Sean Paul: 'language Barrier Is Holding Back Dancehall Acts' - Music News
Sean Paul feels Jamaican dancehall acts are discriminated against due to their patois dialect.
The dancehall superstar has teamed up with a host of major pop artists for collaborations, including Blu Cantrell, Beyonce, Dua Lipa, and Little Mix, and the genre has influenced the likes of Justin Bieber and Drake.
However, few dancehall artists have broken into the U.K. and U.S. charts, and the 46-year-old cites their use of Jamaican patois - a dialect that combines English with other languages and is unique to the Caribbean island - for this failure.
"I'm able to speak in a little tongue where someone can understand me," he told BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat. "Sometimes a lot of people still gravitate towards my music and say 'I don't understand what you're saying' but they get the gist of it. People speaking in hardcore patois, it's kind of hard for people to understand so that's a big factor (in their lack of commercial success in the U.K. and U.S.)."
However, the Gimme the Light hitmaker hopes the recent boom in Latin music, which was sparked by Luis Fonsi's Spanish-language smash hit Despacito, will pave the way for English speaking audiences to engage with music from other cultures.
"But it's like the Latin music right now," he explained. "A lot of people here don't speak Spanish but people get it."