Sting and Shaggy join forces again for new album Com Fly Wid Mi with covers of Frank Sinatra
It was the unexpected pairing that saw two musical worlds collide to create a Grammy-winning reggae album in 2018.
And now, Jamaican singer Shaggy, 53, and British musician Sting, 70, have joined forces once again for a second joint album that’s even more eclectic than the first.
The pair’s most recent collaboration, Com Fly Wid Mi, released Wednesday, was produced by Sting and features Shaggy singing the legendary Frank Sinatra’s songbook, but with a reggae twist.
DailyMail.com sat down with the duo at New York City’s Blue Note Jazz Club ahead of their special one-night-only performance to celebrate their release.
Sitting across the table from each other, the difference between the two unlikely friends was apparent, but the chemistry between them was undeniable as they joked about how the affair came to be.
Reggae legend Shaggy and British rock icon Sting have teamed up again for a second collaborative album, Com Fly Wid Mi.
DailyMail.com sat down with the duo at New York City’s Blue Note Jazz Club ahead of their special one-night-only performance.
“It’s his fault,” a playful Shaggy joked, pointing at the English singer, who confirmed: “It was my fault.”
The two explained that the album was born out of a “crazy idea” Sting had while on tour with Shaggy for their first joint reggae album, 44/876, a few years ago. in Oslo, Norway.
The two had rented a boat in the fjord to go swimming, to which Shaggy objected, saying, “Jamaicans don’t swim in the fjord.”
Com Fly Wid Mi was released on Wednesday and features Shaggy singing the legendary Frank Sinatra’s songbook, but with a reggae twist.
While Sting was out in the icy waters, Shaggy had been grilling on board and channeling Sinatra while singing his greatest hits.
“What’s interesting is that he has the same vocal range as Frank Sinatra, who is a tenor baritone, but he sang like Shaggy,” Sting said.
‘I just had one of these neon lights ideas that said, “Shaggy sings the Frank Sinatra song but in a reggae style produced by Sting.”
Sting said that after a few drinks, he managed to convince Shaggy that the album was a good idea.
“Then earlier this year we went into a studio and made this crazy idea a reality,” Sting said.
‘You know, it’s an amazing record and for me, the most important element in music is surprise. So we are surprising you once again.
In fact, the duo surprised fans when they first teamed up to record 44/876, which refers to the country calling codes for the UK and Jamaica.
The album won the award for Best Reggae Album in 2019.
The music video for the first album’s single, That’s Life, debuted prior to the album’s release and includes behind-the-scenes footage of the album’s making.
Sting revealed that they recorded part of the album at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, where Frank Sinatra himself recorded much of his music.
“He was putting us down,” Sting said. He was smiling at us.
The new album, released on May 25, was produced by Sting and features Shaggy singing Frank Sinatra’s songbook in a reggae style.
The two explained that the album was born out of a “crazy idea” Sting had while on tour with Shaggy for their first joint reggae album, 44/876, a few years ago in Oslo, Norway.
Shaggy added: ‘One thing I can tell you about Sting, he’s a perfectionist.
“I had no doubt that in the end it would sound really cool. In doing it, we didn’t know what it would sound like because it really was a risk for us to go in and just go with our gut and say. “Hey, let’s see where this takes us.”
But Sting also stressed that the reggae singer and his rendition of Sinatra’s hits are not intended to imitate the late singer.
‘I mean he’s not trying to sound like Frank. He sounds like Shaggy. And I think that’s the magic of this record and he’s in his own reggae ecosystem. But the songs are hard to sing. They’re very technical, so I was pretty brutal.
Shaggy said that this album combines the two genres and introduces a new audience.
‘Isn’t that what music is about? It’s about touching different, you know, people from different walks of life. And the good thing about this is that it is presented to different audiences.
‘A reggae audience that wouldn’t necessarily have seen or heard Frank Sinatra songs sung this way. And really hugging him. And he is just lovely. I am very, very proud of the work,” he added.
And while the couple’s sibling dynamic makes it seem like they’re longtime friends, the two revealed that they actually met just four years ago through their manager Martin Kierszenbaum, who thought they’d hit it off.
Shaggy said, ‘I had this song Don’t Make Me Wait. Martin heard the song, he said, ‘send me that song’ and he sent it to Sting and while I was in LA, Sting came in singing Don’t Make Me Wait and says (impersonating Sting with a British accent) ‘Come Shaggy ! This is a success, let’s do it!’
‘Is that your imitation of me?’ Sting said.
“Yeah, that’s as close as I’ve ever gotten to that,” Shaggy said with a laugh. ‘We ended up in a session having much more fun than even working. And at that moment we realized, yes, we liked each other and we liked each other’s company. And it just grew from there.
“It feels like we’ve known each other for most of our lives, you know?” Sting said.
The two artists also joked that while many would believe that they are an unexpected couple, they realized that they have “a lot of things in common”.
We are both Libras. Yeah, that’s a start…and neither of us cleaned our glasses,’ laughed Shaggy.
“And we’re both from small islands,” Sting added.
Sting revealed that his favorite song is Angel Eyes, while Shaggy said his favorite is Luck Be A Lady.
As for future collaborations between the pair, Sting said, “We’ll see how tonight goes, I mean, it could be the end of our friendship!”