Sting stands behind Shaggy, resting his chin on the Jamaican rapper’s shoulder in a small room at Sear Sound in Midtown Manhattan. As they listen to unmixed tracks for their April 20 Caribbean-flavored album 44/876, Daddy Yankee is across the hall laying down vocals for a song on the set and longtime Sting collaborator Branford Marsalis wanders in to add soprano saxophone flourishes.
It’s the afternoon following Sunday’s Grammy Awards, during which Sting and Shaggy debuted a snippet of their new duet “Don’t Make Me Wait.” (The full song’s broadcast bow will occur Sunday during Sting’s performance at the NFL Tailgate Party preceding Super Bowl LII on NBC.)
Though they barely knew each other a year ago, the warmth between the two is apparent as they wrap up work on the album. Originally limited to Sting laying down guest vocals on a song for Shaggy’s album after the two were brought together by Martin Kierszenbaum, Sting’s manager and Shaggy’s former A&R exec, the pair enjoyed collaborating so much that they decided to record a full album together after Sting asked Shaggy to help on his next project. “We just had a rapport,” says Sting. “I decided a joint venture was much more exciting than him just guesting.”
Read the rest of this interview at Billboard...