Available for the first time on YouTube, iconic musicians Sting and Shaggy come together for an intimate conversation offering an insightful look at their creative process, musical inspirations, artistic common ground and mutual appreciation and respect for each other’s work on a very special episode of Speakeasy. On Tuesday, September 18, the program can be streamed on Sting’s YouTube page, Cherrytree Music Company’s YouTube, and SpeakEasy’s website.
Following the success of their critically-acclaimed European summer tour, Sting and Shaggy kicked off their 44/876 Tour in North America last week and are currently playing to sold out crowds in major cities across the continent. Dates and tickets for select cities are available here.
On Friday, Sting & Shaggy released a brand-new song, ‘Skank Up (Oh Lawd)‘ featuring dancehall music sensation Ding Dong, accompanied by a lyric video. Produced by GRAMMY-nominated producer Martin Kierszenbaum, known for his work with Sting, Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Far East Movement, and mixed by Robert “Hitmixer” Orton (Mumford & Sons, Lana Del Rey, Paramore), the track melds reggae, blues and Miami Bass rhythms to create a natural and danceable extension of Sting and Shaggy’s ’44/876’ album collaboration.
In creating their island-inspired album ’44/876′, released on A&M/Cherrytree/Interscope Records, Sting and Shaggy drew from the many unlikely connections at the heart of their music. With its title referencing their hometown area codes, ’44/876′ first and foremost honors the duo’s deep-rooted love for Jamaica: Shaggy’s homeland, and the place where Sting penned such classics as The Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take’. The lead single from ’44/876′, ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’, made its debut at #1 on the Billboard Reggae single sales chart while the album has spent twelve weeks atop Billboard’s Reggae album chart.
Sting first rose to the spotlight as the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist of The Police, before launching a successful solo career in 1985. He is one of the world’s best-selling musical artists and was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has received multiple awards in recognition of his music including 16 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and 4 Brit Awards.
Born and raised in Jamaica, Shaggy moved to Flatbush, Brooklyn as a teen and discovered his talent as a lyricist while freestyling with his classmates there. After serving in the US Marines for four years, he made his musical breakthrough in 1993 with ‘Oh Carolina’, a track that holds the distinction of being the first-ever dancehall record to chart in England (where it spent two weeks at No 1 on the UK Singles Chart). A major force in boosting the worldwide popularity of reggae and dancehall music, Shaggy later went on to win the Best Reggae Album prize at the 1996 Grammy Awards for his third full-length effort Boombastic (featuring the platinum-selling and iconic title track). His catalog also includes the No. 1 mega-hits ‘It Wasn’t Me’, and ‘Angel’, both of which appeared on his diamond-selling album, ‘Hot Shot’.
Speakeasy is the ground-breaking public television series from the producers of Front and Centerwhich pairs Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers, Grammy Award and Tony Award winners, and iconic musicians with an interviewer of their choice. The result is an intimate conversation that leads to stories, experiences and compelling viewpoints that may not have been heard before. Speakeasy will return to public television for a fourth season January 2019.