N-Dubz are the hottest things to hit the charts in ages and with a MOBO Best Newcomer award already under their belts we wanted to know more. Tulisa tells us about their new single Ouch and the band's journey so far.What have you been up to recently? At the moment we've been in the studio. We've actually moved onto the second album already so we've done that, just finished the first track of the second album. We've shot our new video Papa Can Your Hear Me which should be coming out after Ouch, which is been released on the 29th and during that time you're gonna have Papa coming out on TV and radio then that's gonna be released and then we've got the album dropping around Christmas time so we're pretty excited. Now we're with a new label it's all going on and we're coming out on a major level. We're pretty happy about that.
The new single's Ouch, what's it about?
Ouch is a part two to I swear, and it's basically the other way round to I Swear, it's me being a girl, coming home, finding my boyfriend cheating on me. And then Dappy and Fazer come from a boys point of view and they're sort of asking for me back, "it's not my fault", that kind of business. It's all about a whole debate between a woman and man after finding out the mans cheated. It's just a whole storyline, the whole aftermath of it. The video's got a whole storyline too that people can relate to.
What do you think makes you different from other artists in the charts at the moment?
Pretty much the fact that you can't put is in a category, I mean if someone was to say what kind of music do you think N'Dubz do, it's pretty hard to turn around and say "Hmm you're RnB", nah because we've got a little bit of a garage element, we do pop, our music just gets influenced from everywhere, there's classical in our music, there's hip hop, there's RnB there's pop, there's garage, there's everything in there. so I think we're a fresh new style for the UK that is giving something different, something more positive and very unique.
Who are your musical influences?
The boys will probably be pretty different to mine, they love Magic 105.4 and all that kind of business. I like everything from...it's hard to put it, I don't actually sing like what I listen to. On a daily basis I listen to old school garage, funky house, hip hop and RnB and when I was younger I grew up listening to 40s music., I don't really listen to it anymore but I'm sure that some of my vocal sound probably comes from training my voice from young to 40s music so it has that powerful vibe to it. Influences wise I just like to be unique and do what I do rather than be like someone else.
So you've been into music since you were young?
Yeah, really young, N-Dubz have been together since I was 11.
Is there anyone you'd like to work with?
Ms. Jade who's an American rapper from Philly and Timberland and one more person Kate Nash.
The album's out in November, can you tell us a bit about it?
The albums gonna have something for everyone, literally something for your mum, your dad, your gran, as Dappy likes to say! Even if you don't necessarily like N-Dubz music there will be a song on the album that you will like, cause there's something on there for everyone. There's such a different variety of tracks and sounds and maybe if you want to hear more of a bit of the boys, something more grimey, there's something for you on there. If you want a bit of me, a bit more melody vocal, there's something for you on there, there's just so many different varieties of songs for you to listen to. There's probably going to be one song on the album that even our biggest fan won't like cause there's so much different stuff on it. So I think it's the all round album for everyone.
You've been touring for the last year, how have you enjoyed that?
The tour was wicked, probably a lot more fun for the boys than it was for me! I enjoy the stage buzz, I love to get on stage and when we've got a really good crowd that's like full of proper number one N-Dubz fans, that's what I enjoy. But the boys get to enjoy that and the aftermath, partying afterwards and taking home the ladies where I'm more the one that sits there with my iPod the rest of the time when I'm not on stage!
You've also been visiting schools and talking to kids about staying away from bad influences, what exactly did you do with them?
The school tour was a long time ago, well not really a long time it was when we realised Better Not Waste My Time. We did a big school tour with all the different schools. We just talked about violence, crime, how it isn't the right path to take. Just basically telling them if we can do what we've done, then you can do it too and no matter what it is you want to do, doesn't necessarily have to be music then focus more on that. Focus on career and that tends to take you away from the streets and crime and that sort of business.
You won the MOBO for best newcomer last year, how did that feel?
That was the most AMAZING part of my career, that was like the cherry on the cake for me! We needed that cause we were really down at the time, pretty low after Dappy's dad dying who was our manager and my uncle so I think we needed it more than anything. I was ecstatic, everyone knows I cried my eyes out.
That leads on to the next question, how do you measure success? Is it the awards you win or how many records you sell or something else?
In the industry success is only measured by chart numbers and record sales but in my point of view, success is measured by fans, because seeing the amount of fans we have shows me how many records we can sell. The problem we've had is that we haven't had any major pushes for like any singles, the only song that we had a major push for was Better Not Waste My Time, and that was a re-release which had already sold on the back of I Swear so it was a pointless thing to do. That wasn't our idea, that was a loosing battle, it was absolutely pointless to do that. So if we now, with the next song Papa Can You Hear Me, it's gonna be our first major release single, hopefully now it gives our fans a chance to prove how big they really are and how big our fanbase is let's see who's out you wouldn't really know. I mean eight million hits on youtube that must be eight million people out there that are clicking on youtube and looking for us. That shows that we have got a lot of fans, they just haven't had the right single out to prove it to us that they're there.
You have done really well over the internet, you get loads of hits on your MySpace and Bebo pages. Do you think that's the way forward for music?
Definitely, you get noticed because there could be artists out there, underground artists, that are loved by millions of people and if there's no chart positions or record sales then how does anyone know? And that artist might be unsigned and he might not have anything out but by looking on the internet and looking on MySpace hits and YouTube hits you can see how loved that person really is, which is good for record companies because record companies can turn around and be like "Wow! So we may not necessarily think this artist beforehand was the right person to take on and bring out, but looking at their hits obviously there are people out there that do and really do like this artist and it can help artists get signed and that sort of stuff.
Where would you like to be in ten years time?
I would like to be in a...this is my ambition, I would say in an £850,000 house, still with my boyfriend, planning our wedding and have enough money to be comfortable, support a family if I need to, and also help out charities, I'd love to do something like that. I always said to myself if I get money I wanna share it and I wanna do something really positive like that.
We ask everybody we interview to come up with a question for our next interview and Neil from Travis wants to know: Are you drinking enough water and eating a healthy balanced diet?
No I'm not! No, I really am not, no way. Not in a million years! My diet is terrible, I don't know how I stay slim, I should really be obese! My diet is, I rarely eat breakfast unless if I get up really early, cause then I feel hungry, I'll eat anything like leftover pizza, usually spaghetti on toast, muffins and crumpets or a sausage roll and then basically for dinner, I'll have whatever I want, literally! Sometimes I can eat healthily if I fancy cooking, I'll eat out, yesterday I had Pizza Express, the day before I had an Indian, the day before that I cooked some chicken in a mushroom and white wine sauce. Anything I want, that is my diet, if I'm hungry I'll eat and I'll eat anything that's there. And I don't drink water! Lucozade, Ribena or Apple Juice that is all I drink, all day long, so I'm pretty unhealthy.
Can you think of a question for the next person we interview please?
Hmm it's got to be something different...Who in the music industry do you have a secret crush on?
Who do you have a secret crush on?
No one! I'm a really picky person! It took me like two years to be attracted to my boyfriend!