My colleague Cat and I went to London’s South Bank on behalf of Flavour Magazine to see Chipmunk perform a secret gig. The 20-year-old platinum selling rapper and songwriter hailing from Tottenham took time out to chat to us about his taste in ladies, future plans and getting mobbed…
Cat: So what’s going down in South Bank today?
We have some competition winners here; they’ve come to see me perform. The gig is in conjunction with Adidas and Footlocker. They picked me to be the face of their new campaign to help appeal to the ‘kids like me.’ [laughs]
Maz: A lot has happened in your career over the last four years. What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Honestly? Working with Chris Brown. Yeah, man. When I started music, he was already THAT guy. There are other moments, but I would say working with Chris because that was when I thought ‘Rah, this was what I dreamed of and its reality now.’
Cat: Were you star struck when you met him?
Na! I never get star struck. I think with artists you don’t get star struck because you’re all under the umbrella of music. Everyone has many different talents. He [Chris Brown] looked at me like ‘woah this guy is a sick writer’ and I looked at him like ’you’re some alien, the way you’re singing and dancing!’ It’s a lot, still.
Maz: How are received in America? Do they ‘get’ your music?
I haven’t put out any music in America you know. Everything I have done with American artists has been for my fans here who are also fans of Chris Brown and Trey Songz. I think a lot of people forget, but amongst the artists there is a high respect for me as an English rapper that they can actually understand me and I sound English! But swag wise, I’m just like them… We’re into the same things.
Cat: Have you got any plans to release any material out there?
I got plans to get a name in the US, you know. But everyone forgets that you can’t skip stages; I came from the BOTTOM. Unless you don’t mind having a song that is bigger than you, you have to start from the bottom. I don’t wanna go over there and have a big song and people know my song but I can still go to the mall, you know. I wanna do it properly.
Cat: So you wanna be mobbed, do you?!
[Laughs] Na, it’s not that I wanna be mobbed, but I never wanna have a song where people are like ‘who are you…? Oh, you’re him!’ Na. It’s gotta happen at the same time, I wanna do it from the ground up, just bars and gain the respect. The respect is coming from the artists, you know. Tinie is doing well, but I don’t know another UK MC that has had the love simultaneously from so many different artists at once.
Maz: That being said, who are YOU feeling in the UK scene this year?
Umm… If I took myself out, as a fan, I think the best rapper word for word; forget about making a hit… I would have to say Wretch32. He’s a sick rapper. I think the best all-rounder in terms of singing, delivery, character… it would be Dappy. I think N-Dubz splitting up has allowed him to gain the credibility that he has been dying for. It’s amazing man. I like Dappy.
Maz: I didn’t know they had officially split up, I thought they were just on a break. But I guess you know them so you would know…
Yeah I know them… [Silence]
Cat: We’re gonna do some quick fire questions. Ready?
Cat: Kelly or Beyonce?
[laughs] BE-YON-CE; you mad!
Maz: Blondes or Brunettes? [the rooms is full of brunettes]
I just like pretty girl’s man, you could be bald!
Cat: In 3 words, what is your ideal girl?
Beautiful inside out. But if you’re talking looks, I do have a type.
Maz: Which is…
Pretty! No discrimination here…
Cat: Chips or Munks?
I’d have to say Chips.
Maz: Only Way is Essex or Made in Chelsea?
I don’t watch either of them! But if I had to watch one I would say The Only Way is Essex because a few of them have got their names out there. That’s when you know you are doing well, when you subconsciously be hearing their name. I respect that, that’s what I call hustling.
Maz: You’ve had many international collaborations. Are there any more we can expect?
There’s some coming. There are some certified ones that are gonna happen, but ones that I wanna make happen are with Wayne and Drake. That’s the two collabos that I want.
Cat: So what else is next for Chipmunk?
I’ve got my new free mix tape coming out, Spazz.com. It is gonna drop in the next three weeks. It’s just me MCing with my peers. Wretch 32 is on there, so is Tinie Tempah and Sneakbo, he’s doing well for himself. So yeah… Spazz.com. Then I wanna live some more and then start working on my third album.
Cat: You’ve dominated the music scene. What about TV, any plans for you being on a reality show?
Nah, my music is for the public, I try and keep my personal life personal. I think that’s when people start falling off when they do them sort of things. I’m not really on that.
Maz: What direction are you planning to take on your next album? Are you gonna be hopping on the bassline thing like many other artists are doing at the moment?
I’m not even about to jump on the bassline! I like Ms Dynamite ‘Neva Soft’, but to me that sounds more like bashment anyway. It’s got a Caribbean flavour to it. If something like that comes up, I’m in. Otherwise, I’m not really that head banger kind of guy, it’s not really me man. I’m gonna stick to what I know but I am gonna try and branch out and do different stuff as well. But that Dynamite tune is my favourite song right now… it’s crazy!
* This article was originally published at Flavour Magazine *