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Tinchy Stryder

About the video

The Creators Project: What was it like the first time you stepped inside a pirate radio station?

Tinchy Stryder: When we were coming up, pirate radio was a big thing to us—to get on the radio and have everyone listen to you. So when we came off the radio station we felt like we went on the biggest thing, because everyone we speak to and everyone in my world listens to it. So yeah, it felt good. There were so many pirate radio stations, and I went on a lot of them. You would go and write your lyrics, you would go to your youth club, you’d go to the pirate radio, and that’s how people would hear you.

What was it like growing up in Bow during a time when grime was exploding?

Everyone was from Bow. There was Ruff Sqwad, and Dizzee was Djing more. We used to all go to his youth club. Slimzee and Pay As U Go [Cartel]—they were from the same area. You might see them and stop and think, “That’s Slimzee, and that’s Major Ace, and that’s whoever.” That was a big place to get to at that stage, so they were influential in a way. Now there are loads of different things like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace—loads of sites where people can actually see you visually. It’s easier for people to be in the loop right now.

How does Third Strike differ from your last two albums?

I didn’t actually come into the studio with a plan to do something too far away from what I was doing on my last album, but naturally it’s come across like that. And I’ve been in here with Ben from TMS Productions, and they understand what I do. They worked on my last album. We did a couple of tracks. I used “I’m Landing” on my tour it was the first track that played when I came out. It really means something to me. I always make sure to be one of those people who actually listens when I come in with producers. I’m open-minded, I listen to what they have to say, and I think that’s the best way to work.

Some of your videos have received a ton of hits on YouTube and other video sites. How important are they to your music?

Yeah, getting that many views on the videos was crazy. From when we first started making videos, you’d never expect to have that many people go back and keep watching. Sometimes I think I never sit back and just take things in. You just go along with everything. But when you actually sit back and think, it’s crazy, it’s a mad feeling, man. I think videos are so important because, as an artist and a lyricist, when you are writing things, you’re trying to paint images and pictures of your words. So when there’s a video to go along with it and people actually understanding that this is what they are listening to and this is what it is, it actually makes a difference.

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At a glance

Grime's small wonder.

Aliases: Kwasi Danquah
Location: Bow, East London
Profession: Musician
Label: Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, Takeover/Roc Nation
Selected discography: Full Tank (2012); Third Strike (2010); Catch 22 (2009); Star in the Hood (2007)
Notables: Star in the Hood, his 2007 debut album, and follow-up Catch 22 received widespread acclaim, leading to Tinchy be hailed by critics as the second coming of grime. Incidentally, Tinchy also became the shortest male artist to top the UK Top 40 with the aptly titled single “Number One.”