I was speaking to one of my friend’s about this interview and she let me know that her 11 year old son Elijah, who is a huge fan of yours, wanted me to pass over to you that he thinks I am “so cool and lucky” to get to speak with you today.
S-Sean laughs and says “thanks, I appreciate it.”
A-So, you have a wide range of fans, from very young, to adults as well. How does that make you feel?
S-It makes me feel great. This is something I have always wanted to do. I specifically want to get to know everybody-the younger people, the older people and the middle ages.
A-Based on your experience and accomplishments, you have so much advice to offer to other teens and this is the goal of The Teen Performance Magazine. I did also see your commercial for DOSOMETHING.ORG where you are trying to inspire music programs to continue in schools. Can you tell me a bit about that?
S-I want to be a part of a big charity and I want to give back. I feel like you have to inspire and motivate and I feel that I didn’t have that when I was growing up, so I want to do that for kids out there. I fell in love with the idea of DOSOMETHING.ORG because they are trying to take the music programs out of schools and that’s all kids have. You have to keep those programs there, keep them going and focus on this.
A-How did you get started in the music industry?
S-Our Grandfather was a big producer, from Jamaica, and he produced a lot of records. He loved producing beats and being around music; everything that I am. I can sleep in the studio. I don’t need to record. I just like being around music, so I started going to the studio around 7 years old, did different talent shows, won first place awards and saw that I had talent. I was rapping, so it was kind of different at that time. My brother said, “You need to focus on this” so I started buying rap books, writing in rap books, going online and seeing other artists’ beats and re-vamping them,
A-So, you’ve always known that this is what you want to do.
A-Tell me about your #1 song, “Beautiful Girls” that we see featured all over popular TV shows like “Gossip Girl,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “The Hills.” Where do the lyrics come from?
S-The lyrics are about painting the picture and telling the story. Me and my girl growing up, we were young and in love, but we had some problems because she was too beautiful for me.
A-Do you have a self-esteem message in your song “Face Drop?”
S- Definitely. I wanted to write a record like that because I feel like there’s a lot of kids with low self-esteem and a lot of guys feel rejected because of their self-esteem and image and the way they perceive themselves so I wanted to write a song like that because a lot of people can relate and think those things, but not come out and say it. So I came out and said it on my record so people can feel motivated and inspired. And it did-a lot of people across the world love this song because it’s touching and real. It says “You don’t want me for me.” A lot of girls out there should give guys a chance; give the guy a shot. It’s the most personal song I’ve written.
A-Yes, many people can relate to this; men and women of all ages.
A-Can you tell me about your brand new technology, 3D Karaoke experience on your website?
S-We were the first to build a virtual satellite, little Sean, my alter ego, live and direct to wherever you are. You just need a webcam and set up your hologram on the webcam and little Sean pops up and starts dancing and dance routine, like karaoke, its fun, entertaining and cool.
A-You can access your virtual Sean on your official website at www.seankingston.com?
A-Sean, how have you handled your success?
S-Just keep me grounded-by my sister and family.
A-How does your attitude help you with your life?
S-It changes for the better. It made my dream come true, so now it takes a lot to make me mad. I know I am going to get this record deal and I’m going to be a star. I won’t let anything stop me.
A-So your attitude directly affects your results.
A-What are you working on now-your future goals?
S-I am working on being my own artist now. The Replay CD is currently #6 on ITUNES and I’m working with Warner Brothers-we are doing amazing work for this album. People love it.
A-So you are keeping busy!
S- Yes. I have my own record label called Timeless Money Entertainment. Also, I’m on tour right now. We are going to different markets, performing shows and its turning out great. Also, I’m working on a new song, record, album, so look out for that.
A-Can you give some tips for a young person who would like to achieve the success that you have achieved?
S-Basically, if I can do it, you guys can do it! When I was 14 or 15, I had a regular job cutting grass and the next thing you know, I’m a worldwide celebrity because I made sure that I stay focused, humbled and practice until perfect. Stay on your a-game!
A-Who are some of your mentors?
S-I respect Jimmy Lee, I respect Akon. I respect guys like that. I’ve been around them a couple of times and they help you out. They make music that people can relate too, the music I make is feel good music with no curse words, no profanity. People just want to dance and have fun. There are a lot of things going on in the world and kids just want to relax.
A-What obstacles have you had to overcome?
S-Other than the fact that my Mom was locked up in 2007 ( for tax evasion) that set me back since she had to go to jail. I love my Mom; I’m a Momma’s Boy. It also helped me to turn around and work harder and I think that’s what got me to where I am now.
A-What keeps you motivated every day? Is it your passion and love for making music, which is very clear to me while speaking with you?
S- Yes, definitely my passion and love for music.
A-Have you ever doubted your abilities and wondered “Who’s going to love this song?”
S-Not really, I just keep writing.
A-You just write what comes from your heart.
A-What does your tattoo on your hand mean to you? “Eyes Above Water?”
S-It means seeing everything, and staying alert.
A-This message seems important to you.
A-Is there anything else that you would like to say about Sean Kingston that I might have missed to help your fans get to know you?
S-I want my fans to know that Sean Kingston is humble, and down to earth. If they see me, don’t be scared to come up to me-I’m cool like that.
A-Thank you Sean! I want to remind everyone to visit www.SeanKingston.com and www.twitter.com/SeanKingston to follow what’s new with this incredible music artist. Sean’s new album “Tomorrow” is available online and in stores now! Sean, we love your message and fans of all ages will continue to be inspired by you. Thank you for your time today and sharing with young people how you became a multi-platinum recording artist, skyrocketing to celebrity status worldwide!