Sean Kingston is back! Today, the “Beautiful Girls” singer made his return, dropping a new single “Peace of Mind,” a collab with Tory Lanez and Davido. Infused with Afrobeat and Kingston’s signature Caribbean pop sound, the track is the epitome of island vibes, and is the first single off Kingston’s upcoming EP Made in Jamaica.
Kingston’s return to music also marks a return to his roots. “[Made in Jamaica] is about going back to the roots, and going back to the culture," he told Fuse recently. "Being in Miami and LA is dope, but I wanted to go back to my people, learn the essence of dance hall, where it started from.”
We chatted with the “Me Love” singer about Made in Jamaica, his music evolution, and how he wants to keep creating music that is truly timeless.
FUSE: How did "Peace of Mind" and the collaboration with Tory Lanez and DaVido come about?
SK: It’s funny because a lot of people don’t know this, but I actually signed Tory Lanez back in 2011. That’s my boy. So, the energy was amazing. The whole concept to me [for “Peace of Mind”] was that I was in a two-year relationship where there was a lot of ups and downs, leaving me constantly searching for a peace of mind. It mixes pop and urban flavor with what my fans are use to hearing from me: the island vibes. And that’s why I also wanted DaVido on the track.
SK: The reason why my new album is called Made in Jamaica is because every song was written in Jamaica. I worked on stuff in Miami and in LA, but the the root of the songs, the melody, the concept, everything was done in Jamaica.
The EP is a very Caribbean pop rhythmic sound. Everyone knows Sean Kingston for the island pop sound, but I wanted to collab with some people that really fit the vibe. I’m not just trying to go full left field.
For this record, I want to keep [the sound] organic island but also have a flair to it. I reached out to PartyNextDoor. Me and Stefflon Don have a record together. Me and Tinashe have a record together. That record is crazy, it’s called “Satisfaction.” And that’s really it. I didn’t want to go too much on the features so that’s it.
FUSE: The Caribbean vibe is really trendy in music right now. What is your take on all the new island vibes and Caribbean-infused music right now?
SK: It’s so funny because everyone is always asking me that. I feel like it’s dope. Everyone knows Jamaica for having the swag, always having the lingo, always having the fashion, always being influential. Hip hop started from Jamaica. So for me, I was raised out there, it’s always been my culture, it’s always been my thing.
[Made in Jamaica] is about going back to the roots, and going back to the culture. Being in Miami and LA is dope, but I wanted to go back to my people, learn the essence of dance hall, where it started from.
FUSE: How has your music evolved over the years?
SK: I tell people this. Basically you wanna keep the same sound because that’s what they’re familiar with but you want to evolve that. You try to switch to different flows. Whole different melodies, different concepts, but keep the same beats. Don’t scare people away. You want people to be familiar with what they’re hearing because that’s what you started with.
When I started, I was 17-18, but I’m in my 20s now so I want to make it more grown, make it more relatable to people our age, but keep the same essence of what you started with. You’ve been around the world a couple times you’ve seen some stuff that you can really explain and talk about and you really know it.
FUSE: What are you looking forward to in 2019?
SK: I’m looking forward to putting out these records, getting back on tour, seeing all my beautiful fans. I can’t wait to go to awards shows, can’t wait to just get back out there and inspire people and motivate people.
I like the music that’s out—don’t get me wrong—the Soundcloud wave, the mumble rap, I’m a fan but when it comes down to it, I like feel good music too. We’re already living in a crazy world and shit’s going on every day that’s not supposed to be going on, so that’s really when you gotta unite and use music to influence each other.
All the records I’m performing are old records, and the look on these peoples faces is like these records just came out. Literally, they move and react to a song like it just came out. That’s the difference between all the artists that’s trying to go with the wave and artists that are trying to make timeless music.
Rather than, “Oh that shit goes hard.” I don’t want hard, I want timeless. Because that “hard” record you’re listening to, you’re going to forget about it in two years. But “Beautiful Girls,” you’re always going to remember it.
I’m trying to make music that’s going to be at people’s weddings. Everybody has their own lane. My lane is timeless, feel-good pop music. And that’s all I want to do. I just want to make people dance, have fun: grown, young kids, everybody.
FUSE: Makes me think about Beyoncé releasing “Before I Let Go.” It just takes me back to backyard BBQs and that timelessness.
SK: Exactly. People tell me, “I remember when ‘Beautiful Girls’ came out, I got my first kiss to this song.” It’s so much memories and experience that people go through, trials and tribulations that people go through with your music because it’s timeless. It hits them in a different way.