LOOKING EAST: Shaggy on his ultimate Italian escape.
While foreigners are thrilled to soak up the local culture through his music, Shaggy (currently promoting Summer In Kingston: The Lava Edition) chooses to soak up the Italian culture whenever he happens to visit that side of the world. Ahead of his appearance this weekend at the 2012 Jamaica Jazz & Blues Fest in Trelawny, the Grammy-winning megastar spoke to Fox411 about the food, the fashion, and everything else he adores about the land of pasta and Dolce and Gabbana.
What is Mr. Boombastic's favourite vacation spot?
Shaggy: I would definitely have to say Italy. The thing about Italy is that it’s just a beautiful country in and of itself. You find these little holes in the wall, especially those little family operated ones. You know, they come in and they are just warm and you sit down and they give you all this food and they get a little offended if you start putting cheese on things that’s not supposed to have cheese on them as if it’s them eating it. It gets a little crazy.
You touched on food, everybody's favorite part of a vacation, any memorable meals?
Shaggy: I’m a big foodie. I like the spaghetti and clams with the wine sauce, pretty simple but there’s a ways that they do it there that’s just amazing, especially on the coast. I think the best I had was in Catanzaro, there’s this little tucked away spot and I ended up eating the same thing for probably around a week, the same dish just because it was that good.
Tell us about the Italian fashion.
Shaggy: You know the big names, Dolce and Gabbana, they are all from there. There are little joints also that are not as famous internationally. How I do clothes; you just go in there and feel what is yours, whatever fits you, whatever is the vibe that you’re in. Everything is about energy, you put it on, you feel better about yourself, you roll with it.
What are three must-haves when traveling to Italy?
Shaggy: Must have an empty stomach, must have an empty bag because you're going to buy some clothes, you know what I mean? And make sure you have Euros. It’s expensive over there, you’re going to need it.
Care to share any special memories?
Shaggy: There are always special moments with my audience. I am normally there for touring, I probably go a couple days extra or stay a couple days after just to enjoy it. Just being in front of that audience. The thing about that part of Italy (Italian coast) there is a very strong reggae base and these guys are very knowledgeable about reggae. I’ve just chilled out, walk around, I’m on bicycles riding through the city, stop in little cafes and everybody knows your name, “Ah! Shaggy, come on! Sit down!” It becomes fun after a while.