Tinchy Stryder needs no introduction to RWD readers having grown from UK underground prodigy to number one selling artist in-front of our very eyes, but it’s Fanta Jarjussey's first time interviewing the Ruff Sqwad MC and she's got a lot of ground to cover.
You’re on tour with Cheryl Cole at the moment, how did that come about?
I guess I was doing my Lost Cities tour and then I got asked if I could do the Cheryl tour and support the arena tour and I was like, ‘yeah why not?’
That's a long way from where you started, especially as a Grime artist but what been the highlight of your musical journey so far?
There've been loads but if I were to pick, I'd say the first time I went number one with a Number One. [It's] crazy because before that, the track Take Me Back with Taio Cruz got to number three. So when the next song, I was in the studio with Dappy, and Fraser T Smith and then we done a song and we were like ‘okay number one’. Then after that it was like woah, are you getting confident? You just got a number three and you're calling number one, that's like you're jinxing it. Can you imagine you had a song called number one and it gets to number two?
It was amazing. Do you still listen to Grime now?
Do I still listen to Grime [pauses]? Yeah, I guess when I listen to Grime [pauses] I was saying this the other day; when a lot of people try talk to me about Grime, I guess it's a new age, a ‘new young’ like, I'm 26 now. I was doing Grime when I was maybe, 16. We were listening to Wiley, Pay As You Go, Roll Deep, Heartless Crew, and I'm thinking people say ‘oh we want some of the old Grime’ but when we were doing Grime, I wonder how old they were then, If I was 16...?
They were babies.
Yeah, so they didn't [pauses] I can speak to someone like Wiley and some other people; Skepta, Meridian, Boy Better Know, when they used to go on pirate radio, they were on before us. There are a lot of people who've come from that scene but if there's a good Grime beat, there's a lot of people that are fresh, new, now I'm thinking yeah he can spit and like, my DJ Sir Spyro showed me this, I'm more into the producers now. There are a lot of producers who I think ‘wow this one's going in.’ I guess for me, when it comes to Grime, no one ain't really spitting as hard as Ghetts for me to this day. Do you know what I mean? Me and Ghetts recorded a song called Grime Veterans. When you hear the song, that's what Grime is to me. There are a couple people I might have left out not on purpose but it's deep. It's good that it's still carrying on man, like we've come from somewhere. It's been a thing where it was built and it's good, it's there and we can hopefully carry on and keep building, but that's where we're from so [pauses] We make music and it's always something where it's the tempo or how do they decide is it the tempo because we used to do 140 [beats per minute] and some things are Grimey and dark, I understand that but you have to go through stages and grow in music man but yeah; I listen to Grime.
Do you think you can convince Dizzee Rascal to do a song with Wiley and bring them back together?
What do you think it will take for something to bring them back together?
Whatever reason it is why Dizzee wouldn't want to speak to Wiley again, you will never know, so if you're just from the outside looking in...that's their personal things you have to ask Dizzee the reason why he wouldn’t. Obviously Wiley is someone I respect and he's done a lot for me. He helped me and he's like that talented man; you can never write Wiley off, he'll come back. He had a big number one with Heatwave. He's that guy. Dizzee said something like they've not spoken for longer than they did speak so people are like ‘oh, they need to come back together’ but it's like when they were together and the amount of time they aint been together has been longer so its like get over it now. But at the same time, it would be great to see them together because I actually went to Eskimo Dance and I was with Dizzee, we got there but the security was like ‘we can't really let your cars in the back’, I was like 'ouuuf'. He doesn't know because no-one knew he were coming, because we were there, then we just bounced, so yeah we're cool but hopefully man, one day you know? That would be cool to see.
You've got a lot of fans who are dying like where's Tinchy's new album? When are you going to put them out of their misery? Is the album ready?
It was ready but I kinda wanted to go again.
Okay, so you weren't happy with it?
I put out Spaceship in 2011 then it's been Off The Record, Bright Lights, Help Me, that's been like the singles and there hasn't been an album with like nothing with them on so all the new stuff that I've recorded is in between. Help Me is what sort of bridges it over, you see what's about to come and its like the sound, hear what I'm sounding like and that's the same with Spaceship but because I’ve got so many new things, I'd rather make that [the] end of a chapter and then everything feels so fresh and new. I'll probably put out an EP with some new tracks as well.
There’s always a struggle between the artist and the label, with a lot of artists choosing the independent route, how do you feel about that?
Well, I guess it depends. Major labels are big machines. It's like; it's nothing new, it's been going on for years and years and years so it's not like only today everyone thought ‘oh, lets be independent’ and people that are successfully independent like Dizzee. He signed to XL, [released] three albums and he got that name and that level where independently, he was Dirty Stank Recordings and that was the most successful album independently. If you can do it, do it. I was independent for a long while before I was signed but when you get to that level and elevate and it’s all about your music reaching out to the masses and if you've got certain music where you want that higher power to just push it.
So, what are you doing November 1? It’s sounding like a very special night…
Under the Bridge! It's gonna be my last London, headline show of the year! I felt like I wanted to bring the show to London, have that little vibe with the people. I just love performing and when you can do it at home, where people can come, you got fans, supporters, close friends, family and this is gonna be it and we're gonna have a good time.
As a Manchester United fan, what did you think of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reaction to Rio Ferdinand not wearing the Kick It Out T-Shirt?
What Rio Ferdinand did, he's showing how strongly he believes that not enough is being done. Sir Alex Ferguson is very powerful manager and when he speaks, the players obey and understand and Rio going against it shows that [he really believes]. I don't think it's personally disrespecting him. He didn't aim it at him, he's just trying to show that he doesn’t think enough is being done and it got more attention that way so if someone believes in it, that's his brother.
Words by Fanta Jarjussey [@jarjussey]