How the YMCA landed Sean Kingston

SUPER STAR: Sean Kingston will perform for Katherine youth on Wednesday, November 15. Picture: supplied.

SUPER STAR: Sean Kingston will perform for Katherine youth on Wednesday, November 15. Picture: supplied.

Many were shocked to hear international star Sean Kingston will be coming to Katherine next week. 

It was thanks to a proposal whipped up by YMCA Katherine’s new youth services manager Charles Mbouti that sealed the deal. 

“A few weeks ago I became aware that Sean Kingston was touring Australia,” Mr Mbouti said. 

“I looked at his touring schedule and asked his manager if he would come to Katherine, I wrote a proposal which talked about some of the youth issues in the community and they fell in love with the proposal and said yes. 

“Sean Kingston is a $30,000 a night act but we are not paying him that to come to Katherine. We are only covering the costs of his flights and things,” he said. 

The fact that Mr Mbouti has performed with Sean probably helped his case. 

“I played with Sean Kingston five years ago, I toured with him in Thailand,” Mr Mbouti said. 

“I am a professional DJ, I have worked with Snoopdog and 50 Cent, I have also performed for Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd.”

American RnB star Sean Kingston is heading down under to Katherine next week. 

The YMCA will provide a workshop with Sean and about 300 young people in Katherine. 

Sadly there will be no public performance.

Mr Mbouti said although the event is targeted at youth, the general public can come along as volunteers. 

“The main target group is 13-17 year-olds but the YMCA loved to collaborate with other stakeholders so we have invited agencies working with youth to come along and set up stalls on the night,” Mr Mbouti said. 

“You must be working with youth, but if the general public wants to get a free ticket they can volunteer, we are still looking for volunteers.”

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Kingston achieved super-stardom when he was just 17. 

He began recording songs on the tiny personal studio his mother bought him when he was 11-years-old.

Back then, Kingston would whip up his own reggae-pop hybrids and perform them local block parties and talent shows in Miami.

After his mother was convicted of tax evasion and bank fraud and sent to federal prison, the 15-year-old Kingston had to put his music dreams on temporary hold.

After a brief period of homelessness, Kingston began bouncing around the homes of his friends and relatives and ultimately landed a lawn-mowing job to earn the money he needed to make a demo.

Thanks largely to Kingston’s dogged persistence in pursuing every hit-making producer he could find online, that demo ended up getting him signed to Rotem’s then-newly-launched label Beluga Heights in 2006—a deal quickly followed by a joint contract with Epic Records and the release of a debut album that went on to sell more than a million copies worldwide and spawn three back-to-back Top 10 singles.

Kingston released his follow-up album Tomorrow in 2009, then—in May 2011—suffered a devastating accident while jet skiing in Miami Beach.

After spending nearly a month in the hospital and undergoing two emergency open-heart surgeries to repair a torn aorta, Kingston two months to heal—and start plotting his return to the studio.

“I couldn’t go anywhere while I was recovering, so I spent all my time writing songs and listening to beats,” the star said. 

“All I wanted was to get back to doing music, which is what I’ve been devoting my life to since I was eight-years-old.”

Having sold more than 12.5 million tracks to date, Kingston’s top priority is continually elevating his own music into new and unexpected territory.

To volunteer at the Sean Kingston concert contact Charles Mbouti on 0455 135 789.