Shaggy wanted everything to be just right for his return to the pop world.
After all, it's been more than a decade since the Grammy winner topped the album charts with "Hotshot" and the singles charts with "Angel" from his base in Valley Stream.
With his new "I Need Your Love" (RAL/Sony) single and a string of high-profile appearances, including Sunday's KTUphoria 2015 show at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Shaggy is ready for his comeback.
"It was time," said Shaggy, calling from his home in Kingston, Jamaica, where he has built a dance-hall reggae empire, including Grammy-nominated collaborations with reggae legends Sly & Robbie. "Now, the new kids know Shaggy's not just a pop guy anymore. He's authentically from the streets of Jamaica."
What was it about "I Need Your Love" that made it the right song to launch your comeback?
I needed to come back with a new sound, and that felt like the right sound. . . . It had that Latin feel, but it also had that Caribbean feel to it. It felt like summer. It was lighthearted. That hook was so infectious. It just worked. It's definitely the perfect pool party song.
And people have gone crazy for it.
We released it first in Europe and we shot the video in Spain. We had 1 million views in a week. I told Sony, 'This is your first single. Let's run with this.' They were smart enough to do it. It's already No. 28 on the pop charts.
Being from Valley Stream, is playing Jones Beach special to you?
I've toured everywhere. Jones Beach is always a great place to do. . . . It's really a good vibe. It's on the beach. It's outdoors. It's not very far for me to drive. It's in my backyard. (Laughs.) The energy is always great when you're standing on that stage and the crowd is almost right in your face.
It's been a while since we've seen you. What can people expect Sunday?
We still enjoy the stage, man. The reason no one here has seen me is that I've been blessed with songs that were globally successful. Even though I wasn't putting the records out in America, I was touring on a constant basis. I've always considered myself a showman, and I really move the crowd. That's the aspect of music I enjoy the most. . . . The easiest way to say it is: pandemonium.
WHO Shaggy, part of KTUphoria 2015
WHEN | WHERE 6 p.m. Sunday, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh
INFO $10.75-$123.50; 516-221-1000, livenation.com
The stars come out for KTUphoria
KTUphoria 2015 is shaping up to be one of Long Island's most star-studded days of the summer. Here's a look at some of the stars joining Shaggy Sunday:
BEST KNOWN AS "Mr. Worldwide," the Miami rapper who regularly tops the pop, dance and Latin charts with his international mix
CURRENT HIT "Fun," featuring Chris Brown
BEST KNOWN AS The original "American Idol," who has set the standard for all singing competition contestants with her savvy mix of pop, rock and country
CURRENT HIT "Invincible"
BEST KNOWN AS The ultimate Latin crossover star when he was "Livin' La Vida Loca," now balancing Latin and English songs, as well as touring and being a single dad
CURRENT HIT "Mr. Put It Down" featuring Pitbull
BEST KNOWN AS The runner-up on "American Idol" Season 8 who has outperformed numerous winners, with his collaborations with Queen and crafting a dramatic dance-pop niche for himself
CURRENT HIT "Ghost Town"
BEST KNOWN AS "Jason Derulo," the singer who speaks his name during his pop hits, as well as the new judge on "So You Think You Can Dance"
CURRENT HIT "Want You to Want Me"