2007 has been a rollcoaster of a year for N-Dubz – the dynamic trio from Camden. Their huge underground success has catapulted them to the forefront of the UK’s urban music scene. Tracks such as ‘Feva Las Vegas’ and the ridiculously infectious ‘I Swear’ quickly became urban anthems and their latest single ‘You Better Not Waste My Time’ looks certain to do the same.
With a Mobo for Best Newcomer under their belts, legions of fans and a debut album due for release early next year, is there anything that can stop the N-Dubz juggernaut? Britishhiphop caught up with Dappy, Tulisa and Fazer to talk about their forthcoming album, the Mobos and how much their lives have changed since the group took off. Read on.
BHH: I saw you back in January this year when ‘I Swear’ was blowing up, and it looks like its been a whirlwind ever since, what have you done since then?
Fazer: Boy, what haven’t we done?
Tulisa: We’ve been touring like mad. Before it was like we just gig, now it’s like everyday we get up between 6am and 8am, or we have to leave between 6 and 8am. We’ll be either touring schools all day, doing interviews, radio interviews all day and then in the evening we’ll do one or two gigs. We have to do twenty-two schools in two days and what annoys me is now we have to gig really late and wake up really early and do it again.
BHH: Congratulations on your MOBO Award- do you feel like you are receiving the recognition you deserve now?
Dappy: We have been receiving the recognition anyway but at the same time we’ve been doing this all ourselves – we’ve done everything ourselves with Dad, R.I.P Dad without him we couldn’t have done any of this. At the same time this MOBO means we carry a responsibility to be the best UK newcomer and we will not let the fans down.
BHH: So the last time I saw you, you played some of your new album – when can we get it and is it finished?
Tulisa: Yeah the album is finished.
Dappy: Yeah it needs to get mixed like Tulisa said and there’s maybe another two more serious songs to go on there.
BHH: Are you happy with what you’ve done so far?
Dappy: Yeah most definitely.
BHH: Are we gonna be surprised with the album?
Tulisa: I think everyone is gonna be surprised with it. We’ve got something for everyone on the album. The versatility of the album will shock everyone – we’ve got everything from dirty UK Hip Hop, Grime, ballads, Funky House – there is something for everyone.
BHH: You won Best Newcomer at the Mobos- is there anyone you feel is gonna be big next year?
Dappy: Ryan Dan – two singers – classical singers. They are a massive inspiration to all three of us due to their singing ability and their song structure. We listen to people such as Sting, George Michael, Phil Collins, Roachford, Ben’s Brother. Like I’ve said before many times, people like us, where we come from are very afraid to acknowledge new music and are very one sided in what they do and how they make their music, that’s why they are stuck in a car park moaning ‘how comes I don’t get a deal?’ You have to be different, you have to be unique and you have to hit hard and that’s what we’re doing.
BHH: You are all quite media savvy now; so have you met anyone in the industry like a journalist or another artist who you really didn’t like?
Tulisa: Yeah there was a journalist from The Independent who wrote something bad about us. He said we promoted violence and I think that is so stupid because he heard Better Not Waste My Time and used it to get paid that week. I bet if there was a survey that said who is the least violent act in the UK, people would say us. We talk the least about violence – we may talk about it but that’s it. Basically we’re not here to be all about the hood and that – we’re here to make music and that’s it. When you mix the two together – they don’t mix and you don’t make any money.
Dappy: If I do something naughty, I’m not gonna talk about it on a track just so people can think he’s hard.
BHH: What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t involved with music?
Fazer: For me, to tell the truth I would be dead or in jail. If it wasn’t for Dappy’s Dad I would still be doing madness. He sat me down and spoke to me and he wasn’t like a manger but more like a dad figure for me. He showed there’s more to life than just being on a mad hype all the time. He put me in the studio with these guys and now I respect life instead of being a victim of life.
Dappy: Just like Faz was saying, when your from a place like us, your not used to nine to five lets say – your used to wanting to see a big bunch of money – quickly.
BHH: What can you see yourself doing in the future?
Fazer: I can see myself sitting in a huge boardroom, with ten people at a long table and I’m signing my own act and developing him or her and putting their music out.
Tulisa: I see myself with loads and loads of money in a big house, supporting myself and everyone else around. Family- maybe a husband and some kids and loads of animals, my house will be like a jungle.
BHH: What do you think it is about N-Dubz that makes people like you so much?
Tulisa: Lets look at the Spice Girls – there was something about the Spice Girls, they all had a image that was so strong. Each Spice Girl had their own character which everyone could relate to. With N-Dubz, it’s kinda got that same vibe to it – we are nothing like the Spice Girls, we don’t make the same music as the Spice Girls but we have an image and vibe and a lot of character which comes across in our music.
BHH: You’ve got quite a diverse following…
Dappy: Yeah we have a wide ranging fan base, we pull in grungers, the Asian community, Black, White, green – you name it! We call it N-dublicating, we are N-dublicating!
BHH: Do you think fame is gonna change you?
Dappy: Nah, Chelsea Arsenal nil,nil.
BHH: What do you mean?
Dappy: You know in football when a team is five nil up and they always say don’t get too far ahead of yourselves as the other team can still catch up – don’t think you are gonna win as you could still lose – so it’s nil, nil – Chelsea Arsenal.
BHH: So what’s next for N-Dubz?
Dappy: World domination!
Better Not Waste My Time is out now on LRC / Polydor Records.