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Sting, as in "Desert Rose" Sting and not WWE wrestling personality Sting, joined Shaggy for a chat with Rolling Stone Wednesday to unveil the project's first single. "The most important thing to me in any kind of music is surprise," Sting said. "And everybody is surprised by this collaboration—by what they're hearing. We're surprising."
Though "surprising" might seem like an understatement to some, the first cut—"Don't Make Me Wait," available via streaming outlets Jan. 25—is a promising introduction to what has clearly been a fruitful collaborative relationship.
During the Manhattan-based sessions for the album, dubbed 44/876, Sting was fortunate enough to be introduced to the Jamaican grapefruit soda Ting. At one point during the interview, Sting holds a bottle of Ting up to his face and Shaggy starts cracking up about "the Sting-Ting connection." Legendary album? Confirmed.
"Don't Make Me Wait" actually marks the beginning of the project and came together thanks to Sting's manager Martin Kierszenbaum, who sent the Police frontman an early version of the track last summer. Once Sting gave it a spin, he headed to a studio in Los Angeles where Shaggy was working to surprise him with a chorus. "Once he cosigned it, I was like, 'Fuck, I was right! The God says it's a hit!'" Shaggy said. A Gil Green-directed video for the track, shot in Kingston, is expected to arrive shortly.
44/876 boasts production from Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me" collaborator Sting International and guest appearances from Aidonia, Dominic Miller, Robbie Shakespeare, and DJ Agent Sasco. The full album is due on the extremely fitting date of April 20 and I, for one, am fucking stoked.