Back with his fourth studio albums which he delivers with two distinctive sides, Tinchy Stryder is back with a record that allows him to travel to many different sides of the music spectrum.
We got the opportunity to chat to Tinchy all about his new music, plans for the future and more.
You're releasing new album '360º/The Cloud 9 LP' later this month - what direction are you going in with this record?
Where I'm at with music right now with the [new album], I feel like I'm back to [having] full creative control. I feel reborn and I'm opening up a bit more. This time I'm just not holding back as much and you get to know me better. So I feel like with this album it's more open.
So what sort of new side to Tinchy Stryder will we see through this music?
Now I'm not as careful with what I'm saying, I feel like the truth is the best thing in people's music. When you hear real stories, it can be good or bad but it's crazy because I feel like the best music always comes from hard times. When you hear someone and the hunger is there because they're not happy about something and something's triggered it, it's deeper. When I was making it I was in that zone.
I feel like everything's coming back around, even down to the trainers I wear, everyone's wearing Huaraches again, everything's old school again. Every 10 years or so everything comes back around, it goes in waves, I felt it in myself even before that, so I thought '360º' made sense and it went rought to 'The Cloud 9 LP'. Even the whole album, having two sides is old school.
Will there be any nods to your time in the jungle on I'm A Celebrity in the record?
Not really, but I did write a song about how I relate to life in the jungle, like life being like a jungle and how you have to learn to survive when you haven't got much. I picked that up a lot, I knew it already, but in the jungle life you've got to eat to survive.
The worst thing I drank was blended fermented duck egg that had been there for two months mixed with some toe thing. The hardest thing was being buried alive in a tombstone for 15 minutes in the pitch black and every five minutes they put snakes or rats or spiders in. You have to tuck your trousers into your socks otherwise it goes up!
There are quite a few features on the album, from the likes of JME, Takura and more - what were all those different artists like to work with?
Everyone's different, for example with someone like JME, because he's been a friend for a while it's natural vibes. He's a cool dude; my very first mixtape called 'I'm Back U Know', JME designed the cover in 2006 or something. It was in the same font as what he uses now for Boy Better Know, that's why I like JME, he sticks to his guns, he's got a vision and it's inspiring being around him.
Will you be touring with the new album? What do you think of the touring lifestyle?
Hopefully, I love performing, and when you've got music out you feel like you have to push it.
It's fun, but sometimes you perform at a wicked show, drinking, and then you forget that next morning you've got to travel to another place. Some people are still trying to wake up properly, hungover and you've got to do sound check.
One day I was ill, my voice was gone and I was like, 'I can't, and they were like, 'you're on in 10 minutes', and I was like 'I can't!' I think it was Chipmunk who was supporting and he said, 'Tinchy, eat some grapes', so I ate some grapes and my voice was back. I went on and it was normal!
How do you find balancing your working life with your personal life?
My hobby is my work, it's all the same, it's all wrapped into one. I'm blessed. You have to check your blessings. I pray every time I wake up and my mum asked what's the first think I pray for and I said 'I dunno, I just pray' and she said, 'no, pray for just waking up again and good health'.
Do you have any definitive aims or goals for your career going forward?
I always try to dream bigger but at the same time I don't like forcing things, like a lot of things have come naturally. Obviously with the Cloud 9 label I want that to grow as big as it can and sign people, give other people opportunities, because when I was coming there weren't many opportunities about and money runs the world I understand, but it doesn't always have to.
You can do things at a certain level - someone told me this before, I think it was Skepta, he said 'why do people always say they're broke? You ain't broke, you can't be, if you've got £10 and he's got £100 that don't mean you're broke it just means you need to know yourself and go, yep Nandos and you'll be alright. Like if you're gonna buy trainers, there are trainers that are like £60 and then there are trainers that are £400, so know that. And know that there are people that are actually broke and don't even have a house, so don't complain!'
Tinchy Stryder's '360º/The Cloud 9 LP' album is out now.
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