Sting and Shaggy’s 44/876 is coming this April (on the 20th, no less) and the not-so-unlikely pair sat down with Red Bull Radio’s Federation Sound to discuss their influences, the meaning Jamaica and reggae have to both, and their seemingly evitable musical collaboration. The episode will air tomorrow, March 14 at 2 PM EST, but Uproxx has an exclusive preview, which you can view above and on our Facebook page.
In the exclusive clip above, Sting discusses the importance and influence Jamaica has had on his work, saying, “I owe a lot to Jamaica. Not only because of its music and its influence on my own music, but also I was in Jamaica in the 80’s and I wrote my biggest song on the island. I wrote “Every Breath You Take” on Jamaica. There’s something in the magic of that place that sparked my creativity. I always felt like I owed something. You know, Bob Marley was my mentor. Reggae music has been a major influence on all of my music. It’s always underpinning everything I do, regardless of the style.”
With that in mind, it’s really no huge surprise that he would team up with one of the biggest reggae and dancehall artists from Jamaica in Shaggy. While some may have done a double take when they saw those names paired, they actually make a lot of sense in perspective. Many of Sting’s biggest hits, both solo and with The Police, are hot through with strong Caribbean influences. While Shaggy may be best known for “It Wasn’t Me” stateside, he’s still an international star and has consistently made music since then, even when American audiences weren’t paying attention. Judging from their singles, including “Morning Is Coming,”
44/876 might be just the thing to bring both stars back to prominence and show those mainland audiences the real magic of Jamaica.