At only 25-years-old, Tinie Tempah has achieved a lot. With a number of Top 5 singles under his belt, and a huge list of awards (BRITs, MOBOs and an Ivor Novello), Tinie is arguably one of the best British artists of our time. His first single ‘Pass Out’ shot straight to number 1 after selling just over 92,000 copies in one week.
He’s come all the way from a Southeast London estate rapping the lines “have you ever been so hungry it keeps you awake?” to opening up the BAFTAs with Laura Mvula and high-fiving Prince William, “Who wouldn’t want to high-five the Prince, the future King of England?” He tells us. “[I’ve had] a lot of naff questions though like ‘How did it feel?’, it felt like a hand (laughs). ‘What would you have done if he never did it back?’, I don’t actually know what I would have done. Mostly though, the feedback was amazing!”
After everything that Tinie has done up to date, you’d have thought he might be losing the same buzz that he had when he first started out back in 2005. It all began when he joined Aftershock Hooligans (Aftershock records), but left in 2007 when he felt it wasn’t doing much for his career. Since then, he has been on the up, and is still reveling in that same excited buzz from when he first started to get noticed.
“You never get tired of these things and it’s great at this point in my career,” he says. “It’s something that you can only hope and dream for as an artist! I’m really happy with the reaction, I’m really happy that I got to perform in front of such a global and regal audience, you know. It went out to many countries around the world – it’s amazing and I always love things like this!”
Even with the years of performing live to thousands of people and standing up and talking to an audience, nerves can still crop up unexpectedly, even to superstars.
“I was very, very nervous [before the BAFTAs]. There’s some things where you are gonna get the butterflies and others where you won’t. Like festivals, if you’ve played many festivals before, festivals are quite a free thing you know, most of the artists that go out and play a festival, they’re usually having a good time themselves. They’re usually excited to see other artists and let loose a little bit. So yeah there’s definitely some things you won’t get the butterflies for and there’s these other things that you will, and I think that’s what makes it exciting! I think that when you get to the stage where you don’t get the butterflies then you’re at the stage where you’ve probably achieved most of the things that you’d love to do. I’m sure with Beyoncé, with all of her glory, still gets butterflies. There’s always a bigger event for you to do.”
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Words copyright VanityHype/AJ/Laura Meades 2014