Just in time for 2020’s pandemic-disrupted yuletide season, diamond-selling recording artiste Shaggy releases Christmas In The Islands to lift the spirits of his fans across the globe. The project, the musician explains, is geared towards repackaging the essence of Christmas in an ‘island style.’
“Christmas in The Islands is a from-the-heart project, a collection of Christmas songs with an island twist… in these COVID times it was just suppose to remind us what Christmas means,” the artiste shared, during the recent virtual album launch event.
“I like to call it a roller-coaster ride of Christmas vibe and energy… it really is a depiction and embodies what I know as Christmas in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean,” Shaggy explained, adding that “We’re blessed with good weather, so, normally, Christmas is filled with parties, after parties, after parties, after parties. It might be a little bit difficult this year, because of COVID, but we’re going to make the best of it.”
The acclaimed musician elicited the talents of a slew of distinguished collaborators: Junior Reid, Bounty Killer, Richie Stephens, Sanchez, Rayvon, Ne-Yo, Ding Dong, Romaine Virgo, Carys, Craigy T, Jamila Falak, Conkarah, OMI, Shenseea, Beenie Man, and Joss Stone.
“Is a project that started last year with a friend of mine, Sting, when we did the Disney Christmas special. We did a couple of dancehall and reggae songs, couple Christmas carols in dancehall and reggae: Jamaican Drummer Boy and Silent Night… after the tour (KISStory Blast Off) I did, at the top of the year, with Nelly and Eve…COVID hit. I figure that COVID would last about two months…, the sometimes-actor recounted, detailing how the project initially started to take shape.
“I figure I would link up back with Sting… [but] Sting was stuck in the UK and I was stuck in New York… after that Jamaica open back up and I came back to Jamaica…by that time it became evident that it will be a Shaggy [solo] album… I [then] decided to call on a couple of my friends.”
The international recording artiste explicated that the album was curated as story-telling, expounding that the theme of the project is similar to the seasonal parties that are usually staged during Christmastime in Jamaica. Shaggy referenced the Caribbean islands’ annual celebrations, namely “the white party, the day party, the night party, the beach party,” as the impetus that framed the reggae-dancehall theme of Christmas in The Islands.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the artistes who came on board this project with me. To all the producers; the record company, BMG; Solid Agency; and everybody… all our sponsors.”
The virtual event was staged in collaboration with Digicel’s D’Music app; Wisynco’s Wata, Tru-Juice and BOOM Energy Drink brands; and hosted by culinary doyenne Jacqui Tyson.
In other merriment-inspiring news, Shaggy (donning the cap of head cook and bottle washer) is listed as executive producer on 2021 Reggae Grammy-nominated album, Maxi Priest’s It All Comes Back To Love. The beloved deejay also loaned his distinct rasp to multiple tracks – I’m Alright, Cool Nuh, Anything You Want, and My Pillow – on the British crooner’s project.