He’s had the world under a dancehall spell for the past decade, and now, for the first time, he’s coming to Bahrain. That’s right, Sean Paul will take to the stage at Klub 360 during F1 weekend to have all the party-goers getting their dutty wine on! FACT caught up with the world famous artist to find out what fans can expect at the mid-April event…

Hi Sean! It’s been 15 years since the release of your debut album Stage One – how has your style and approach to making music developed over the years?

I’ve always been mindful to stay true to my dancehall sound and continue to fly the flag as a reggae ambassador, so I don’t think my approach has changed that much, except now I collaborate with a lot of international artists and producers who bring their interpretations of dancehall to the mix.

What do you look for in an artist when it comes to collabs, and is there anyone that you really want to work with?

I’ve always wanted to work with Alicia Keys. Also, I love Ellie Goulding’s voice. I’m open to working with a lot of different artistes. I just did a collabo with Farruko from Puerto Rico and J Balvin from Colombia and, of course, the massive ‘Bailando’ with Enrique Iglesias last year so I’m heavy into Latin collabs right now.

 ” I love the Middle East – the reaction from my fans there is always hype and the food is always amazing!”

What are you most looking forward to about performing in Bahrain?

I love the Middle East – the reaction from my fans there is always hype and the food is always amazing! I’ve never been to Bahrain before so I’m looking forward to meeting them.

We can’t wait to see you on stage – can you give us a sneak peek into the performance?

I’ll be doing my usual high energy show filled with all my hits but I’d love to hear what the fans over there would want to hear so hit me up on my Instagram or Twitter at @duttypaul.

new SP Sean Paul Main Pub 2 - Photo Credit - Patrick Hoelck

Your most memorable moment from your music career to date…

My most memorable moment in my music career to date has to be every day in the studio. Just joking! There are so many different ones. Being on my first stage show in Jamaica, doing my first song, working with big artists such as Beyoncé for the first time, so there’s too much to choose one. I’m just very thankful for this career and thanks to the fans for following me all these years.

Who are your musical heroes and why are these figures particularly inspiring?

One of them, and who I’ve always spoken about, is Bob Marley. I think that he is a prolific writer, a prolific musician in himself and his songs are lasting 40 years now in terms of being felt by generations down the road. He’s a very prolific person in that respect.His uncompromising, unwavering faith that he had is somebody with a real conviction in life and puts it into his music which helps to evolve the world.

I really think that he is a great ambassador for his country, for the music and for his faith. Other influences, I like hip-hop a lot but I think that dancehall influences me a lot more. I would say big up to artists like Papa San, who had the Guinness World Book Record at the time when I was growing up in about 1989 where he was the fastest rapper alive, in terms of having the most words in a song, ever. I really looked up to his style, even though he is a different kind of artist right now, I still think he’s a very potent artist even though he is a Christian rapper right now, so big up to him.

Any advice for upcoming musicians?

Before you try and make it in the world, try and make it on your block, make it in your city, make it in your country. Make sure you stay true to who you are musically, surround yourself with good people and that music is a lot of work. It may look like a bed of roses but you have to be disciplined and you have to have a good work ethic. Don’t expect to make it overnight.

You have a huge international fan base, have you got a message for them?

Thank you for following me all these years – to my fan base – without the fans I wouldn’t be here. Being that my career has spanned so long I have to give thanks to them and to God.

What’s coming up for you in 2015?

I’ve been recording a lot in 2014, and I’ve quite a few songs coming out this year. We’re presently shooting videos and there are some more productions being worked on too for later this year. I also have a lot of songs personally, as singles, to drop, so I’m also looking forward to doing that. A lot of studio work and pin-pointing to break into new markets. Different songs will work in different genres and different markets!