Tinie Tempah: the entrepreneur changing British music forever

Forget the lyrics to his song Written in the Stars, Tinie Tempah’s success wasn’t destiny

Forget the lyrics to his song Written in the Stars, Tinie Tempah’s success wasn’t destiny. Patrick Okogwu reveals how he dragged himself out of his tough council estate  and built a business that’s turning the music industry on its head.

Tinie Tempah stretches to pick up a mug of tea while perched on the end of his swivel chair in a recording studio in South London. It’s his second this hour – the first cup, still half full and on the side, has turned lukewarm – but he was desperate for a fresh one before our interview begins. You’d think he’d have other things on his mind: it’s August 8th and he’s on deadline to deliver his third album, Youth, to Parlophone by the 17th. No matter, he leisurely leans forward, takes a big slurp, before slouching back into his seat.

‘On a scale of one to ten of how much I love a brew I’m easily a nine,’ he says, placing the mug next to the decks and within reach. ‘I couldn’t live without it and on a typical working day I’ll get through six or seven. What I’ve learned is that the trick to a perfect cuppa is matching the brand to the type of water. I stumbled across Yorkshire Tea and I really liked that, but I found out that it’s because we’ve got hardwater in London and that brand goes great with that.’

 

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