Very few urban artists have had as good an 18 months as Wretch 32.
After he exploded onto the scene with his top-five debut single Traktor, Wretch’s secured his first number one, gone gold with his album ‘Black and White’ and collected multiple award nominations.
Now he’s a part of Coca Cola’s Olympic Torch relay, playing a series of concerts in his hometown of London. We had a brief chat with him last week before he took to the stage in Salisbury last week.
So how did you get involved in the 2012 Olympic torch relay then?
They just asked really and I’ve always been a fan of the Olympics, but before it was always somewhere else in the world, and until now, it’s been places that would have been so far away and exotic for me. But now it’s come here, to London and it’s special because it’s right here at home for me. And to get to perform for it as well, just makes it that extra bit more special for me.
It’s your fist night tonight, got any plans for it?
Yeah, it’s the first night tonight. I’m just gonna try and make it as big and as huge as I can, make it a massive festival atmosphere. We’re just going to attack it man. I’m also playing the finale at Hyde Park on the 26th, so that’s going to be great.
It’s been a crazy year for you, how’ve you been adjusting?
I’ve had my head down. I just get on with the task at hand, don’t get too side tracked with everything. I’ve just been working no wrapping up the album and collaborating with underground rappers and making some new music really.
You do a lot of collaborations, what do you look for in an artist?
Yeah, I like bringing two worlds together. Sometime artists have a certain form of fan base, I got a certain fan base, and when we come together, we bring them together. It brings those worlds together. Both our fans get to mingle and you get the fans talking on Twitter, and that’s the best way to spread your fan base.
How have you found the reaction to the album?
It’s been really good. We ticked a lot of boxes and we went gold which is a great thing in today’s day and age for a rapper. We got respect from artists that we respect like Coldplay and the likes of Adele and when people like that are giving you opinions saying they enjoy your work, it makes you really happy.
How did it feel to get your first number one?
The first number one was crazy! I thought that everyone was pulling my leg until it was on the charts show, and it was official and I could see it writing and what we sold that week. That was a real experience! Hopefully it’s not my last.
You’ve presented a show on 4Music called The Crush, what was that like?
I enjoy presenting, I’m a bit of a chatter box so I didn’t mind when they asked me to do that. It’s something different and I think it’s nice to present something and have a bit of banter with the co-presenter and the audience really like you. They like seeing you in a different light, not just rapping or being in the studio.
You’re lyrics are really down to Earth, what do you find inspires you most?
I’m literally inspired by everything. I just write what happens and everything inspires me. I get inspired by being here today, seeing different people, seeing how the fans react. I went to McDonalds and nearly shut the place down just trying to get a Big Mac! S*** like that inspires me.
So what’s coming up next for you?
We’ve nearly finished the new album; next thing we’ve got to sort out is when we release it and what the singles are. We’re literally good to go. I don’t want to go away for too long and have a massive gap. Also, I’ve got a really y positive clothing situation on the rise, so we’re trying to open new doors and go down new avenues.
I’ve also been getting in to clothes and art as of late. I’ve randomly always been fascinated with looking at pictures and then I went down to a few art galleries in central London and had a look around there. I’ve just then started to fall in love with pieces of art. I haven’t bought any yet, I’m trying to find one particular artist I like and then stick with them.
In terms of the fashion, I’ve always been into nice clothes, I just wanted to kind of to give life to something I enjoy and take that to the public eye. But, we’ll see how that goes.
And finally, what can you tell us about the new album?
The new album will definitely be a progression from where Black and White left off. I’m a real musician; I spend a lot of time on my music and making it feel as strong and as exciting as possible. We’ve got some real feel good music, we’ve got some exciting tracks and we’ve got some heartfelt tracks. It’s just about finding the balance in the album and having a great product.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith