Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Tinie Tempah: Big - Up!

Tinie Temper
Tinie Temper Tinie Temper

Now- if you were to hip hop into my Tardis and take a short ride to the start of this year, you'll see that Mr T was on the top of most of the musical psychics 'one to watch in 2010' polls. No not the A-Team dude with the gold jewelry who shoots Snickers at unsuspecting passers by "Hmmmm sucker!' I'm talking about the the huge talent that is Tinie Temper. And ladies and gentlemen, come this way and you'll find out why...

Growing up in Abbey Wood, Greenwich, in South London - Patrick Okogwu Opps! Sorry, Tinie Tempah, would take his first steps in his chosen MC/rapper career - his lucky break came when his tune 'Wifey' was featured in a video game. His career would then hop skip and jump in proceeding years as he would go on to produce two standout mix-tapes 'Hood Economics Room 147: The 80 Minute Course' and 'Sexybeast'. These gems would earn the artist the respect he craved, with the latter featuring two other relatively unknown artists - Chipmunk and Bashy......

But the time is now for this cheeky sauf London chappie, as current track 'Pass Out' is attracting exactly the right kind of kudos. Inviting plaudits from all over, and in particular form DJ's and from music industry personal alike (I didn't want to take all the credit ok?) Proving those early tipsters were right to band his name about with regard to making the grade - so it's top marks Temper, go to the head of the class.

I catch-up with this down to earth grimester as he reflects on new blogs, new single, new album and perhaps a new out look - now rosey coloured me thinks!?... Oh, and did I tell you he reminds me of Kid Cudi???

Lee: I noticed all your blogging and you like all your recording – do you fancy yourself as a little film maker?

Tinie: [Laughs] Yeah, the more I’m doing it – the more I’m getting into it. When I started doing it, it’s like; I don’t have a clue about editing or filming or anything like that. I done a little bit of it in college for A Level for media – all in all my blogging just used to be blotched together. There was art in it and no craft and I think people began to sort of get into it – really basic fly on the wall video cameraing do get what I mean? Yeah I’ve started getting into it a lot more – got a Mac and a HD camera now, so it’s stepped up a little level. Yeah, just trying to take it a little bit seriously you know.

Lee: I was just about to say – sounds like you’re getting serious with it now?

Tinie: Yeah, Yeah – I don’t know if you’ve seen the ‘I Am Hot’ video featuring MIA?

Lee: Yeah, the one with Spiderman walking down the road – that one?

Tinie: [Laughs] Yeah, have a little look at that one – basically we got a HD camera, my manager just chose it and I storyboarded it and went to New York and just had a good time. That’s something I’m going to continue doing every time I go to a new city, just get out there and do some exploring.

Lee: Yeah I saw the video blog you make in Stockholm – you looked like you had as much fun just being there as you were filming it.

Tinie: Yeah exactly – trust me man it was good. And at the end of the day it’s always good to meet the fans and let the fans get an insight to what you’re doing. Obviously there not just reading a publication, or watching you on the TV, or listen to you on the radio – get what I mean like. At the end of the day like – those are the people who have put you there, and they are interested in the day to day basis when the lights and cameras ain’t on d’ya get what I mean.

Lee: I know that it’s a rubbish saying, but you are keeping it real from that point of view yeah?

Tinie: You have to man, you have to...

Lee: That’s what you’re really like then?

Tinie: YEAH! Well I mean if you watch the footage and obviously the one in Sweden we were just pissing about. When we’re not recording we’re just having a good time – when and got sumtin to eat, done some bowling. As you saw, I’m crap at bowling – I’m not hiding that. I’m not editing it so I get a million scores, I mean; I just let people see how it really is you know.

Lee: Can I just change the subject a little - it’s been a superb start to the year for you. You’ve been shortlisted in a lot of industry “one’s to look out for in 2010” – it there a lot of pressure on you to deliver?

Tinie: Oh man, you know what it is? I’m proper chuffed man - at the end of the day music is like my first love and it’s something I’m very proud of and I’m very passionate about . So, I’ve been trying to make the best music I could possibly make for as long as I can remember – finally, to be in the vision of all the pacemakers and to be on their tongues is like a dream come true. At the end of the day I work well under pressure, so bring it on man, like it’s gonna be fun finding out – the albums sounding great. I can’t wait for everybody to hear it, so yeah – lets go man.

Lee: Have you got a name for the album yet?

Tinie: The album’s called The Discovery. The (as he spells it) D i s - c o v e r y. (glad you spelt it!)

Lee: Is that a reflection on your work – is it a discovery for you?

Tinie: Yeah, I mean, it’s a discovery for me as much as it is for you. I mean, obviously the way that I’m filming and blogging – “The journey to the top” get what I mean like, I’ve never been Sweden before and I’ve never been New York before and all these things are – so I’m like, letting you see it as I’m seeing it do’ya get what I mean. This is a discovery for both of us at the end of the day, I think I’m making some of the greatest music of my life right now. I felt that ‘The Dis-covery’ would be the perfect name to kinda represent that, do’ya get me? So You guys can discover this thing as much as I have, do’ya get what I mean?

