Global megastar Sean Paul talks about visit to Rugby chip shop
Sean Paul has spoken fondly of eating "delicious" fish and chips in Rugby on his last visit to Warwickshire.
The global music megastar, who has worked with the likes of Beyoncé, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, offered his reminiscences ahead of his show in Coventry later this month.
Sean Paul visited Hillmorton Fish Saloon in July 2013, when he ordered seven portions of fish and chips - a mixture of cod and haddock.
Recalling his visit, the artist, who has had 25 Top 40 hits in the UK, said: “I remember having some delicious fish, chips and mushy peas. I still have family that live in Rugby that come to visit us in Jamaica, so it felt like a home-from-home.”
Staff at the popular Featherbed Lane chip shop were astonished when the Grammy-winner walked through the door.
Speaking at the time, owner Nick Phedon said: “It was about 1.50pm and we had nothing left as we’d sold out of everything. I was just thinking about going home. Then Sean Paul came in with some other people.
“I didn’t quite recognise him at first. They asked if they could have five portions of fish and chips and of course I said yes.
“I didn’t have anywhere important to go and I wouldn’t turn anyone away. They asked a mix of cod and haddock, and then they increased the order to seven portions."
And the staff wouldn’t let the unusual encounter pass without a pictorial souvenir. Mr Phedon said: “We ran after him and asked him for a photo. He came back in and had his photo taken with us, which was really good of him.”
Mr Phedon added: “We’ve never had anyone as famous as him in the chip shop before. He was not bragging about this and that. He was very pleasant and down to earth. Who knows if he’ll come back?"
The star is preparing to perform at Coventry’s Ericsson Indoor Arena at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday August 19 – in the city where his grandmother was born before she moved to Rugby.
“I’ve always been fascinated by my grandmother’s stories from her time in the city, as she was there during the second world war when Coventry was bombed,” said Paul, who has had 25 Top 40 hits in the UK Official Charts since the turn of the century.
“It’s going to be a nostalgic visit for me because although I’ve never been there, I will be thinking about the stories she told us.
“I love stage shows and being able to perform somewhere that I can call a piece of my home is going to be amazing.”
Sean Paul is set to take his fans on a musical journey with him throughout his career, that has never seen the Jamaican far from the spotlight.
He shot to fame in the UK in 2003 with a flurry of hits such as Gimme The Light and Get Busy, before hitting the number one spot with Breathe – a collaboration with Blu Cantrell.
His ability to work with international stars such Beyoncé, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj strengthened his presence further. More recent hits include No Lie with Dua Lipa and Mad Love with David Guetta and Becky G.
Asked about his longevity in the public eye, Paul added: “I just try to work hard and stay humble. I know that every song I produce isn’t going to be a hit, so it’s all about visiting the recording studio regularly and producing as many songs as possible to stay within people’s earshot.
“I think my latest album, Mad Love The Prequel, the writing is a lot more mature even through the subject matter still has a sexy and sensual feel about it.
“It’s going to be an amazing, trailblazing performance in Coventry – I’ll be doing a mixture of my new songs such as Mad Love along with the likes of Temperature and Get Busy which tend to generate the loudest noise.”