Shaggy is dropping a new EP, and it’s not a reggae or dancehall project.
A few weeks after Bounty Killer released a strong statement issuing a warning that dancehall music is in trouble and could be overtaken by soca, one of the biggest names in the genre, Shaggy, announced that he will be dropping a soca project. Without a doubt, Shaggy is one of the most versatile artists out of Jamaica currently, so you can expect the project will be well received.
Shaggy made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday to promote Kes the Band’s IzWe Carnival concert. The Grammy-winning Jamaican artist also has a new collaboration out with Kes titled “Mood.”
“From my experience in music and taking music to a global level the hybrid is where it is, there is no new music in its natural form that will break through unless it is fused with something else,” Shaggy said. “To me having a track that is soca-infused is definitely the recipe to break barriers and cross over.”
Following the flopped return of the iconic dancehall stage show Sting on Boxing Day last year, Bounty Killer chided the local music community for eroding the genre’s appeal to fans locally and internationally while alluding to the growth of other genres like soca and afrobeats.
“That flopped sting last night while dancehall is being stuck in a barrel and losing its appeal to the world watch Soca in Jamaica,” Killer wrote while sharing a clip of a soca party on the same night Sting was staged that was packed to capacity.
“Believe it or if we don’t take heed and try to fix the problem right now Soca will be even bigger than dancehall yrs to come here sad but it’s the truth,” the dancehall legend added.
While not everyone agreed with Bounty Killer that soca music will be bigger than dancehall, Shaggy’s announcement of his soca album only adds more weight to his statement. The “Boombastic” singer is perhaps the most commercially successful dancehall artist in history. He is the only dancehall artist with a diamond-selling album and one of the only artists of the genre who consistently landed major gigs like a role in Disney’s Little Mermaid musical and performances on shows like GMA and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve live show.
As for his soca album, Shaggy says some big names in the genre will be featured on the project, including Skinny Fabolous, Bunji Garlin, and Patrice Roberts.
The soca EP will be the follow up to Shaggy’s 2022 album Com Fly Wid Mi, a cover of Frank Sinatra’s classic with a twist of reggae. That album was produced by the Jamaican singer’s longtime friend and collaborator, Sting.