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I would love to sing for Bollywood: Shaggy

By Hindol Sengupta, IANS

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International hip-hop and reggae star Shaggy has said he keeps returning to India drawn by the country's soulful classical music and the glitz and glamour of Bollywood.

"Indian music is really touching," Shaggy told IANS on phone from New York. "It is deeply spiritual and touches a chord in my heart, it draws me closer to the country."

He also said he wouldn't mind belting out a few numbers in Hindi filmdom. "I am hoping the right song comes around and then I would love to sing for Bollywood. Bollywood is getting really big around the world."

The chartbusting singer of hits like "Boombastic" and "In the summertime" would have a concert in New Delhi on Friday and Mumbai a day later.

He would be singing new tracks like "Hotshot", "Luv me" and "Get my party on", as well as old favourites like "Strength of a woman" and "Oh Carolina" and "It wasn't me" at the concerts.

The singer was in India two years ago when he sang "Boombastic" at the Channel V awards in Mumbai.

Shaggy, reggae's bad boy, renowned for his tongue-in-cheek lyrics and sexy stage act, has seen six of his singles go platinum.

"Boombastic" won him a Grammy in 1995. The Jamaica-born, US-based star has performed in over 75 countries and has sold 10 million albums worldwide.

The singer also said he bonded with India because the country, in many ways, is like his native Jamaica.

"I'm from a country like India. Jamaica has similar problems and similar joys and warmth. I sense that warmth in India, that affection and love from the audience."

The only problem, he said, was the rampant piracy in the Indian music market. "The response from the audience is always fantastic but the stealing is a big issue.

"Unless the piracy stops it is difficult to consider India a major market for music," Shaggy explained. "How can any artiste think of good sales if everything just gets illegally copied?"

Next in line is a scheduled holiday in India. "I want to come here without work, when I can do all my sightseeing. I want to see the Taj Mahal."


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