Dancehall superstar Sean Paul appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Wednesday to discuss his new collaboration with Colombian singer Manuel Turizo, titled Dem Time Deh, his latest effort to, according to him, bridge the gap between Reggaetón, Dancehall, and Reggae music.
Speaking with Clarkson, the Dutty Rock artist noted that there’s a shared musical language despite the linguistic barriers.
“I’ve been trying to bridge the gap between reggaetón and dancehall music or reggae music because we are [so] close in proximity to Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba,” he said. “We don’t speak the language [but] we do speak music, though.”
Paul, who was nominated earlier this year for his first-ever Billboard Latin Music Award in the Crossover Artist of the Year category, told DancehallMag that the nod was a great honor and that he’s been making a consistent effort to strengthen his connection with Latin fans over the last year.
“I come from Jamaica where we speak broken English, especially in my songs, so,” he explained, “I try to bridge that gap or make the connection stronger with my Latin fans. [That’s why] I try to do, you know, a couple words or a hook in Spanish every now and then.”
He added: “Within the last year, I’ve been gravitating more towards that Latin community, just to reach out and have them feeling closer to my career and music. This year alone, I’ve been able to do quite a few songs in the Latin community.”
Released on October 19, Dem Time Deh isn’t just a catchy tune; it’s a trip down memory lane. According to Sean Paul, the song’s title, meaning “back in the day,” reflects a shared sense of nostalgia. The music video itself, which has nearly 3 million views on YouTube, features nods to Paul’s iconic hits like I’m Still In Love With You, offering a delightful Easter egg for longtime fans.
“A lot of people kinda remember my career from 20 years ago, and Manuel he’s a lot younger than me, and he was like ‘yo back in those days was awesome and I wanna do a song with you. And he came to the studio and he started writing, and he’s like ‘What do you want to call it?’ and I said since it so reminiscent dem time deh, lets call it ‘Dem Time Deh,’” Sean told Kelly Clarkson on Wednesday.
Dem Time Deh, co-produced by Albert Hype, Jota Rose, The Rudeboyz, Tank God, and Mosadi, may form part of an upcoming album with other Latin artists, Sean Paul hinted during an interview with Hola! USA two months ago.
“Over the years, I’ve been blessed with doing a lot of great collaborations, especially with my Latin audience, I’ve been reaching out to them forever. So I just went to the studios, and I was like, ‘Yo, let me see what can happen,’” he said. “…I was working on an album, which I haven’t finished yet, and I just invited people to come through, and he [Manuel] was one of the people that came, had faith, and we got a nice hit going on right now. So big up to Manuel.”
Latin Music’s Global Rise
Paul also shared his perspective on the explosive growth of Latin music globally and reminisced about witnessing and participating in the genre’s early development.
“From the first time, I started to hear how Reggaetón was developing and just Latin music in general, in the early two thousands, kind of infiltrating and coming into different big American, mainstream stuff, that was awesome to me,” he said.
Added Sean: “And from those times I did a song called ‘Punkie’, which was also turned into Spanish, a whole translation that was in my first album I believe, or second one. I did ‘Hold My Hand,’ which was also in Spanish. That was probably in 2010 or 2009 we did that.”
“I’ve been doing work with so many different talented artists from Becky G to Enrique Iglesias and Gente de Zona, and people like Manuel right now and Feid. Big up to everybody who’s taking a chance to work with me because it is not every day that the next territory from your own culture gives you a chance and gives you a run.”
This year alone, Paul has released several Latin collaborations.
In August, he and Colombian singer Feid topped the Billboard Latin Airplay Chart with their raunchy yet charming single, Niña Bonita. The Jamaican artist last achieved that feat in 2017 via his collaboration with Enrique Iglesias on Súbeme La Radio, and in 2014 with his Farruko collaboration, Passion Whine.
Paul also worked with Latin superstar Karol G on Karmika – a single from her album Mañana Será Bonito, which topped the Billboard 200 albums chart dated March 11.
Watch Sean Paul perform on The Kelly Clarkson Show below: