From the projects to the palace: How London made rapper Tinie Tempah the star he is today

Family ambition

Looking at the world as a place of ambition helped Tempah rise to fame. “I think it's very very important to see the glass as half full and look at the world as an optimistic place,” he said. He also credits his parents for his success. “There’s just this mentality … that they had … We have to work super hard for everything that we can and we shouldn't moan about it, and that's just the way it should be.” Tempah’s cousin Dumi Oburota is his manager, while sister Kelly Okogwu looks after his day-to-day affairs, and he says “keeping it very close and tight” has helped him get where he is today.

Tempah’s latest U.K. single “Find Me,” shows him visiting his childhood home and looking out over the London skyline.

“I'm looking at this thing and I'm like wow, like I got from here, to this place,” he told “Trailblazers”.

“And I guess the other amazing thing about London is that you can have a massive block like mine but opposite have a beautiful row of terrace houses that are a million-plus pounds. And again, I don't really know that many other cities like that.”

“In London, you can literally live in a council estate and opposite you could be in front of a 1, 2, 3 (or) 4 million (pound) house, you could see their lifestyle, see their family and for me if that isn't hope, then I don't really know what is.” The estate where Tempah was raised is now the subject of a regeneration project with 4,000 new homes set to be built.

Tempah added that for him, London is a melting pot of cultures. “London is a very diverse, very cosmopolitan, very liberal, very welcoming, very accepting place.”


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