Tempah at the opening of a Fendi store, May 2014.
|Birth name||Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu|
16 February 1979 |
Plumstead, London, England
|Genres||British hip hop, hip hop, grime, drum and bass, electronic, rave, UK garage|
|Occupations||Rapper, songwriter, record producer, CEO, businessman, composer|
|Instruments||Rapping, keyboards, sampler, drums, synthesizer|
|Labels||Parlophone, Disturbing London|
Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu (born 16 February 1979), better known by his stage name Tinie Tempah, is an English rapper. He released his first mixtape in 2005; his first album, Disc-Overy, debuted at number one in the UK in October 2010 and was preceded by two British number-one singles. In February 2011, he won two Brit Awards for Best British Breakthrough Act and Best British Single.
Okogwu lived on the Aylesbury Estate in Southeast London until he was 12 with his parents and three younger siblings: Kelly, Kelvin and Marian. The family later moved to Plumstead, Woolwich, with Patrick attending St. Paul's Catholic School (now St. Paul's Academy) in nearby Abbey Wood. After earning 10 GCSEs, he went on to study A Levels at St. Francis Xavier Sixth Form College, earning A-levels in media studies, psychology, and religious studies.
At 12 years old, Okogwu conceived his stage name under which to make music after viewing the music video for So Solid Crew's "21 Seconds". Okogwu used a thesaurus in class, juxtaposing "tempah" (temper), which he saw under "angry", with "tinie" (tiny), to ameliorate the aggressive sound of "tempah".
Regarding his London upbringing, Tempah states, "London is one of the only places in the world where you can live in a council block and see a beautiful semi-detached house across the street. Growing up around that was inspirational, it kept me motivated".
Okogwu has said that he has considered furthering his education, stating "I definitely want to be in a financial position where I can head off to Cambridge or Oxford or somewhere. I would study something like music management or something extremely random like physics, which no-one would expect, as I like challenges".
Tinie Tempah started out in 2005 when he joined the Aftershock Hooligans (Aftershock records) and recorded hundreds of songs with the fellow Hooligans. He stayed on the label until 2007. When asked why he left, he stated that he felt Aftershock didn't respect him as an artist and that it was time to move on. His first mixtape, "Chapter 1: Verse 22", was released via Aftershock Records in 2005. It was released as a free mixtape. In 2006, Tempah gained a great deal of airplay on British music TV channel, Channel AKA, for his song "Tears" and later on gained more recognition for "Wifey". Later in the year, he collaborated on a track ("Perfect GCD Hood Economics Room 147") with grime artist Ultra and producers/songwriters Agent X. Tempah toured with Chipmunk in February 2010.
His first break as a musician came when Sony launched its PlayStation Portable and used a track featuring Yasmin and DJ Ironik, and "Atlantic/Warner" for the futuristic Wipeout Pure. This resulted in a promotional European tour alongside the likes of Sway and Dizzee Rascal. Tempah, his manager and cousin Dumi Oburota founded the independent label Disturbing London primarily as an outlet for Tempah's music, but with the idea of also signing other young artists. According to Dumi: "We wanted to have a platform to put out our music and there wasn't any Def Jam or Roc-A-Fella label equivalent in England. [Also] I wanted to create a major independent label with quality artists. I felt like the major labels had lost the passion for music." The activities of the label were initially largely funded by student loans and the proceeds from buying and selling cars. Disturbing London also produce a clothing range that Tinie wears and promotes.
When scout and music consultant Jade Richardson saw Tempah performing at the 2009 Wireless Festival she called Parlophone Records president Miles Leonard saying: "You've got to check out this guy Tinie Tempah. He came on at lunchtime and there’s about 1,000 kids screaming for him. He's only put out one independent release and he's got this huge audience." Leonard and A&R Nathan Thompson visited Tempah and his manager Dumi at their studio a few weeks later and were hugely impressed to hear about the work they had already done in developing Tempah's career and by the ambitious plans they had for his future. Leonard told HitQuarters: "I thought it was incredible that an artist and manager were doing so much so soon with so little...That impressed as much as the music." Tempah announced his signing to Parlophone in October 2009 by running a competition on his blog, with the winner invited to high tea at Claridges to celebrate the deal.
