It's hard work being a t***

We love Tinie Tempah. The man is at the vanguard of black British music (enough with all this ‘urban’ chat) as it surges definitively out of the underground and into the charts, creating a new form of British pop music not based on the innovations of the 60s. You only have to look at the number of MCs who are populating the charts right now to see that we now have the basis for a more modern, less reactionary and retrograde form of pop. This is a good thing.

Another good thing is the interview that TT did with The Sun, which has (somewhat surprisingly, given its history) been seriously pushing the scene for a couple of years now, with great results. In it, he praises the hard work of his parents as the key factor in his success, by showing him that a poor immigrant from Nigeria can move themselves off the Aylesbury Estate in Peckham and create a better life for their children. Isn’t that heart warming (if a bit corny)?

‘While growing up, my mum Rosemary set a benchmark for me and my brother and sisters. She was born in Nigeria and came here with nothing. She was like, ‘Look at me, this is the minimum you can achieve’.

‘My mum had to start from scratch whereas I was born here. She has always said to us, ‘You've got to seize the opportunities and run with them’.’

‘We lived in a flat on the top floor. I remember looking over the balcony and saying, ‘Those houses over there are really nice - Mum, what type of house is that?’ She would say, ‘That's a detached house’. One day, my mum said, ‘I don't want us to live here anymore’. Then she bought a semi-detached house and then she bought another semi-detached house and then another - I've seen her do that.

‘My parents just worked really, really hard and that's what I've always looked up to. I want to be like them one day. I know it's not the coolest thing to say but I believe there's a little bit in all of us that just wants to get things 'right'. If you can nail it in the meantime, that's good.

‘It's nice to be nice. It takes so much energy to be horrible and a t***. My philosophy is to be nice to everyone and get the job done. Manners go a long way.’

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