A producer working with Rihanna is now saying Shaggy is capping about being asked to audition for R9.
Rihanna’s team is now telling their side of the story amidst controversy surrounding Shaggy’s statement on why he opted not to be on her upcoming reggae album. One of the Jamaican producers working with the Bajan pop star on the album told Urban Islandz on Wednesday that she didn’t ask the reggae/dancehall legend to audition for the album, and that he was the one who approached them first. We’re told that he wasn’t the only big-name reggae artistes that contacted her team to be a part of the project.
“I’ve worked with Rihanna and I’ve never seen her asked another artiste to audition to work with her and she has worked with many artistes over the years,” the producer, who previously did work with Rihanna, told us. “She never asked any one of us to request any artiste to ‘audition’ and we didn’t ask anyone to do that. I know Shaggy and I have the utmost respect for him as someone who contributes so much to our culture, so no I wouldn’t asked him to do something like that nor would I stand for anyone on our side to ask him to do that.”
The producer spoke to us on conditions of anonymity while explaining that he was not authorized to speak for Rihanna or her team. “I felt compelled to say something because I am a part of this landmark project,” he told us. “I don’t want this to diminish the great work that we’ve been doing with RiRi because this isn’t something she had to do, she told me that she always wanted to do a pure reggae project for the culture, she grew up looking up to icons like Bob and Shabba. The bottom line is this isn’t a fair criticism and these bad press surrounding this fiasco don’t reflect on the type of person she is.”
We’re also told that a bunch of other producers and songwriters are working on the album, and they got material from several different reggae/dancehall artistes who’ve shown interest in being on the project. “We got material from more than a dozen artistes which is typical for an artiste like Rihanna recording a project, we have artistes, songwriters, producers, who all want to be a part of her work, so no we don’t put up a stage and invite people to come in and audition, it doesn’t work like that,” our source revealed.
Shaggy’s team has since released a statement explaining that his words were taken out of context. Sharon Burke, who heads Solid Agency, says that the dancehall icon and Rihanna have been in touch with each other while she was working on the project.
“Rihanna’s team had been in talks with Shaggy’s team to participate on the album, it’s no secret,” Sharon Burke said via a statement to the press. “They’ve been in touch with many other reggae artistes to be involved and they wanted Shaggy to submit some songs rather than go in studio together. Both artistes’ schedules are very tight and when he said he would rather not audition by submitting songs and that he’d rather leave that to younger artistes, Shaggy’s word was taken out of context.”
Since making the revelation, Shaggy has remained silent, and Rihanna has not addressed the allegations directly. RiRi’s oft-delayed reggae album is code name R9 since it will be her ninth studio album. Last year she promised fans that the project would be released in 2019, but that did not materialize. Our source did not comment on the delay, opted instead to wait for official details from the pop star or Roc Nation.