2010–2011: Success and Disc-Overy
Tempah released his debut single "Pass Out" through Parlophone on 28 February 2010. It entered the UK Singles Chart at number 1, having sold just over 92,000 copies in its first week, and sold sufficiently well to stay at the top spot for a second week as well. Tempah would later perform "Pass Out" on 25 June 2010 at Glastonbury on the Pyramid stage with Snoop Dogg. Tempah then announced his second single, "Frisky", which was released on 6 June 2010 entering the UK Singles Chart at number 2. Tempah supported Rihanna for four dates in May on her 10-date UK tour with Tinchy Stryder and Pixie Lott. Tempah performed at many summer balls at various universities around the United Kingdom. Tempah performed at Radio 1 Big Weekend in Bangor on 22 May 2010 on the In New Music We Trust stage. He also toured with Mr Hudson in May 2010.
Tinie Tempah played the Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium on 6 June 2010, at Wakestock in Abersoch on 3 July 2010, both T4 on the Beach and the Wireless Festival in London's Hyde Park on 4 July, and V Festival on 21 and 22 August 2010. Tempah released his third single "Written in the Stars" on 19 September 2010. This again charted at number 1 in the UK Singles Chart selling over 115,000 copies in its first week, making it his biggest-selling single to date. The song also went on to chart in a number of other countries. Tempah went on to team up with Swedish House Mafia for his fourth single "Miami 2 Ibiza" which was released on 1 October 2010. This went on to reach a peak of number 4 in the UK Singles Chart and his first number 1 in the Netherlands Mega Single Top 100 chart. He released his long-awaited debut album, Disc-Overy on 4 October 2010 which featured all his previous charted singles.
On 11 October 2010, he kicked off his first UK tour which was supported by Chiddy Bang. He went on to win his first 2 MOBO Awards in October. Tempah also featured on the Tinchy Stryder single "Game Over" which was released on 15 November 2010. This reached number 22 on the UK Singles Chart. On 25 December, Tempah released his fifth single "Invincible" featuring Kelly Rowland, which peaked at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart. "Wonderman", featuring Ellie Goulding, was released and was the fifth official single. Tempah joined Usher on the European leg of his OMG Tour in January 2011. Tempah was also nominated for 4 Brit Awards making him the most nominated artist at the awards. His single "Written in the Stars" was used for a WrestleMania XXVII countdown promo during the WWE PPV Royal Rumble on 30 January 2011. It was later confirmed by WWE that it will be the official theme for Wrestlemania XXVII. It's also the theme song for the 2011 MLB Post Season. On 15 February 2011, he won his first ever Brit Award, for Best British Breakthrough Act. He also won a Brit for Best British Single.
On 7 March 2011, Tempah expressed his desire for his next album to go triple platinum. "I reckon in 2011, towards the end of it, I'm going to do an arena tour – and sell it out – then I reckon I'm going to release another album, and fingers crossed it can go platinum again, and double platinum, and triple. Let's just sell a million." In early 2011, Tinie Tempah announced a UK Arena tour. Support acts included Nero, Labrinth and Chase and Status (After Party DJ Set). In 2011, Labrinth revealed that Tempah will be releasing "Pass Out" in the United States, featuring a well recognised artist in the American rap game. He also served as a front act with Big Sean among others on Lupe Fiasco's Generation Lasers Tour. On 28 November 2011, Tinie Tempah hosted an episode of the TV show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Also in November, Tinie Tempah released two tracks, "Like It or Love It" which featured both Wretch 32 & J. Cole, and "Lucky Cunt" which featured Big Sean. On 16 December, Tempah released a 9-track mixtape/EP titled Happy Birthday. In early 2012 Tempah featured with Eric Turner and Lupe Fiasco on a track called "Angels and Stars". Tempah's song "Written in the Stars" was used as the entrance song for the New York Giants before Super Bowl XLVI.
