Tinie Tempah

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Tinie Tempah

Tempah at the 2010 Way Out West Festival.
Background information
Birth namePatrick Junior Chukwuemeka Okogwu
Born(1988-11-07) 7 November 1988 (age 23)
Plumstead, London, England
GenresHip hop, grime, electro, electronic dance, drum and bass, R&B, british hip hop
OccupationsRapper, songwriter, record producer, CEO, businessman, composer, actor
InstrumentsRapping, keyboards, sampler, drums, synthesizer
Years active2005–present
LabelsParlophone, Disturbing London
Associated actsLabrinth, Eric Turner, Chase & Status, Swedish House Mafia, Ellie Goulding, Wiz Khalifa, Rita Ora, JLS
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Tinie Tempah

Tempah at the 2010 Way Out West Festival.
Background information
Birth namePatrick Junior Chukwuemeka Okogwu
Born(1988-11-07) 7 November 1988 (age 23)
Plumstead, London, England
GenresHip hop, grime, electro, electronic dance, drum and bass, R&B, british hip hop
OccupationsRapper, songwriter, record producer, CEO, businessman, composer, actor
InstrumentsRapping, keyboards, sampler, drums, synthesizer
Years active2005–present
LabelsParlophone, Disturbing London
Associated actsLabrinth, Eric Turner, Chase & Status, Swedish House Mafia, Ellie Goulding, Wiz Khalifa, Rita Ora, JLS

Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu[1] (born 7 November 1988),[2] better known by his stage name Tinie Tempah, is an English rapper. He released his first mixtape in 2007; 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 a Brit Award for Best British Breakthrough Act.[3]


Early life

Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu was born in London, England on 7 November 1988, and has origins in Ibusa, Delta State, Nigeria.[4] He lived on the Aylesbury Estate in South East London until he was 12 with his parents and three younger siblings Kelly, Kelvin and Marian.[4] He attended St. Paul's Catholic School in Abbey Wood, London SE2, (now known as St. Paul's Academy). He went on to study A Levels at St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College, SW12. Of 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".[1]

Career history

Early career

Tinie Tempah started out in 2004 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 (PSP) and used a track entitled "Listen To The Vibe" featuring Yasmin and DJ Ironik, and "Atlantic/Warner" for the futuristic racing game, 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 official 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."[5] The activities of the label were initially largely funded by student loans and the proceeds from buying and selling cars.[5]

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.”[6] 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.[6] 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."[6]

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.[7]

2010–2011: Success and Disc-Overy

Tinie Tempah performing at WRONGBAR in Toronto, Canada in May 2011. Touring and promotion for Disc-Overy in North America pushed back the release of Tempah's second album to 2012.[8]

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.[9] Tempah performed at many summer balls at various universities around the United Kingdom.[citation needed] 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.[3] 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."[10] In early 2011, Tinie Tempah announced a UK Arena tour. Support acts included Nero, Labrinth and Chase and Status (After Party DJ Set).[citation needed] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.

2012–present: Demonstration

By December 2010 Tempah was writing a second album,[13] saying there will be a more electronic and live feel to it. It was originally intended for a late 2011 release.[8][14] but is now scheduled for October 2012.[15] 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’."[16] Tempah hoped to collaborate with other artists; "I really want to collaborate with Toronto's very own Drake. I think he's amazing at what he does. I'd also like to collaborate with Adele, Sleigh Bells, Lykke Li, The Script, Dev, James Blake ― those are the few that I'd really like to work with."[17] Tempah announced in an interview with Rolling Stone that his next single is to be called "Till I'm Gone" which will feature Wiz Khalifa and is produced by Stargate.[18][19] The single and the video song were released at the end of June 2011.[20] Tinie Tempah, world-renowned drummer Travis Barker and Irish boxing champion Katie Taylor, joined forces to launch Lucozade’s new Yes Campaign, which signals a repositioning of its sports and energy drink brand. Featuring a performance of Tempah's "Simply Unstoppable" with Travis Barker on drums, remixed especially for Lucozade Sport,[citation needed] the campaign was released in Summer 2011.

