As Sean Kingston gears up to release his latest album, the hitmaker looks back at his lengthy career and the anticipation of his next album.
After 14 years in the music industry, Sean Kingston is ready to reinvent himself. Wearing a diamond-studded chain and black graphic tee, the musician beams with confidence as we speak over Zoom. Who could blame him? His music has landed atop the charts and he’s performed across the globe.
At the age of sixteen, Kingston was discovered on MySpace by a small record label and signed his first deal. He released his debut single ‘Beautiful Girls’ in 2007. ‘Beautiful Girls’ would become one of the biggest hits of the year and launch Kingston into stardom. He additionally gained a fan base that couldn’t get enough of his sweet, pop ballads. Kingston went on to open for Gwen Stefani’s The Sweet Escape Tour and for Beyoncé’s The Beyoncé Experience tour which he recalls as one of his favorites moments in his career.
Last week, Kingston released his new single, ‘Love is Wonderful’ featuring Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. The sound of the track is unlike anything Kingston’s done before. With a melodic pop rhythm, the track celebrates a time of togetherness following a period of separation. It’s a reality that many, including Kingston, have endured.
“Since the pandemic, we’ve been going through a lot And I feel like we need love right now. Social media, people losing their lives, all the robberies, the brutal cop killings; everything is just draining and negative. I feel like we need to shed some light on the love side,” Kingston said.
Kingston’s on the verge of releasing his latest album ‘Deliverance’—his first studio project in eight years. For Kingston, ‘Deliverance’ is a fresh start. He began the era with the dong ‘ Darkest Times’ featuring Chicago rapper G-Herbo. “I’ve been thinking about my darkest days/ Remember all the times we had away, Kingston sings to the brass-heavy beat. On the track, Kingston describes the trajectory of his life and career
“Since I haven’t been in the light in a couple of years. It’s been five years. I felt like the fans needed to hear what I was going through and what’s been going on in my life. I feel like it was a lot of dark times, trials, and tribulations that I was going through,” Kingston said.
As a young musician, Kingston admits that the pressure was not easy. Over the years, he’s had to overcome a number of challenges.
“A lot of artists they say they really want this life, but when you come as a teenager, it’s is a whole different thing, You got to really just make sure you’re on your P’s and Q’s, but then it’s also you’re constantly on the go, you’re living out of a suitcase.” Kingston added. “It’s very draining, and you got to make a lot of sacrifices and I feel like a lot of people don’t shed light on that side too.”
Kingston hopes younger musicians can learn from his story and know that success can not be earned easily, but remaining true to yourself can be a saving grace.
“You’ve got to really come with your own sound and what’s original to you, your own vibe, your own lane. You’ve got to figure out what your lane is. I feel like that’s the number one thing.” Kingston said.
Kingston describes ‘Deliverance’ as an opportunity to celebrate his past and acknowledge how far he’s come. Kingston recently signed with a new record label “Empire,” where he will release his next album. “It’s been amazing,” Kingston said of Empire with pride.
Though Kingston was born in Florida, his Jamaican identity remains an important part of himself and his music. When Kingston debuted with “Beautiful Girls,” it not only put him on the map but put Caribbean beats at the forefront of pop music. Kingston’s music has introduced many to the culture and sound of Jamaica. From lyrics to instrumentation, Kingston has used Jamaica as a muse for his music. When asked about his favorite Jamaican musicians growing up, Kingston referenced Beenie Man, Vybz Kartel, Bounty Killer, Spragga Benz, and Baby Cham as some of his favorites. As he talks about the Jamaican music of his childhood and now, Kingston lights up. He emphasized that the artistry Jamaican musicians have created is something that can’t be found anywhere else.
“The melodies hit different down there,” Kingston said. I just feel when it comes to melodies and making their voice an instrument, it’s always been Jamaican artists, dancehall artists, reggae artists, or afrobeat [artists] who are killing it right now.”
However, Kingston doesn’t label himself as a reggae musician, but as an all-around artist. His music has elements of Pop, R&B, hip-hop, and he’s collaborated with musicians across genres.
“I’ve been in the studio with everybody you could really name,” Kingston said.
The musician has worked with artists such as Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Busta Rhymes, and one of his biggest inspirations—Vybz Cartel. For the artist, collaborations have allowed him to explore different styles of music and prove just how versatile he can be.
“I’m a true artist and a true musician. I don’t try to put myself in one box. I could do it all. I’m a musician, I’m an entertainer. So it’s like whatever I do, I’m gonna do it with a passion. I’m gonna do it my way and I’m gonna do it the best because that’s my way. I know for a fact that this is a gift because of how I write songs and how I know what songs are gonna be before they are what they are like. It’s just a blessing,” Kingston said.
The singer additionally dreams of collaborating with even more artists including Drake, J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and NBA Youngboy, who he admires greatly.
“He has to be the youngest artist I’ve ever learned things from,” Kingston said.
‘Deliverance’ will include even more surprising features according to Kingston.
Not only has Kingston grown with the music industry, but with his fans. Kingston expressed watching his fans grow with him has been a rewarding aspect of his career. Listening to Kingston’s music brings a sense of nostalgia for so many. Last year, his 2010 hit
‘Eenie Meenie’ featuring Justin Bieber went viral on Tik Tok—proving just how timeless Kingston’s music is. On his next album, fans can expect “the old Sean.”
“The nostalgic moments that you guys loved about me,” Kingston said. The catchy, feel-good songs. The songs that you could no matter what you’re going through turn them on and just have a great time and it gets you to that vibe.”
Along with releasing new music, Kingston has been performing in venues across the U.S. Kingston will continue to play shows for fans in the upcoming months as well.
“I’m so excited to go back on the road. It’s been a minute since the pandemic, seeing my fans, and showing them a great time on stage. So I’m definitely looking forward to that.” Kingston said.
No release date has been set for ‘Deliverance’, but Kingston said the album has been almost two years in the making and he can’t wait for those who were introduced to his music almost a decade ago, to hear how far he’s come.
“Everything is just more grown, more elegant, and on another level” Kingston expressed.