As UK urban sensation Tinie Tempah prepares to return for a duo of UAE gigs, we caught up with the 27-year-old star.
Hi Tinie, excited to be coming back to the UAE? How was your last gig at White Dubai, in November 2014?
I’m so excited to be back in the UAE, my last time at White Dubai was literally one of the best shows I’ve done in a club ever. I’m happy to be back with the team and happy to be back around F1 times.
Indeed – as well as stopping off back at White, you’re gigging Mad in the midst of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Are you a motorsports fan, my man?
I mean, I appreciate the sport, and I appreciate the sportsmanship of it. And obviously I’m really good friends with Lewis Hamilton which has made me take a lot more interest into the sport. I’m really excited for him as well, I know he has achieved something that is historic so would be good to celebrate something so big with him.
Your mate J Cole is in town to play Beats on the Beach. Any chance of hooking up?
Oh, yeah definitely. Honestly I didn’t know he was, but I’ll link up with him for sure.
So, seven UK number ones, you must almost be disappointed if you don’t top the charts next time...
Oh wow, to be honest with you I’ve had more number ones than I could ever have imagined. Now I want to keep aiming high and having fun making good music.
Big question – we’ve been waiting for your third album for a while. When’s it coming and what can we expect?
Early next year. It’s gonna be amazing, and the best one so far.
You found fame relatively early in life. Now you’re older, what advice would you give that kid starting out?
Just make sure you got a good team around you, a good team you can trust and a good team that believe in you. As a creative you’re not always going to see everything, so it’s nice to be able to listen to different perspectives.
If you never found fame in the first place, where do you think you’d be today?
Probably be a manager and trying to make someone else famous.
What’s your biggest financial vice? Food, cars...?
Of all the famous folk you’ve worked with or met, who intimidated you the most?
I would probably say Lionel Richie, and then David Beckham.
Tinie Tempah performs at White Dubai on Friday November 26 and Mad on Yas Island on Saturday November 27.