Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hyper Meets Chipmunk


After completing a succesful UK tour with Tinie Tempah and Skepta as supporting acts, Chipmunk has his sight set on yet another one this year. I caught up with Mr. Chip Diddy Chip, to talk about his forthcoming tour, haters and more... (Originally for MTV's The Wrap Up)

So Chipmunk, you’ve just finished up your official tour. What was that whole experience like for you...
It was live, it was good to bring the songs from ‘I AM CHIPMUNK’ to life. It was nice seeing which song the people took to more than the other and the single the people responded most to was ‘Sometimes’.

How did it feel performing in areas that you’ve never performed before?
I performed in most the areas before on Tinchy Stryder’s tour and running around with N-Dubz every now and again. Just performing in general was great, but performing on my own headlining tour is the most exciting part.

You returned back to London for your final show how did it feel performing in your home city? Did it feel different from other shows?
It was just crazy. All my mates came down, so it was proper live. N-Dubz, Ironik, Skepta and Tinie Tempah were there too, so it was massive. It didn’t differ to the other cities, but it made me hyper, it was crazy in London.

You’ve performed at many underground club nights. How would you explain the difference between ‘spitting’ at a rave, to doing a full concert performance?
The space. The freedom and the sound checks that a concert gives. You don’t have to improvise on the spot. Nothing goes wrong if you got a good sound team. It’s just all good and like I’ve said before, everything is like a good platform to take you further; I don’t understand why anyone would want to jump up and down on the same spot.

Skepta and Tinie Tempah just finished performing with you on your tour. Why did you choose those two as the artists to open your shows?
They’re both cool guys. Skepta is someone I used to listen to before I even did music and Tinie is just a decent guy, it's just as simple as that. Tinie Tempah reached number one and the tour helped, but I just knew it was going to happen. It was a good song, he's a good guy and he was a part of a good tour. It was going to a happen with a clear path.

You’ve just announced that you’re doing another tour in June, called ‘Shine Shine Tour’. Tell us more about what fans are to expect from it?
We’re really targeting cities that we never hit on the current tour. On the ‘Shine Shine Tour’ in June/July, we’re re-packaging the album and bringing out the new tracks and new singles. Honestly, this is this is the sign out of the old Chipmunk, after studying my album I did a mixtape ‘For The Fun Of It’ and after listening to both I feel like I’m at a stage that my foots in the door. It's not like I've not been making what I want, because I have been making what I want, but I need to push myself a bit more lyrically. Charts and all that are all good, success on paper is nice, but what I stand for and what I care about is the lyrics and the poetry side of things. The flow, the delivery and the content is where I feel I can push myself further and up my own levels. I feel I need to and then I can compete with the best in the world, but I will never forget this country. I honestly don’t feel there’s a lot of MCs that can stand next to me when it comes to beats, bars, camera, action, go! So I need to execute that into my music more.

Who will you have supporting you this time around and why?
I’m not too sure yet. It’s more about who wants to take the step to come and perform. They have to be on that certain level where they have something to present and I have to like them as well. I’ve had the pleasure of supporting Tinchy Stryder, we get along and it’s not like it’s someone who can’t stay in your dressing room, you don’t want to talk to or hang with, it’s got to be a whole experience. We got to roll, you got to come and kill it and you’ve got to be someone that has something to promote as well. I don’t mind sharing my audience, I’m confident in myself, but a lot of artists are scared to put other MCs on their bill because they don’t want to get out shadowed, but I’m nice.

Since your success in the charts in 2009 with 'Oopsy Daisy, you’ve received some criticism from some artists and supporters in the underground music scene, saying that you’ve changed your sound and even sold out. What’s your view on this?
The people that criticise me are most probably not even music buyers. No one really wants to be stuck in the same position, let’s be real. I couldn’t care less what those people say, because really, come and stand next to me if you’re an MC and you have something to say. Let’s press play on a beat, bars and we will see. Why do I need to even care? I managed to put myself in a situation where I am respected in the world of selling music, you know? It’s not easy. Making music is one thing, being able to sell units is another. I don’t know if people are complacent with being broke and famous, but that’s not a nice combination. If tomorrow all the success was to stop and they decided to stop supporting certain guys, all of the charts and all of the awards were to go, and then it would go back to the art form of just beats, bars and freestyles. You know when me and Ice Kid went on Westwood, that is what opened the doors for people to go on there and get Westwood to even want to hear people. So if you want it, we can go, I don’t really want to mind, I really couldn’t care less. I will make what I want to make. I’m happy and I’m in a nice place.

Dizzee Rascal’s label ‘Dirtee Stank’ has currently got 3 signed acts under it who are all from the underground music scene. Tinchy Stryder has also his ‘Star In The Hood’ label that he has Maveric under. Is there any plan for Chip to do the same? And if so, who would you choose to sign?
Not right about now, I’ve got my own set up and it’s called Cash Motivations. That’s me, CM, Chipmunk, Cash Motivations. Cash is the motivation, so that is just me and that is what we’re pushing for. Like I just said, my thing right now is that I just don’t want people to come and stand next to me lyrically, I’m building on myself before I can help anyone else. I just want to keep going and forget the success, come and stand next to me lyrically. SBTV’s F64, however you want to do it, we can do it, I’m cool.

You’ve achieved so much in the last few years, a number one hit, 2 MOBO awards, a sold out tour and a massive selling album. What’s next for Chipmunk? And what would you like to accomplish next?
The on paper success with the right mentality and the right song, it can be done. The only thing that is going to separate me from other people that try to do what I do, is the lyrics side of things. Success on paper is great, but to have a number one is great, to have plaques on your wall is great, to sell out a tour is great, to win awards is great, but that is something that other people can do. I don’t want to even move on from it, but I just want more. What can separate me from other artists is the lyrics side of things, I don’t want to be put in the inner basket or collective, I just want to be respected as Chipmunk.

Stay up to date with Chipmunk on Twitter -

Chip’s new single Until You Were Gone will be available to buy from 19th April 2010.

A version of this appeared on MTV's The Wrap Up


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