Rapper Tinie Tempah's big ambition for U.S. "Disc-Overy"

Fri Dec 2, 2011 4:17pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - At the age of 23, British rapper Tinie Tempah has already sold a million records with his debut album "Disc-Overy."

Now he's hoping to conquer the United States with a new breed of hip-hop music through the release this week of his drum and bass hit British single "Pass Out" and a performance on TV singing contest "The X Factor".

Reuters spoke with Tinie Tempah about his career so far and British influences on the U.S. rap music scene.

Q: Your music is at the core of a new wave of hip-hop coming out of London. How were you influenced by the London scene?

A: "In London, everything is interlinked, you can't avoid it, so it just became a natural thing to put drum and bass or garage in your music. I just wanted my album to appeal to everybody across the board. I didn't go out there to intentionally make it sound different 'cause I wanted to be edgy, I just wanted to make what I know and what I like."

Q: Why do you think people have responded to your music in the way that they have?

A: "People, especially in England, were just happy that there was a black British young kid who was able to sign a record deal and transcend the stereotypes of a black British rapper -- urban in a hoodie, can't talk properly, looks like a ragamuffin. I think people were rooting for me to transcend that."

Q: Do you think the artists topping music charts are being influenced by the new wave of British hip-hop?   Continued...