Tinie Tempah, the dapper rapper from London, brings his smart selection of chart topping tracks to the two-day RedFestDXB festival this weekend, demonstrating why his musical imperfections are so good.

“When I meet people I have to question their intentions. Are you meeting me because you saw me on telly? Sometimes I’ll be in a club and think, ‘This girl’s proper staring me out, she must think I’m so hot,’ and then I think, wait, she just thinks, ‘There’s Tinie.’”

“When things first started getting crazy, I often found that if I was in the car with a girl and one of my songs came on the radio there would be an awkward silence. They wouldn’t know how to react.”

“I want to be that artist who can delve into different things. I want to write plays, do theatre, scores for films. These are things that come with age and opportunity.”

“When young people get talked about, it’s always negative; it’s ASBOs or shooting people. I want to be someone who represents people in a positive light. That’s become my prerogative.”

“US hip hop is very much their thing and their culture so they stay within that lane. But I’m from London, which is a melting pot of different music, all the genres you can think of. Whether it’s indie, dance, trap, dubstep, grime, hip hop, it’s all in there, from my youth.”

“I listen to loads of different stuff and I just think, at this moment in time, music is so exciting. People have so much choice and I like being able to do something that people wouldn’t expec t. My artist wish list is very extensive; there are tonnes more names on it and hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to work with those people.”

“Being British is a very big part of my personality and it’s something that draws people to my music, so I am conscious of it. It’s a fact that separates me from so many other people, especially as a rapper. It’s just one of the things that makes me unique.”

“This celebrity thing, about who you’re dating, what restaurant you’re coming out of, who you were texting, what you’re doing in Ibiza – that was overwhelming for me. Because it’s not about that, it’s about the music.”

“This is not a science but there’s a science in music, so it’s coming from a real place. But then the more I learn and the more I listen and the more I see, I just try and apply it to what’s coming from the heart.”

“I’m overly analytical – I think too much. On [the album] Demonstration we’d do a song, then I’d do it again a few days later, changing everything. A few days later I’d do it again. And then again. I had to recognise the magic of imperfection.”

“I spoke to Prince William and he told me how much he liked the music and what else he was into. It just reinforced the power of music and what it can do, that two different people from completely different walks of life can be brought together over a song, and that’s pretty crazy.”

“Tinie Tempah: two words that don’t normally go together but roll off the tongue nice. When I do an interview, I’m nice, I’m proper. When I’m on stage, I’m jumping around saying crazy things.”

“Having a job [selling double-glazing] made me understand the value of money. Teenage stars miss that. My parents came from a different country and worked their way up. That prepared me for the whirlwind rollercoaster of this.”


Line-up and timings
 Doors Open/ Myles DJ set
6.20pm TBA
7pm Conor Maynard
8.15pm Tinie Tempah
9.45pm Jessie J
11.20pm Marvin Humes (DJ Set)

 Doors / Rossi DJ set
3.10pm Josh-J
3.40pm Virgin Radio and Monster DJ winner
4.15pm TBA
5pm Rita Ora
6pm Naughty Boy
7.30pm John Newman
9pm Lumineers
10.45pm A-Yo (Mark Ronson and Zane Lowe)

RedSTYLE premium package tickets, which gets you access to an exclusive backstage lakeside setting right next to the main stage, luxury washrooms, up-scale food and beverage options, and lots of space to spread out and relax to engage in some serious celebrity spotting and people watching, are still available. As is the RedFAN general admission tickets.

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RedFestDXB, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Media City. Tel: (04) 4390900. Metro: Nakheel. redfestdbx.com