British-Nigerian rapper, Tinie Tempah is featured in Mr. Porter’s The Journal this week.
The 27-year-old who just released the video to his collaboration with Wizkid, ‘Mamacita’ talks his style, building his empire, his relationship, wanting kids and more in his interview with the weekly magazine.
See excerpts and more photos from the editorial below!
On wanting to be the ‘British Dream’: “Everyone knows the American dream. I want to be the British dream. I’m as much British as anyone else, but I don’t have any barriers on myself. You can’t hide the fact that I have the most number ones in this decade. I was born in London, I bring money into this economy, I pay tax, I’ve gone to Downing Street, I’ve gone to Buckingham Palace. I was playing football with Prince Harry the other day…”
On his style: “You have to think about your style in music these days ‘cos it’s such a visual culture.” “Every time a black rapper from south London was represented before, it was as a kid on a council estate, selling drugs, shooting people. My reality is different. I come from a great family. All of my sisters have gone to university, my brothers, too, my parents are educated, we come from Nigeria, which has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. I’ve always wanted to change the perception.”
On wanting kids:“I’ve always wanted kids, but it’s only this year that I’ve figured out how to actually do that. I mean, I’m thinking about the responsibility, the sacrifice. At the moment, my life is crazy, but when I do settle down, I wanna have a big family, man. I wanna have loads of kids.”
On his girlfriend whose identity he has refused to reveal:“I’m not interested in us trying to be like David and Victoria Beckham. The moment you start to display your relationship as a rapper, it’s the beginning of the end.” It sounds an ambitious match, though. He lets on that she’s currently in Mustique, her father is a “sir”, and he has thought about marriage, but not yet. “I’m asking her dad for advice, and I’m thinking, ‘Ah wow, one day I’d love to be a sir. Do you get what I mean? Why can’t I be a sir?’ He said: ‘Surely this won’t last forever. What’s your plan?’ Maybe because it’s his daughter. To hear an older, successful guy say that, really made me think.”
On taking advice from people who has been in the game longer than him:“Anytime I’m around people who have long illustrious careers, I always ask their advice. P Diddy, Jay Z, Elton John, Chris Martin. And out of all them, it was J-Lo who gave me the advice that stuck: ‘Never complain. Never complain in this industry because there’s always someone who’d kill to be doing what you’re doing right now’. It’s so easy to get caught up in your First World problems – your flight is delayed, you’ve been waiting for ages, whatever. But you got to remember. There are literally people who would kill to be where we are right now. I always knew that this would be the most intense point of my life, so I don’t rest. But I’m 27. I have a lot of time ahead of me to chill.”
Read the full feature here
Photography: Mr Nacho Alegre
Styling: Mr Way Perry
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