He's one of the most exciting artists in the Grime scene right now, so we caught up with him to find out a little about his past and what we can expect from his debut LP 'Star In The Hood'.
Tell the people who you are and why you record with that name?
What's going on? I'm Tinchy Stryder. I basically got my name Tinchy because I have always been small in height compared to the rest of my friends, get me? And the Stryder just came along with it really…
Do you think being a short ass is why you've ended up rapping loud?
Not at all man. I began rapping because I just used to find it exciting.
What else has led you to rap?
Musically, I am influenced by a lot of things but one of my main inspirations rapping wise has to be Jay Z man.
How long have you been rhyming and what are your key tunes?
I have been spitting for a little while now. Not sure how long – probably since about 2000. Dem days putting material out wasn't really my focus. It was just getting heard on pirates… But yeah, recently I've put out 2 mix CDs, 'I'm Back You Know' and 'Lost And Found'. My crew Ruff Sqwad also released two mix CDs, 'Gunz N Roses' Vol.1 and 2.
Out of all your material, what one track sums you up best?
'24 Hours To Live' because it was the first real solo song that I put out with a different sort of concept.
What material have you been working on?
I've been working on my album 'Star In The Hood' and that should be dropping around June or July.
How does the new single and album compare to older stuff?
The album is going to be the strongest material I've ever put out.
Tell us about that new single. It's quite a reflective tune…
Yeah, the new single 'Breakaway' is out now. With this song I wasn't trying to come across in any way. As soon as I heard the beat, I just wrote down what came in my head and I had the song 'Breakaway'.
How did you approach making the album compared to mix CDs?
With mix CD's, I feel as if there's more freedom, so basically I just record tunes. It could be over anyone's beat with mix CD's. You could even do short freestyles on mix CDs. When it comes to recording an album, I focused more on concepts. The right mixture of tunes and all them little things. Basically, an album takes more planning than a mix CD in my eyes.
How did you hook up with Takeover Records?
Basically, they just approached me like any other label would. We had a few meetings and I realised we were both trying to head in the same direction and also they're an independant so that gives me a lot of control over the music I do. Plus, they like Grime so that really explains it all.
How big are your plans for the debut album?
First of all, I wanted to record a good album and I think I've done that, so basically everything else is a bonus. But obviously, I would like it to sell as much as it can.
Tell us about some of the guests and producers on there.
I've got a couple of tracks with Ruff Sqwad on there. Ny features as well. And oh yeah, I got one track with Goldie Locks which is probably the most unexpected feature… The tune wasn't really planned. I just met her in the studio, heard one of her beats and thought 'that's the one' and it went from there. Davinche's produced a few on there. Rapid and Dirty from Ruff Sqwad and also XTC have beats on there.
What do you make of the current standard in Grime music?
Yeah man. I think the standards are high and there's a lot of healthy competition going on. Everyone's putting out mix CD's and that's a good look for the scene. Right now, Trim's doing it man. He come hard on his mix CD.
What do you think needs to be improved in Grime?
I think if people at the top of the game came together and worked on a couple of tracks, it would help Grime develop, but I don't think Grime's come off track. It's only getting bigger and better.
How often are you out performing?
Recently I've been performing a lot, promoting the new single and it all helps because the more shows you do, the more confidence you gain on stage. So yeah, it's all good.
What's the sickest clothing brand people should be wearing this spring?
Whatever you like man. Don't get caught up in the name brand hype, but what suits your pocket.
How can heads keep up to date with you?
Check Myspace.com/TinchyStryder and you'll find out what's poppin' off!
Any shout out's you wanna make?
Yeah man. Big up Ruff Sqwad. That's the team. East London stand up! Peace.