The very first version, yet not very well-known due to the massive success of the later Sean Paul version, of Summer Paradise was the album version of it featuring the Somali-Canadian rapper K’Naan.
Simple Plan first got involved with him when Pierre sang on his charitable version of the single Wavin’ Flag as part of the Young Artists For Haiti project. After Simple Plan were done writing Summer Paradise they made a list of possible talented artists who would be ideal candidates for the collaboration on this song. K’Naan was on the top of the list.
“It wasn’t a cliché choice: it was original. Besides that, he hadn’t already done a dozen featuring spots on other records. I really like K’Naan’s albums, his vibe. I have a lot of respect for his music. Not only that, he’s Canadian and knows our band very well. So he came to Conway Recording Studios in Los Angeles. We sat down together and he told us about a couple of ideas he had. Pierre and I went out to eat and when we came back, everything was ready – it was amazing.”
– Chuck Comeau –
The song was featured on Simple Plan’s 4th studio record “Get Your Heart On!” (2011) and in December 2011 the band released this version on the “Australian” Summer Paradise music video, directed by Mark Staubach, that consisted of shots from their Australian tour. However K’Naan does not appear in the music video.
While Simple Plan were celebrating the initial success of the Summer Paradise (feat. K’Naan) single in Australia, K’Naan’s record company soon realized that if the song was released as a single worldwide – it would collide with the release of K’Naan’s own new single. Because of that they didn’t allow Simple Plan to release this version of the song worldwide and Simple Plan either had to release another song as a single or choose another artist to collaborate with. They chose the latter and immediately started looking for an artist who would fit the song and who would be willing to collaborate on it.
“It didn’t take long for us to think of Sean Paul, who had the perfect vibe. Not only that: we shared the same record company, so it was easy to get in touch with him. All that remained was to pitch him the idea.”
– Chuck Comeau –
Sean Paul loved the song and since the idea of a collaboration of a rapper with a pop-rock band was very close to him as it reminded him of the featuring of Supercat with the band Sugar Ray in the 90s, he decided to give it a shot.
“I’ve been wanting to do a song with a group like Simple Plan for a while and it was a perfect match. “It’s a great song with great melodies.”
– Sean Paul –
The recording of the Sean Paul version of Summer Paradise took place via Skype – while Pierre and Chuck were in California and Sean Paul in Germany – making the guys from Simple Plan wake up at 5am. The collaboration was finally announced to the fans in February 2012, only a month before the band and Sean Paul flew to Barbados to record a music video for the song, directed by RT! and Mark Staubach, this time actually featuring the rapper.
French version of Summer Paradise feat. Sean Paul:
With another tour in Asia ahead of them, which also collided with the release of the Japanese edition of “Get Your Heart On!”, Simple Plan decided to create a special bonus song – another version of Summer Paradise, featuring another artist.
In February 2013 Pierre and Chuck secretely worked on the song with Taka from a Japanese rock band ONE OK ROCK on the phone. Later that month they met up with Taka in Los Angeles and produced what is now known as the “Japanese version of Summer Paradise” which includes Taka singing in Japanese and also in English.
“We wanted to release something special for our Japanese fans that would be a little different. And ONE OK ROCK is a band that’s amazing and that has such a great fanbase and I think Taka’s such a great singer. So I think it was an obvious choice for us – a great new band that’s blowing up and that can definitely do it. So it was a great match. The recording was great, very quick. But for us it was cool cause it was actually meeting Taka and recording it for the first time. So it was sort of a meeting and a hang-out to know each other and work on the song. We sat there, we worked on it together and we really nailed it. He’s a great singer – I think for a guy his age, he’s much better than I’ve ever been. It was a lot of fun.”
– Pierre Bouvier –
The collaboration was announced in March 2013, just a couple of days before the release of the special Japanese edition of “Get Your Heart On!” and also a few days before Simple Plan got back to Japan where they also performed the song with Taka live on stage both at Punkspring festival and also on their headlining show in Tokyo, Japan.
“It was different. We have two versions of the song – and the versions with K’Naan and Sean Paul are a little bit more of a hip-hop style. So to have someone who’s actually a singer, who would bring a different melody, was great.”
– Pierre Bouvier –
Warner Music Japan has also released an official lyric video for this version of the song:
Although not massively advertised, apart from all the version of Summer Paradise that include a featuring artist, Simple Plan also recorded and released a “no rap” version of the song – that is a version that includes no other artist but Simple Plan and any rap part is replaced with Jeff Stinco’s guitar solo just like during live shows and also with one extra line of lyrics sung by Pierre – “I gotta find a way to get myself back to you”. The song first appeared on the digital single and later on also on actual compact discs along with Sean Paul’s version.
The works on this version of Summer Paradise started in April 2013 when Chuck Comeau from Simple Plan met up with MKTO, an American pop/rap duo (consists of Malcolm D. Kelley and Tony Oller) – both having in common song-writers that they have previously worked with – Emanuel Kiriakou and Evan “Kidd” Bogart.
Pierre and Chuck also filmed a music video along with MKTO – in May 2013. The music video, just like the other Summer Paradise music videos was directed by Mark Staubach.
Their version of Summer Paradise was released on May 24th 2013 through Buzznet.com, in order to reach out mostly to the fanbase in the U.S.