Sting talks ‘My Songs,’ Shaggy and that new Vegas gig

sting with shaggy performing in las vegas

When I was much younger, Sting and The Police had a huge impact on myself and my friends in school. We would scour through his lyrics and be so blown away by their depth and meaning. Sting has always been a part of my life, and his songs have oddly played a part with major experiences in my life. Having him return to give his more mature voice to these songs should be interesting.

It reminds me of how Joni Mitchell turned “Both Sides Now” into something so much more heartfelt and melancholy when she redid it compared to her much younger self. Now when you listen to it, I dare you to not tear up. Hearing Sting’s new take on his classics actually has me excited.

Winning another Grammy or coming out with a new album wasn’t enough for the icon as Sting will be heading to Las Vegas to launch a residency next year. It used to mean being put out to pasture for many aging artists who weren’t bringing in the sales they used to, but nowadays it serves as a reminder to many how much they still love their icons.

Sixteen performances of “Sting: My Songs” will take place at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, beginning May 22, 2020. Even more shows are being planned for June, August, and September.

“Visually, sound-wise, dancing — it’s going to be a Vegas show. I’m really committed to that,” Sting said in a phone interview with Movie TV Tech Geeks. “I am a little frightened and a little excited at the same time.”

Tickets for the general public, starting at $59, go on sale May 3.

Sting said he’s been offered a residency in Vegas in the past, but he felt it wasn’t the right time: “I always thought, ‘I’m not quite ready for that. I’m still a touring animal.’ (Now) I’m ready.”

Residencies in Vegas once were meant for acts heading into retirement or in the final stretch of their careers, but that’s changed with contemporary artists going to the city to perform, from Jennifer Lopez to Lady Gaga.

Sting said he likes the idea of performing at a single venue every night, compared to traveling city-to-city on a normal tour.

“Being in one place is actually a different, spiritual vibe,” the English performer said. “Welcoming people into your house — that’s basically what it’s going to be. I’ll be telling the story of my life through songs. I’ve had a long, interesting life and I can’t wait.”

Sting Performing Shape of My Heart in Las Vegas My Songs MTTG Interview.

Before he heads to Vegas, Sting has a string of projects in the works: He will tour the United Kingdom with Shaggy (they won the Best Reggae Album Grammy this year for their collaborative album “44/876”); he has a number of solo shows in the United States and around the world; and he will release a new album, “My Songs,” on May 24.

The album finds Sting re-shaping and re-imagining some of his biggest hits, from “Every Breath You Take” to “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free.” You can pre-order this now on MP3, CD or how it will sound amazing, vinyl.

“We weren’t treating the original recordings as holy relics or museum pieces … we were just having fun with the songs,” said the 67-year-old, adding that his voice is now “different to what it was 30, 40 years ago. It has more texture, a richness to it.”

His song, “Shape of My Heart,” will also appear on the new album. The tune has been sampled by a number of artists throughout the years, from rapper Nas to Grammy-winning R&B singer Monica to English singer Craig David, who collaborated with Sting when he re-worked the song in 2002.

The most famous version is Juice WRLD’s “Lucid Dreams,” one of the biggest hits of the last year.

“I’m always intrigued by that. I’m always pleased by what I hear because they hear something in that lovely, descending bass line that makes for reflection. That pleases me. And there have been some fabulous versions,” Sting said of artists sampling “Shape of My Heart.”

“I was very impressed by what he put on top of (my version),” he said of “Lucid Dreams” specifically. “It’s a really good song.”

He said the new album made use of both old and new recordings, with arrangements based on how the music had evolved during live performances over the years.

“My voice has more interesting overtones than it did when I was 25,” he noted. “It’s a less pure sound, but I think it has this richness to it. The songs change every night when I sing them, and I’m always hearing something I haven’t actually discovered there. It’s discovery within that repetition too.”

This isn’t Sting’s first attempt at re-recording his music. In 1986, the Police remade two songs from their 1980 albumZenyatta Mondatta, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da.” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me ’86” came out on that year’s Every Breath You Take: The Singles compilation; “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da ’86” was later released on the SACD version of the album.

However, Sting didn’t expect to continue down the path of retrospective work. “”I’d like to make something totally new,” he said of his next studio project. “I don’t know what that is, what it sounds like or what it looks like. I just have to trust that the muse will appear. … You always think that the last song you wrote is the last song you’ll ever write — which is probably a good way to think.”

Sting My Songs album cover hits May 2019.

Sting, ‘My Songs’ Track Listing
“Brand New Day”
“Desert Rose”
“If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”
“Every Breath You Take”
“Demolition Man”
“Can’t Stand Losing You”
“Fields of Gold”
“So Lonely”
“Shape of My Heart”
“Message in a Bottle”
“Walking on the Moon”
“Englishman in New York”
“If I Ever Lose My Faith in You”
“Roxanne” (Live)

Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks
“Synchronicity II” (Live)
“Next To You” (Live)
“Spirits In The Material World” (Live)
“Fragile” (Live)
“I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” (Live) (Japan Exclusive)
“Desert Rose” (Extended Version) (France Exclusive)