Available for the first time on YouTube, iconic musicians Sting and Shaggy come together for an intimate conversation offering an insightful look at their creative process, musical inspirations, artistic common ground and mutual appreciation and respect for each other’s work on a very special episode of Speakeasy. Following an airing on New York City’s WNET at 1:30 am EST Monday, September 17, the program can be streamed Tuesday, September 18 on Sting’s YouTube page, the Cherrytree Music Company’s YouTube and www.speakeasytalk.com.
Following the success of their critically-acclaimed European summer tour, Sting and Shaggy kicked off their 44/876 Tour in North America last week and are currently playing to sold out crowds in major cities across the continent. Dates and tickets for select cities are available here: https://www.sting.com/tour
On Friday, Sting & Shaggy released a brand-new song, “Skank Up (Oh Lawd)” featuring dancehall music sensation Ding Dong, accompanied by a lyric video. Produced by GRAMMY-nominated producer Martin Kierszenbaum (Sting, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Far East Movement) and mixed by Robert “Hitmixer” Orton (Mumford & Sons, Lana Del Rey, Paramore), the track melds reggae, blues and Miami Bass rhythms to create a natural and danceable extension of Sting and Shaggy’s 44/876 album collaboration.
In creating their island-inspired album 44/876 (A&M/Cherrytree/Interscope Records), Sting and Shaggy drew from the many unlikely connections at the heart of their music. With its title referencing their hometown area codes, 44/876 first and foremost honors the duo’s deep-rooted love for Jamaica: Shaggy’s homeland, and the place where Sting penned such classics as The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” The lead single from 44/876, “Don’t Make Me Wait,” made its debut at #1 on the Billboard Reggae single sales chart while the album has spent twelve weeks atop Billboard’s Reggae album chart.
Sting first rose to the spotlight as the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist of The Police before launching a successful solo career in 1985. He is one of the world’s best-selling musical artists and was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has received multiple awards in recognition of his music including 16 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and 4 Brit Awards.
Born and raised in Jamaica, Shaggy moved to Flatbush, Brooklyn as a teen and discovered his talent as a lyricist while freestyling with his classmates there. After serving in the US Marines for four years, he made his musical breakthrough in 1993 with “Oh Carolina,” a track that holds the distinction of being the first-ever dancehall record to chart in England (where it spent two weeks at No. 1. on the UK Singles Chart). A major force in boosting the worldwide popularity of reggae and dancehall music, Shaggy later went on to win the Best Reggae Album prize at the 1996 Grammy Awards for his third full-length effort Boombastic (featuring the platinum-selling and iconic title track). His catalog also includes the No. 1 mega-hits “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel,” both of which appeared on his diamond-selling album Hot Shot.
Speakeasy is the ground-breaking public television series from the producers of Front and Center which pairs Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers, Grammy Award and Tony Award winners, and iconic musicians with an interviewer of their choice. The result is an intimate conversation that leads to stories, experiences and compelling viewpoints that may not have been heard before. Speakeasy will return to public television for a fourth season January 2019.
Front and Center Entertainment, LLC produces the popular music performance television series Front and Center as well as the groundbreaking talk show Speakeasyand the monthly series MTV Live: Setlist. Since 2012 Front and Center has presented an eclectic mix of Grammy, Country Music Association, American Music and Academy of Country Music Award winners, rock icons and multi-platinum sellers including Keith Urban, Steven Tyler, Cyndi Lauper, Counting Crows, Rob Thomas, and The Avett Brothers. Speakeasy, which began airing in January 2015, features an iconic talent chatting intimately with an interviewer of their choice. Included are conversations withRoger Waters and Bill Weir, David Crosby and Wynton Marsalis, Nile Rodgers and Valerie Simpson, and Robbie Robertson with Warren Zanes. MTV Live: Setlist spotlights rising artists spanning multiple genres including St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Dua Lipa, and Muna.