Lee: I’m getting that... I mean, the circles you’re keeping are proper tight – how old are you now?

Tinie: I’m 21.

Lee: So if you’ve been making music for 6 years – then you started when you were 15 (good ol' clever clogs, next stop Countdown!?)

Tinie: My mate had like a home set. I remember he used to be stingy cos he thought like, that we kinda need him and his parents used to be mad strict. But, yeah, that’s the earliest memories of recording music and obviously I had like a little set up in my house. Just a little like, PC World microphone and some downloaded software on my computer and stuff – I‘ve been trying to do it for as long as I can remember.

Lee: So that was all you wanted to do – downloading your stuff and sending out to people, seeing what was happening?

Tinie: Yeah like you know , MSN and stuff – I just used to make tracks, make freestyles with my friends – people from school, cousins and stuff and yeah – just send them. Send them to all the people on my list, then it became a sort of local thing. The local guy in the area who does emcee skits – who emcee and stuff, then honestly, took it to another level after that.

Lee: So advice for emcee wants to emulate you?

Tinie: Oh man, they so can bruva – all it, is a little bit of networking. A LOT of belief in your talent and a little bit of luck, and some dedication and hard work – and yeah man, you could pretty much do anything.

Lee: What do you think of being part of this Brrrap Pack fing?

Tinie: Yeah, I performed on all the nights – Well, there’s not a lot for me to say. If someone sez that your part of an elite – it’s not for me to say “Yeah I am”. It’s down to the public now; the public seem to putting me into this group or whatever. I mean, it’s appositive thing man if consider who the Brrrap pack are and who the Rat Pack were – you know, it’s kinda like a really good compliment – I’m proper chuffed.

Lee: I noticed you’ve done Wireless and Notting Hill – what’s the best gig you’ve done?

Tinie: To be honest I’ve done a lot of great gigs, but the best I’ve done most recently was quite possibly the one I done with Elle Golding at Dingwalls – that was a few weeks ago. I mean like, with live performances I’ve always been experimenting - it’s been like an experiment thing obviously. You move from doing it in a club with a DJ, then sort of trying to work with a live band and getting your live band to play your track as close to the actual backing track as possible and I think on the MTV gig it was amazing. I think we nailed it and it was perfect. Obviously we got some really, really good reviews considering it was an Elle Goulding crowd.

Lee: Can I ask were you got the name Tinie Temper from?

Tinie: Yeah, basically I was in year 8 in school and we were in a theatre class and and wasn’t paying that much attention – we were doing this composery thing, that we had to do once a week. I was like “Yeah man, I need to find a new name like Dizzee Rascal, Tinchy Stryder – I need to think a sick name to be an emcee”. So obviously I was chilling with my friend at the table looking for a name, before you know it Tinie Temper was born there and then – right before playtime.

Lee: Was it suggested by your friends or something you came up with by yourself?

Tinie: Yea, it was something I came up with myself and I was like “What d’ya think bruv?” and he was like “Man man wicked – let’s go!”

Lee: Hope you don’t mind – someone I interviewed recently, you kinda remind me of him. His aspirations and what he trying to achieve – also you sort of look like him a bit... Kid Cudi...

KID CUDI! [Laughs]

Lee: Is he one of your heroes, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Tinie: No, I’m not offended at all mate- I recently listened to his album and I think it’s amazing! I’m inspired by everybody believe it or not, anybody who has managed to sustain a lengthy career and really do well with themself – trying to turn from obviously being known in one country to being a kind of global star. I think obviously he’s one of the artists that has kinda managed to that, and yeah man like obviously there’s definitely things that I can learn from him and that I am learning from him – but yeah, that’s cool man! And he’s a nice guy.

Lee: Yeah, he's got his own style- he's got his own look... You're creating your own music, you're pushing the boundaries here and there and just think that could be you.

Tinie: Much appreciated man - you know what, I just do what I love and do what I wanna do ultimately at the end of day. I'm just happy that people have reacted to it and are reacting to it really well.

Lee: So what do we expect from the new album then - is it the same as you've doing, or you got some surprises on there?

Tinie: I mean, expect the unexpected - You can hear the transition and the difference from 'Wifey' to 'Cheers' to 'I'm Hot' to the 'Pass Out'. Like, constantly evolving - with the album, I'm trying to make every track better than the last one - every track completely different to the last one. So just expect the unexpected, that's one thing you can definitely bet your bottom dollar is the music rules that. But I believe now, that what I definitely wanna make, I do - to the finish. It's gonna be an event!

Lee: Well, best of luck with your career man and catch up with you again at some point.

Tinie: Alright then bruva... see you soon.

Tinie Tempah's tune 'Pass Out' is out now and album 'Dis-covery' is coming your way soon.

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