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Shaggy talks ‘Hot Shot 2020’ album, Sting, Conkarah, Grammy win (Includes interview)

With this new album, Shaggy will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of his diamond-selling album, Hot Shot. It will feature updated versions of his greatest hits (“It Wasn’t Me,” “Angel,” and “Luv Me Luv Me”) and other fan-favorite tunes. “I was asked by Universal if I wanted to do an anniversary album. The thought of it was scary, but then I attempted to do it. I wanted to come up with something a little bit different,” he said.

“I came with a concept, where I took the five most popular tracks and I gave them a 2020 feel. Then, I added four new songs and I threw in some classics and gave them an uplift as well. I put Sting on ‘Angel’ and I did a new song with him called ‘Primavera’. It all worked out,” he added.

This musical effort was recorded in New York City and at the iconic Anchor Recording Studio in Jamaica, where he recruited an all-star lineup of producers such as Martin Kierszenbaum, Shane Hoosong, Dave Audé, and Dwayne “iLL Wayno” Shippy. “Shane and Dwayne are my two in-house producers, and I have worked with Dave before. Dave’s discography is pretty big. Martin is an incredible musician and producer. We are all one team and one family. We can take on anything since we are well-versed musically,” he said.

On July 10, Shaggy will be performing at the Good Morning America (GMA) 2020 “Summer Concert Series,” where he will be joined by Sting. “I am super excited,” he admitted. “It is exciting since it coincides with the release of the album.”

On May 11, Shaggy performed “It Wasn’t Me (Hot Shot 2020)” and “Angel (Hot Shot 2020)” on ABC’s The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart. “We did that in a club in Las Vegas and there were fans in the club, so it felt like a concert,” he said.

Shaggy collaborated with Island-pop sensation Conkarah on the single “Banana.” “Martin [Kierszenbaum] brought ‘Banana’ to me and I thought it was a clever play on words. I went ahead and produced it since it needed production,” he said. “All of a sudden there’s a TikTok, and here we are. It’s a new era. ‘Banana’ brings so many smiles to people’s faces. Everybody is having a ball with this. It’s infectious.”

On being an artist in the digital age, Shaggy said with a laugh, “I joke with my daughter and I said ‘are you going to do a TikTok on daddy’s song?’ and she was like ‘no.’ All my friends are doing this dance, and you will never have the pleasure of seeing your daughter do it. I told her ‘you are just mad because I am more popular than you are.’ I’m a TikTok star. We always keep swinging at the bat. Music is what I am good at.”

In 2019, Shaggy and Sting took home the Grammy Award for “Best Reggae Album” for 44/876. “It was great, and the fact that I won it with Sting made it that much more special to me,” he said. “Sting is a very special person in my life, and somebody I have amazing fun with. Sting is like a brother to me. He is one of the most genuine and kind-hearted human beings. We really enjoyed that album.”

Sting and Shaggy

Sting and Shaggy
Martin Kierszenbaum

On the title of the current chapter of his life, Shaggy said, “Savor It.”

A few summers ago, he enjoyed visiting the island of Mykonos in Greece. “That was my first time going,” he said. “I love Greece. I’ve been to Greece many times but I’ve never been to Mykonos. We took a helicopter there and we just hung out there. It was really great: love of nice restaurants and a lot of good vibes. The hotel was in a great spot and Mykonos has a nice nightlife. It’s a happening place. We had an amazing time.”

Shaggy defined the word success as “impacting people’s lives in a positive way.” “That’s my nature of success,” he explained.

Hot Shot 2020 is available for pre-order by clicking here. “I hope the fans really soak this album in, and I hope it lifts their spirits. I included some summery and fun songs on there since I wanted everybody to be in a really good mood,” he said.

To learn more about Shaggy and his new music, check out his official website and his Facebook page.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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