Tinie Tempah has asked a number of artists to appear on his upcoming second album, including Gary Barlow, Chris Martin, Dizzee Rascal, and The Script.[21]

At the Brit Awards in 2012, he announced his second album would be called Demonstration.[22]

On 24 June 2012, Tempah performed at Radio 1's Hackney Weekend on the main stage. He played two of his new songs called "Mosh Pit" and "Drinking From The Bottle", which was produced by Calvin Harris.

Tinie Tempah recently 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.[23] The performance at London's Olympic Stadium saw him sing "Written in the Stars" alongside Jessie J and Taio Cruz.[23]


Awards and nominations

YearEventPrizeNominated workResultRef
2010MOBO AwardsBest NewcomerWon[24]
Best Video"Frisky" (featuring Labrinth)Won
Best UK ActNominated
Best Song"Pass Out"Nominated
4Music Video HonoursHottest BoyNominated[25]
Hottest Hook-up"Frisky" (featuring Labrinth)Nominated
MP3 Music AwardsThe UGG Award (Urban/Garage/Grime)Won[26]
Urban Music AwardsBest NewcomerWon[24]
Best Video"Wonderman" (featuring Ellie Goulding)Nominated
Best Hip-Hop ActWon
Best Collaboration"Pass Out"Won
BT Digital Music AwardsBreakthrough Artist of the YearNominated[27]
Best Male ArtistNominated
Best NewcomerWon
Best Video"Pass Out"Nominated
Best Song"Pass Out"Nominated
UK Festival AwardsBreakthrough ArtistWon[28]
MTV Europe Music AwardsBest UK and Ireland New ActNominated[29]
2011South Bank AwardsPop MusicDisc-OveryNominated[30]
Brit AwardsBest British MaleNominated[31]
Best Breakthrough ActWon
Best Single"Pass Out"Won
Album of the YearDisc-OveryNominated
Ivor Novello AwardsBest Contemporary Song"Pass Out"Won[32]
BET AwardsBest International Act: UKWon[33]
MOBO AwardsBest UK Hip Hop/Grime ActWon[34]
Best AlbumDisc-OveryNominated[34]
Best Song"Hitz" (Chase & Status featuring Tinie Tempah)Nominated[34]
Best Song"Wonderman" (featuring Ellie Goulding)Nominated[34]
Best UK ActNominated[34]
Mercury PrizeAlbum of the YearDisc-OveryNominated


