Interview: Tinchy Stryder

Rob GarrattLaunched by Norfolk MP Norman Lamb's son Archie's record label, Tinchy Stryder is celebrating a number one single, appropriately titled Number 1. ROB GARRATT got down with 'Prince of Grime'.Further listening: Tinchy StryderRob Garratt

Launched by Norfolk MP Norman Lamb's son Archie's record label, Tinchy Stryder is celebrating a number one single, appropriately titled Number 1. ROB GARRATT got down with 'Prince of Grime'.

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At the time of going to print, grime star Tinchy Stryder is on course to top the singles chart with his appropriately named Number 1 this Sunday.

Born in Ghana, the rapper grew up in east London and made a name on the underground scene working with stars Wiley and Dizzee Rascal.

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The 21-year-old was signed to Norwich label Takeover Entertainment in 2006, the brand co-run by city music scenester Archie Lamb - son of Norwich North MP Norman Lamb.

His last single Take Me Back, featuring Taio Cruz, charted at number three in January. His second LP will be out in July.

t As we speak, Number 1 is number one on iTunes - how does that feel?

It feels great, it's emotional - I hoped to achieve that but I never thought it would be. But when I recorded the song I was just happy to record a good song and if it charts number one what's to do.

t How's the N-Dubz tour going so far?

It's been great, every show's been sold out and we do Number 1 as an encore with N-Dubz.

t What's it like touring with those guys?

They planned it so we're not staying in the same spaces much but when we are together it's cool.

t Why do you think UK grime is growing?

When I first started to see everyone making songs and not just lyrics it just felt great, we all come from the same place.

t You've been called the Prince of grime…

It's a name I was given, I never called myself that. If you get named something you do. Wiley was called the King of Grime and the Godfather of Grime and it doesn't take anything from that. It feels good.

t Do you feel pressure to live up to the name?

I do to myself. I don't have a lot to live up to, but I have got my own expectations for everything me and Dizzee and Wiley are doing.

t What's it like working with those guys?

We all grew up in the same area and I knew Dizzee since I was a kid so it was like working with a friend. Wiley - when he approached me that was something else, I grew up listening to him.

t You were signed to a Norwich label Takeover, run by Archie Lamb.

They're an independent label I signed to it 2006, now they're one of my managers. Archie Lamb - he's a cool guy, he's more like the serious guy and Jack [Foster] is more relaxed. His dad's an MP - that's cool, he shows encouragement and good support.

t You were born in Ghana - how much of that is in your music, and how much is London?

A bit of both - just being born there it's part of me and where I come from. You value things because it's not the same everywhere. I came to London when I was about eight or nine and went to primary school here, I've been here more of my life.

t How did you get into music?

My older brother had turntables and we just mixed and I got on the mic and did that stuff with Dizzee.

t And then you did stuff on pirate radio?

That was the stuff to try and get into - otherwise it was just in my house in my room. It meant paying to get your stuff heard but that was the next thing.

t What are you most proud of so far?

I am most proud of getting a number three on the radio with the last single, that's the biggest achievement. To be in the Top 10, to get a number three - that's the biggest thing, when I sold 200,000 copies.

t How are you going to celebrate if Number 1 is top of the official charts on Sunday?

I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm going to be shocked for hours. I'm going to have a party, but I'm going away on Monday so I'll have to keep it mellow. I'm going to America and I'm going to enjoy it to there and back.

t What was it like working with The Streets' Mike Skinner?

I was 16, I looked up to their music and I was given the chance to be on that single remix. He was a cool guy. I just spoke to someone from his label and they said they wanted me on it and it was a big thing. I just went in the studio and went with it.

t Your new album's coming out in July, how's it different to the last one?

Right now you can hear the growth in the music. Music is my reality, but no one's life is that exciting which is why I add stuff. It's all different sounds and I'm working with new producers.

t Anything else you want to say?

I want people to know to check out the website, buy the t-shirts, get in the scene and help make Number 1 number one.

t Tinchy Styder will be supporting N-Dubz at UEA on April 27.

Further listening: Tinchy Stryder