By December 2010, Tempah was writing a second album, saying there will be a more electronic and live feel to it. It was originally intended for a late 2011 release. During an interview, Tempah commented on his second album: "I always like to work with different people on each project I do, just so you get a different sound and angle. I will be working with some of the same people I did for the first album, you know what they say ‘if it ain't broke then don’t try and fix it’." Tempah hoped to collaborate with other artists; I really want to collaborate with Toronto's very own Drake and Adele. At the Brit Awards in 2012, he announced his second album would be called Demonstration. On 24 June 2012, Tempah performed at Radio 1's Hackney Weekend on the main stage. He played two of his newest songs called "Mosh Pit" and "Drinking from the Bottle" which he features on with Calvin Harris as lead artist, and features on Harris' new album 18 Months. Tempah won best EP of 2011 for the Happy Birthday EP at the Official Mixtape Awards 2012. On 12 August, Tempah performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. His appearance at London's Olympic Stadium included his performance of "Written in the Stars" alongside Jessie J and Taio Cruz. In 2013 Tempah's single "Frisky" was used for Bacardi's new commercial advertising their new pineapple flavor.
The lead single from Demonstration, "Trampoline" was premiered on MistaJam's BBC Radio 1Xtra show on 2 July 2013. The lyric video was premiered shortly afterwards. It features 2 Chainz and is produced by Diplo. It was released on 4 August 2013 in the United Kingdom and peaked at number 3 in the UK Singles Chart. In the interview with MistaJam, Tempah cites Dizzee Rascal and So Solid Crew as influences for the album, who've influenced him since his childhood. In recent interviews Tinie and other artists have announced that they were working on his album such as Labrinth, Dizzee Rascal, Ellie Goulding, Big Sean and Emeli Sandé. The next single from the album, "Children of the Sun" featuring John Martin is produced by iSHi and was premiered on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show on 12 September. It was released on 28 October in the United Kingdom and charted at number 6 in the UK. On 16 September, to promote his forthcoming UK arena tour, the album track "Don't Sell Out" live at the O2 Arena was uploaded to O2's YouTube channel. He performed at Keele University on 8 October in a surprise event. On 19 October 2013, Tinie Tempah was awarded "Best UK Hip Hop/Grime Act" at the MOBO Awards' 18th Anniversary. The album, Demonstration, was released on 4 November 2013, which entered the UK Albums Chart at number three. Demonstration also debuted at number twenty-two on the Australian album charts and number forty on the New Zealand album charts. Tinie announced a third single, featuring Labrinth, entitled "Lover Not A Fighter". It is scheduled to be released in February 2014. During his stint in Dunedin for the University of Otago Orientation Week, Tempah had a joyous time performing both on the stage and in the bedroom at a Castle Street flat-thus making the most of his stay in the southern part of the world.
Tinie features on a vocal remix of the 2013 DVBBS and Borgeous instrumental EDM hit "Tsunami", retitled "Tsunami (Jump)", which was released through Ministry of Sound in 2014 and topped the UK Singles Chart. In April, Tinie released the music video to Demonstration's fourth single, "5 Minutes". The song was produced by BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, and was engineered by Rob Swire.
- Studio albums
Awards and nominations
|2010||MOBO Awards||Best Newcomer||Won|||
|Best Video||"Frisky" (featuring Labrinth)||Won|
|Best UK Act||Nominated|
|Best Song||"Pass Out"||Nominated|
|4Music Video Honours||Hottest Boy||Nominated|||
|Hottest Hook-up||"Frisky" (featuring Labrinth)||Nominated|
|MP3 Music Awards||The UGG Award (Urban/Garage/Grime)||Won|||
|Urban Music Awards||Best Newcomer||Won|||
|Best Video||"Wonderman" (featuring Ellie Goulding)||Nominated|
|Best Hip-Hop Act||Won|
|Best Collaboration||"Pass Out"||Won|
|BT Digital Music Awards||Breakthrough Artist of the Year||Nominated|||
|Best Male Artist||Nominated|
|Best Video||"Pass Out"||Nominated|
|Best Song||"Pass Out"||Nominated|
|UK Festival Awards||Breakthrough Artist||Won|||
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best UK and Ireland New Act||Nominated|||
|2011||South Bank Awards||Pop Music||Disc-Overy||Nominated|||
|Brit Awards||Best British Male||Nominated|||
|Best Breakthrough Act||Won|
|Best Single||"Pass Out"||Won|
|Album of the Year||Disc-Overy||Nominated|
|Ivor Novello Awards||Best Contemporary Song||"Pass Out"||Won|||
|BET Awards||Best International Act: UK||Won|||
|MOBO Awards||Best UK Hip Hop/Grime Act||Won|||
|Best Song||"Hitz" (Chase & Status featuring Tinie Tempah)||Nominated|||
|Best Song||"Wonderman" (featuring Ellie Goulding)||Nominated|||
|Best UK Act||Nominated|||
|Mercury Prize||Album of the Year||Disc-Overy||Nominated|
|2012||Nigeria Entertainment Awards||Best International Artist||Won|||
|2013||MOBO Awards||Best UK Hip Hop/Grime Act||Won|
|2014||BET Awards 2014||Best International Act: UK||Nominated|||
|African Muzik Magazine Awards||Best Male Diaspora||Pending|||
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- "Tinie Tempah’s official Twitter, saying it is his birthday.".