  1. ^ a b "Tinie Tempah Official Website Biography". EMI. 19 January 2011. http://www.tinietempah.com/biog/. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Tinie Tempah’s official Twitter, saying it is his birthday.". http://twitter.com/TinieTempah/status/1267616299618304. 
  3. ^ a b "Best group Brit goes to Take That". BBC News. 15 February 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-12463741. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Tinie Tempah: 10 things you need to know about the Brit Award nominated rapper The Mirror. Retrieved 13 October 2011
  5. ^ a b "Interview with Dumi Oburota". HitQuarters. 7 March 2011. http://www.hitquarters.com/index.php3?page=intrview/opar/intrview_DOint.html. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Interview with Miles Leonard". HitQuarters. 7 February 2011. http://www.hitquarters.com/index.php3?page=intrview/opar/intrview_MLeonardInt.html. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  7. ^ Tinie Tempah signs to Parlophone/EMI! (Video), http://milkand2sugars.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/tinie-tempah-signs-to-parlophoneemi/ 
  8. ^ a b Tinie Tempah to release next album 'in the new year' | News. Nme.Com (2011-04-28). Retrieved on 2011-10-26.
  9. ^ "Tinie Tempah supports Rihanna on UK tour". digitalspy.co.uk. 28 April 2010. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a217169/tinie-tempah-supports-rihanna-on-uk-tour.html. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Tinie Tempah Reveals His Million Sales Ambition For New Album". http://www.taletela.com/news/5366/tinie-tempah-reveals-his-million-sales-ambition-for-new-album. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "Tinie Tempah Creates US Version of Pass Out". Pappzd.com. http://www.pappzd.com/2011/11/tinie-tempah-american-version-of-pass-out/. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  12. ^ "Never Mind the Buzzcocks: Tinie Tempah, Pixie Lott, Example, Chris Ramsey, Joey Page Episode Summary". TV.com. http://www.tv.com/shows/never-mind-the-buzzcocks/tinie-tempah-pixie-lott-example-chris-ramsey-joey-page-1561148/. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  13. ^ Friday News Roundup – 4 Music (Fri 17 December 2010)
  14. ^ "Tinie Tempah wants Gary Barlow, Coldplay's Chris Martin for new album". DigitalSpy.co.uk. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a347135/tinie-tempah-wants-gary-barlow-coldplays-chris-martin-for-new-album.html. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  15. ^ "Tinie Tempah is to work with Dizzie Rascal on new album". YouTube. 18 April 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FhxzkfcSxM&feature=youtu.be. Retrieved 2012-07-26. 
  16. ^ Tinie Tempah: Interview by Holly Frith on 4 April 2011.
  17. ^ Tinie Tempah Interview June 2011. Exclaim.ca. Retrieved on 2011-10-26.
  18. ^ Tinie Tempah is Optimistic About Breaking Through in the U.S by Matthew Perpetua on 18 April 2011. RollingStone.com.
  19. ^ Tinie Tempah announces new single on RollingStone.com on TinieTempah.com. 18 April 2011.
  20. ^ Play For Life | First Look: Tinie Tempah feat Wiz Khalifa. Playforlife.fm (2011-07-01). Retrieved on 2011-10-26.
  21. ^ NME 22 October 2011. Nme.com (2011-10-22). Retrieved on 2011-10-26.
  22. ^ "Tinie Tempah names second album 'Demonstration': 'It sounds amazing' – Music News". Digital Spy. 22 February 2012. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a367243/tinie-tempah-names-second-album-demonstration-it-sounds-amazing.html. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  23. ^ a b "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
  24. ^ a b "MOBO Awards 2010 Winners". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/mobos/2010/winners/. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  25. ^ "The results are in!". 4 Music. http://www.4music.com/article/4music-video-honours/the-results.html. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  26. ^ "MP3 Music Awards 2010 winners announced". 11 December 2010. http://www.music-news.com/shownews.asp?nItemID=38101. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  27. ^ "BT Digital Music Awards winners". 1 October 2010. http://www.musicweek.com/story.asp?storyCode=1042756&sectioncode=1. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  28. ^ "Mumford & Sons lead UK Festival Awards nominations". 14 October 2010. http://newsblog.thecmuwebsite.com/post/Mumford-Sons-lead-UK-Festival-Awards-nominations.aspx. Retrieved 14 October 2010. 
  29. ^ "Marina and the Diamonds wins Best UK & Ireland New Act!". http://ema.mtv.co.uk/news/2010-best-uk-act-winner. 
  30. ^ "South Bank Awards 2011: nominee list". London: 1 December 2010. 1 December 2010. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/01/south-bank-show-awards-shortlist. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  31. ^ "Tinie Tempah nominated for four Brit Awards". 13 January 2011. 13 January 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-12182834. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  32. ^ The Nominations for the 2011 the Ivor Novello Awards. Theivors.com (2011-05-19). Retrieved on 2011-10-26.
  33. ^ Best International Act: UK | BET Awards | Shows. BET. Retrieved on 2011-10-26.
  34. ^ a b c d e The 2011 MOBO Awards in association with Lebara Mobile | MOBO Awards. Mobo.com. Retrieved on 2011-10-26.

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