Shaggy Reveals Where His Singing Voice Originated

Shaggy's time in the U.S. Marines deeply impacted his music career.

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Shaggy's talking voice is drastically different from how he sounds on wax.

The Jamaica-born artist recently posted a video where he discussed the origins of his singing accent.

“I got this voice by mocking drill instructors in the military, 'cause in the Marines, the drill instructors would go, 'Yeah, boy, drop and give it 20. Let’s go, boy.' And I would mock him as a form of joking because it motivated your platoon. I just sang that song in that voice because it sounded cool,” he said.


Shaggy discusses how he got his signature voice while in the U.S marines

♬ original sound - DiRealShaggy

The two-time Grammy winner explained that he found himself in a dilemma when his cover of “Oh Carolina,” the lead single from his 1993 debut album Pure Pleasure, became big.

“All of a sudden, ‘Oh Carolina’ blew up and now I’m faced with the situation that I’m gonna have to sing every song like that. If you’ve listened to songs like ‘Big Up’ or ‘Mampie,’ those songs are sung in a different voice than ‘Oh Carolina,’” he shared. “It’s a different tone. It is not the same tone as I would on ‘Oh Carolina.’”

View this video on YouTube

Shaggy previously divulged some of this to Billboard, telling the publication, “I just used to mimic [the drill instructors] because they would call me out to sing cadences. Little did I know that that was actually vocal training because I was singing from my gut and running three miles.”

According to the U.S. Department of Defense’s website, Shaggy enlisted in the Marines in 1988 at the age of 18. He was deployed to Kuwait for the first Gulf War and was later discharged in 1992.

In an old YouTube video, Shaggy revealed why he went into the Marines. “The reason why I joined the military was at the time, I was a kid in Brooklyn and really needed to get off the streets,” he said. “The military changed my life.”

View this video on YouTube

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