You may only know Shaggy for his early-aughts smashes “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel,” but the 42-year-old Grammy-winning reggae singer has been keeping busy, most recently releasing a new album in July, “Summer in Kingston,” that reached No. 1 on the iTunes reggae chart. We caught up with the “Boombastic” singer while he was vacationing in Italy.
You spent some time growing up in Brooklyn, now you’re performing there tonight. How does it feel to be back?
It’s good. I’ve done this concert series about twice already. I think it’ll be an incredible crowd. You have young people, but there’s a lot of grown up folks there.
So even though you’re in Brooklyn, will you still be keeping the “Summer in Kingston” vibe alive?
Oh, absolutely. It’s summer in Kingston wherever you are. We launched the album in Kingston and everybody came out and joined the celebration. We did the album very cheap — it’s like $2.99 — for fan appreciation. The reason we could do that is because all the tracks I did were tracks that I owned, made in-house. I wrote them all, and I didn’t have to go through the red tape of using super-producers.
How was it working on your own?
It is easier to do. You’re in charge of your own destiny because you make smart decisions with your in-house team.
While you’re in NYC, what are your must-visit spots?
I like Serafina. They do good food. I like Negril [for] jerk chicken. I’m not a club-hopping guy, but there’s probably a couple bars that I might go to.
You don’t like hitting the clubs? But all your music’s played there!
Yeah, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I want to be up in the club. If you caught me a couple years back, I’d be like “Yeah!” Now [I like] a nice lounge where I can sit down and have a conversation.
Follow Meredith Engel on Twitter @MeredithatMetro.