With the smell of jerk chicken in the air and drinks courtesy of Grey Goose and Bacardi being served, a press conference was held Wednesday evening with International Reggae Superstars Shaggy and Maxi Priest to discuss their upcoming show next week at Barclays Center on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Shaggy and Maxi Priest will be joined by two more International Reggae Superstars on stage at Barclays Center, Beres Hammond and Ali Campbell’s UB40.
During the press conference, Maxi Priest was asked if he ever thought one of his biggest hits, “Close To You”, would do so well. His answer, in a single word, was “Never.” He didn’t expect the single to be as big of a worldwide hit as it was, but he was able to capitalize on it with other big hits.
Speaking of big hits, not too many in music, let alone reggae, have had the type of success that Shaggy has experienced. From “Oh Carolina” and “Boombastic” to “Angel” and “It Wasn’t Me”, Shaggy is the only certified Diamond-selling Dancehall Reggae artist of all time. Diamond certification equals 10 million records sold.
Shaggy discussed the strong West Indian, or Caribbean presence in Brooklyn, where Barclays Center is located, and the Brooklynite talked about the “opportunity to make our presence known” for the Caribbean community at the arena the night of the show.
With all of the success that the four artists performing next week have had, Shaggy pointed out that there is still no major station that has a reggae format. That means that stars in the genre have to produce what Shaggy called “undeniable hits” that will enable the songs to crossover. Fans will be treated to four artists who managed to accomplish that success time and time again.
There were rumors that Maxi Priest was supposed to replace Ali Campbell in the band UB40 when Campbell left. He addressed the rumors head on, saying “From the horse’s mouth, not that I am a horse, I am not UB41″ to laughter and cheers of the crowd.
Shaggy pointed out to those in attendance that this is a “quality show with quality performers” that will bring a “quality audience.” Indeed, this is a show with artists with numerous hits, who will be joined by other big artists on stage (as they both agreed would happen at the show) and all of those in attendance should be in for a treat at the very first reggae concert at Barclays Center.