Pure luck. That’s how Lebanese producer Jack Sleiman describes his latest collaboration with Jamaican artist Sean Kingston and Lebanese-Canadian singer Karl Wolf.
‘Remember’, out now just in time for summer, floats through with an uplifting pop-reggaeton beat and the shimmer of a well-polished production. It began as a way for Sleiman to escape the dreary days of winter, but it wasn’t until he played the beat to Kingston at a radio interview in Beirut that things started to really heat up.
“The first thing he told me was, ‘Wow, I feel this. I’m going to jump on.’ Literally the whole thing happened by pure luck, by mistake — there were no intentions for it to happen this way,” said Sleiman.
Sleiman and Karl Wolf — both originally from Lebanon — had meanwhile been talking about a collaboration for about nine years.
“When he jumped on board, it turned into smash,” said Sleiman. “Having someone from my home country on the track, for me, it meant something. Something bigger than what you see.”
Thanks to WhatsApp messages and voice notes, the cross-continental collaboration — spanning Africa, North America and Asia — was a breeze to create.
“You have Sean Kingston in Jamaica, you have Karl Wolf in Montreal, you have me in Beirut. Apart from [different time zones], technology has made it so easy for us to all unite on the exact same message and vibe,” he said. “You don’t need those big studios anymore, you don’t all have to be in the same room anymore.”
As a producer, Sleiman viewed technology as a mostly positive thing. But there can also be too many cooks in the kitchen these days.
“There are a lot of people who are able to give their input on it. Before, when you used to work in a studio, it wouldn’t be that easy to export a song and send it to your friend just to hear it and give you their thoughts,” said Sleiman.
“The good side of it is you move faster. But unfortunately, with technology, you have a lot of people’s input and you get influenced by anyone’s reaction. That’s why songs, even though they’re supposed to take you a shorter time to produce, [the process] drags on and on. That’s the bad side of it,” he said.
Lyrically, ‘Remember’ was a group effort; musically, it wants to transport listeners to a better place.
“Our main purpose was to spread positivity and good energy. The general story of the song is that in life, there’s good and bad, but let’s focus on the good. Let’s look at the bright side,” said Sleiman.
“If you hear it, you can hear those drums and those summer vibes. It feels summery, fresh, happy. I couldn’t have chosen a better time for this. If I had the chance, I would have actually released it earlier on. It has summer written all over it,” he said.