- "Best group Brit goes to Take That". BBC News. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
- Tinie Tempah: 10 things you need to know about the Brit Award nominated rapper The Mirror. Retrieved 13 October 2011
- Day, Elizabeth (13 February 2011). "Tinie Tempah interview: "It's a new day, a new age, a new outlook"". The Observer.
- Burrell, Ian (19 February 2011). "Tinie Tempah: He's going to be huge". The Independent.
- Savage, Mark (24 October 2013). "Tinie Tempah: "I believe in the magic of music"". BBC.
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- "Interview with Dumi Oburota". HitQuarters. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
- "Interview with Miles Leonard". HitQuarters. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- Tinie Tempah signs to Parlophone/EMI! (Video)
- Tinie Tempah to release next album 'in the new year' | News. Nme.Com (28 April 2011). Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "Tinie Tempah supports Rihanna on UK tour". digitalspy.co.uk. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- "Tinie Tempah Reveals His Million Sales Ambition For New Album". Retrieved 7 March 2011.
- "Tinie Tempah Creates US Version of Pass Out". Pappzd.com. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "Never Mind the Buzzcocks: Tinie Tempah, Pixie Lott, Example, Chris Ramsey, Joey Page Episode Summary". TV.com. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- Friday News Roundup – 4 Music (Fri 17 December 2010)
- "Tinie Tempah wants Gary Barlow, Coldplay's Chris Martin for new album". DigitalSpy.co.uk. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- Tinie Tempah: Interview by Holly Frith on 4 April 2011.
- "Tinie Tempah names second album 'Demonstration': 'It sounds amazing' – Music News". Digital Spy. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- "Going out in a blaze of golden glory: Awe-inspiring shots from the fantastic fireworks show which closed London's 2012 Olympics". Daily Mail. Retrieved 7 October 2012
- "Trampoline (Official Lyrics Video) - Tinie Tempah". Vevo. 2013-07-02.
- "Tinie Tempah 'Don't Sell Out' Live at The O2 - YouTube". YouTube. 2013-09-16.
- "Tinie Tempah Wins MOBO at the 18th Anniversary Awards". What's Good? Online. 19 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Twitter / TinieTempah: So excited to share my album ...". Twitter. 2013-09-04.
- McDenda, Abrahwyo (6/3/2014). Tempah: A man of good deeds?. Dunedin: University of Oxford Press. p. 143.
- "Tinie Tempah features on dance track 'Tsunami (Jump)'". Digital Spy. 2013-11-28.
- "Tinie Tempah - 5 Minutes". What's Good? Online. 2014-04-24.
- "MOBO Awards 2010 Winners". BBC. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "The results are in!". 4 Music. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- "MP3 Music Awards 2010 winners announced". 11 December 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
- "BT Digital Music Awards winners". 1 October 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
- "Mumford & Sons lead UK Festival Awards nominations". 14 October 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
- "Marina and the Diamonds wins Best UK & Ireland New Act!".
- "South Bank Awards 2011: nominee list". London: 1 December 2010. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
- "Tinie Tempah nominated for four Brit Awards". 13 January 2011. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- The Nominations for the 2011 the Ivor Novello Awards. Theivors.com (19 May 2011). Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- Best International Act: UK | BET Awards | Shows. BET. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- The 2011 MOBO Awards in association with Lebara Mobile | MOBO Awards. Mobo.com. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "PAST WINNERS". Nigeria Entertainment Awards. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- "Beyonce & Jay Z Lead 2014 BET Awards". Billboard. 2014-01-26. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
- "AFRIMMA Nominees". African Muzik Magazine. Retrieved 23 May 2014.