Sean Paul, two syllables, one big name.
The man, the myth, the legend dominated the 00s club scene with banger after banger. But what I wanted to know, for absolutely no reason, is what is it like to BE a Sean Paul, but not the actual Sean Paul?
There are many, many Sean Paul’s and many closely related species including Shaun Paul’s, Shawn Paul’s, Shauna Paul’s and Shaughna Paul’s. In my research I also found Chone Paul’s, Shawone Paul’s, Shonn Paul’s and Shawne Paul’s. They roam freely and boldly on the internet.
I reached out to them all, on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram alike, even to the OG himself (@duttypaul online), to no response.
I could have named my article ‘How Many Sean Pauls Could Tell Me To “Fuck Off’ In One Night’, as that was the most common response, to answer that question, it was 13.
In the end only two would speak with me. Sean Paul, Inner Westie of Sydney, mid 30s. We met for a beer in Marrickville, and Shauna Paul (who’s name might be even more Sean Paul, than Sean Paul), in her early 20s from the UK who spoke to me over Instagram Dms.
1. When did you first hear about Sean Paul? What were your first impressions ?
Sean Paul: I would have been 15 or 16 in high school. At the time I had a serious doppelgänger – even I could see it – who was big on the Big W catalogue scene, so I was hoping that this new Sean Paul discovery would lessen the amount of ‘Big W’ catalogues getting shoved in my bag by kids in my class, but it worked too well. Yes ‘Get Busy’ was the first big single, I was hoping it was going to be a one hit wonder sort of thing, then that ‘Breathe’ song came out, and then another with Beyonce, then I knew he was here to stay. The thing is EVERYONE knows his name, even if they don’t know his music, like.. super famous although not super relevant. Bad mix to share your name with someone like that.
Shauna Paul: I can’t remember exactly when I first heard of Sean Paul, but it was definitely in primary school, at first I just remember him having some good tunes.
2. When did having the name Sean Paul/ Shauna Paul become an issue for you?
Sean Paul: Today, when you messaged me about the article. But it was too funny to say no.
Shauna Paul: My name is Shauna Paul, so it’s quite similar to how he pronounces his own name in his songs, and people often say my name in a Jamaican accent. I wouldn’t say having the name has exactly been an issue, but I do have to hear the same damn jokes from everyone which tires, fast.
3. Has sharing the name with the music ledge ever worked out in your favour?
Sean Paul: Free beer, today!
Shauna Paul: Haha nooo, just an icebreaker I guess when meeting new people. People seem to be a bit more friendly after learning my name and it obviously opens up conversation.
4. Do you even like Sean Paul?
Sean Paul: He seems like a nice enough guy, and I can see why people get into his music, they are good dancehall-y bangers. There’s a time and a place to Sean Paul and I acknowledge that. I think we would get along. I’ve definitely smoked more weed than Sean Paul, or at least I could give him a good run for his money. That’s for sure. I was looking at his discography and listened to Temperature on the way here to meet you, and yeah I remember a few tracks. Something quite cool about the way he says his name in the intro of the track.
Seana Paul: I don’t particularly like Sean Paul. He has some decent songs, but I never intentionally listen to them.
5. Whats the most common thing people say to you?
Sean Paul: The girls have a little giggle when they find out. Ain’t nothing wrong with making a lady laugh. Just a lot of puns like “What’s the temperature outside, Sean’ or repeating what I say with a Jamaican accent. Sometimes people say “So what’s that supposed to be about baby “to me and I only learned that was Sean Paul’s lyrics today. Ignorance was bliss with that one…
Shauna Paul: Just super annoying pick up lines like ‘I’ve got the right temperature to shelter you from the storm’…over and over and over again…
6. Anything else?
Sean Paul: Well, I almost wasn’t even named Sean. I was meant to be Christopher. I had a tonne of baby clothes and shit with a C on them. Life would have been simpler. On the way to the hospital, the John Lennon song came on, called Beautiful Boy, its about his son, Sean, the last line is “Beautiful Sean” and my parents were like “Fuck it, lets name him Sean”. The consequences of that song coming on man…oh well, that’s why I’m here today, talking to you and the lovely readers of Pedestrian.