Dec. 1, 2009
By Rousheen Paisley, Luther College Public Information news writer
Sean Kingston, a rising star in the world of Hip-Hop, pop and blues, performed to a sold out crowd in the Regents Center at Luther College on Nov. 13. Rousheen Paisley, Luther College news writer, caught up with Kingston before his performance for a brief interview. He offered some interesting comments about performing for a small-venue audience in the upper Midwest region that would not typically be considered to have a large fan base for Hip-Hop.
Q: Your tour locations before this were Philadelphia and D.C. and after this it’s London. One question a lot of people have been asking is, “Why Decorah? Why Luther?”
A: I mean, to be honest with you, I don’t have no problems with locations, like, wherever I gotta go for a show I gotta go for a show. I like coming to these places, it’s like, the smaller places because to be honest with you they appreciate it more and they have a lot of—you know they just wanna bug out and have a good time.
Q: Performance venues for you are usually larger—how’s this going to be different than playing for larger crowds?
A: I like small audiences I think they more get to me, you know what I’m saying. You get to build the vibe with you and your people. It’s like with all the fans out there, you get to really look them in the eye.
Q: Critics of Hip-Hop say that it is a music genre that has been associated with violence, misogyny, glorification of gangs and gangster ethics and glorifies lifestyles that are basically dead-end. You’ve taken that music form and gone in a different direction with it. First off, what do you think about such criticisms of Hip-Hop?
A: I definitely feel like that is a way that it’s being done. I feel like Hip-Hop right now where it’s at is kinda crazy with all the violence and stuff and people promoting these different things.
But see, I’m not really a Hip-Hop artist I’m more of a pop artist you know what I’m saying. Reggae a little bit of R&B, that’s me. I like it (Hip-Hop) but I feel like I’m in a whole different genre, a whole different market so I’m not really too concerned.
But I feel like, to be honest with you, I don’t really—not really—I don’t curse in my music. I don’t curse in my music because I feel like I got a lot of kids out there that look up to me and I’m a role model.
Q: So you’re not a Hip-Hop artist, why did you decide to go to the genre you’re in right now?
A: I feel like, you know, everybody have their own style. They have their own style, they have what fit them. I feel like this is me right here, you know what I’m saying. This is Sean Kingston.
Q: So you’re comfortable where you are.
Q: So you are by far the biggest artist to perform at Luther College. Do you think that because you’ve taken the genre to a broader audience that has widened your fan base and made you welcome in different places, simply because of the way you’ve chosen to do your music?
A: Yeah, definitely. I feel like people have tapped into Sean Kingston who weren’t necessarily Sean Kingston fans but they hear the message, they hear my songs, they know who I am as a person, they connected with me so now they’re fans of Sean Kingston.
Q: You’ve been really welcomed here. Since people heard you were coming they’ve been all over the place.
Q: Yeah. How does that make you feel as an artist?
A: It’s a blessing. It’s a real blessing. You know it makes me want to go harder and go in the studio and make another hit, know what I’m saying?
Q: What is your ultimate dream for your career? Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: You know, I just want to be able to follow in the footsteps of Sean “Puffy” Combs and Jay-Z. Those type of guys you know, as far as they do they thing. They were artists but they turned into something that was bigger than what it was. They took it past the music and they turned into moguls. That’s where I see myself.
Kingston’s new album “Tomorrow” is in stores now.
To learn more about Sean Kingston, visit his website at http://www.seankingston.com.
To view the Sean Kingston interview, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDzaeZGz4mc.