Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Hyper Meets Tinie Tempah

Hyper Meets Tinie Tempah

He came from turning the underground all love obsessed, with his ‘05 smash Wifey, to making the charts Pass Out, all with enough time to put the kettle on. It’s no surprise his temper is literally no where to be seen, with his first single release going straight to Number 1. Laura Brosnan wraps it all up with Tinie Tempah (Originally for MTV.CO.UK)

You’ve achieved so much in the last few months from supporting Chipmunk on tour and more recently landing a number one single with ‘Pass Out’. What’s been the journey to get to this position you’re at today...

It’s been a long strenuous journey from pirate radio stations, to £800 budget videos. The barriers of trying to get it on one video channel, as well as one radio station, which would be the only mediums that would play it. We set up an independent label called Disturbing London because we couldn’t be waiting around for major record labels, so we thought we would just get on with it and try and emulate them. There were times that we were doing gigs for no money and doing gigs with just enough money to make it back to London and 2009 was the year it all came together. We stopped spending money on music videos and pluggers and trying to get ourselves out there and we decided to take it more web-based, building and expanding the fan base on the World Wide Web. That’s when I set up my blog, Milk And Two Sugars, where I would just film myself on a weekly basis to show people the little things I was doing. Showing people the process of becoming an MC and trying to get through them doors. That year I worked with Mr Hudson, Omarian, Jay Sean and M.I.A and it wasn’t until I performed at the 02 Wireless Festival for the second year in a row that the phones just began ringing. I think people had seen the blogs, my previous track record and things have just got ballistic since then. October 2009 I penned the deal with Parlophone.

How does it feel going from a known MC in the underground scene to a relatively unheard of mainstream act and have you had to change?

I've always been open musically; the first track I made was ‘Wifey’. I grew up in an eclectic house where people were listening to all types of different music. I also think being educated, eloquent and knowing how to talk for yourself in the industry makes you go a long way. I don’t think I’ve had to change anything really apart from being more serious and focussed on my drive. One thing I’ve realised is that you get out what you put in and because of that my work rate has increased ten fold.

Do you feel the downfall of many artists when breaking for the mainstream is more their attitude and ego rather than their music? Having the feeling of starting over again, ‘Star In The Hood’ mentality...

I can’t really speak for anybody else; once I penned the deal I totally understood that I was starting a fresh. I thought I might as well make the most of this and use it to my advantage and just be myself. Some people may think, right I’m through the doors, I may have to start a fresh, so let me water down my sound or make my sound caters to what I think people would like. Where as I thought people believe in me enough to sign me and give me a major record deal, so let me just do me. We went to the studio had so much fun and thought to myself I haven’t got nothing to worry about, obviously people like me for who I am and let me just enjoy myself in the booth. That was how Pass Out was made. I don’t really believe because people know me in the grime scene that they must know me in the mainstream, I’m going to have a problem with it. I use that to my advantage and I make sure I do little things, like I shake everyone’s hand in the building, in a room full of people; you never know who you may come across.

tinie performing

What’s it been like touring with Chipmunk?

It’s been amazing, but also huge learning curve because a tour is not the easiest thing. I’ve been performing on new turf and hitting cities that I’ve never been to before and presenting my music to them and getting a great reception back, which has been great. Every city has been so positive. I’ve seen how much effort has to go into a tour, the performance and also how to look after yourself, not just physically, but mentally too.

Chipmunk has achieved so much in the last year taking a number one single spot and a sell out UK Tour. What did you learn from him?

That it’s a lot of hard work and you can’t just do one show and go to bed. You have to do a show, an interview, you’ve got to go straight back on the road to another location, make a track and edit things like footage etc. It’s none stop. I really respect the hustle and work rate of Chipmunk, as well as N-Dubz and Tinchy Stryder.

Wifey cemented you in the underground and now Pass Out has stormed the charts. What was the journey like between these two tracks?

There’s 4 years between them tracks, so from ‘Wifey’ I hooked up with my manager, who’s also my older cousin. He was the typical older brother figure a little bit of money in his pocket with a nice car and nice house. I remember being 16/17 and thinking when I’m 18 I really want to go out clubbing with him, I really want to meet all his friends and see how they get party. He introduced me into the wider world, because when you’re in a school or college system you can be quite sheltered and life is a routine. Once I was out of that we were out there trying to make things happen. We were ringing up people and they were putting down the phone on us, to us having meetings with these huge business people. I had so many desires of where I wanted to be, every time I went into a meeting with an executive or walked into a fresh shiny office I’d think - I’ve come from the gutter and I don’t want to come back to that. It drove me to make myself want to be better, you have to branch out and do more varied stuff. I think a lot of that exciting journey inspired a lot of my lyrics over the past few years. Two weeks ago I was at the Brits talking to Eddie Golding, she handed me her Brit to hold and I had it in my hand like gosh like this could be me soon. Just that experience will inspire me to make crazy and eccentric music.

How do you feel about achieving that number one spot?

I don’t even know, I can’t even tell you. You know what it is; I’ve never even thought about it going to number one, I didn’t really want to jinx it. For a long time this has been in my wildest imagination. Wow, I’m number one. This is the first time I’ve ever been in the whole chart. It’s an achievement for me for it to be in the chart let alone hit the top spot to be honest. Thank you to everyone that supported the track, from my fans to the other artists that have backed it like it was their own track, thank you.

When you got signed to Parlophone you ran a blog competition for fans to join in on the celebrations. What are you going to do now Pass Out is number one?

A girl called Tya from Manchester came down and had tea with me at Claridges. The entire label was there, my friends etc and she was so overwhelmed. She even watched me sign the deal. You all can watch me sign the deal because I filmed it for my blog. I don’t even know what I’m going to do to celebrate the chart entry, but the release of my first single is the most important thing. For people to go out there, support it and spend their money on it is a whole different ball game and I’m very grateful for everybody who went out and did that.

Pass Out is a hip-hop track, so why did you decide to give it that unexpected drum & bass ending?

We tried out so many different things by going in the studio and having fun. It wasn’t like we just put a drum & bass ending on it and then thought, done! We tried out so many things, guitars, reggae bass; we were having so much fun. That track at least took 24 full hours to put together. Me and Labyrinth (who produced the track) both tired, with Red Bulls in hand, were like this track is sick. Labyrinth had two of his stylists in the studio and by the time the track was done they were singing the bass rhythm and the chorus. The drum & bass mix up was a trialled and tested method. Once we put it in there everyone went crazy in the studio and that’s why we thought we would keep it there.

Okay, so what can Tinie Tempah fans expect in the future?

I’m touring with Mr Hudson and N-Dubz as well this year and my album The Discovery will be out in the summer. Its 11 tracks with a few other producers and a few collaborations that were made in the same process that Labyrinth and I made Pass Out. Coming from the underground and coming up to the charts and in to the mainstream world is like a whole new discovery. It’s exciting not to give too much away because I can’t wait for you to be surprised on what you discover.

Stay up to date with Tinie Tempah on Twitter - www.twitter.com/tinietempah

A version of this appeared on MTV.CO.UK


  1. Anonymous1:52 PM

    big up Tinie

  2. Anonymous3:35 PM

    my man came from no where and den got a number 1 raah


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