*At 23, Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu Jr, AKA Tinie Tempah, has admitted that it is a bit early for an autobiography, but as the title suggests, this book is more of an insight into the journey that has led him to become one of the UK’s most successful recording artists. His youth means that the book is largely comprised of photographs representing the key moments of the last two years.
For fans, the book traces Tempah’s roots in South London alongside his Nigerian family with childhood photos to make the tales of Jollof rice and extended family more vivid. He reveals that he was creative from an early age creating animated characters. As the oldest child he was also responsible, and this marriage of maturity and creativity are key to his career successes.
His passion for music was one of the main reasons he avoided the perils of the streets which some of his school friends fell victim to that, and his vigilant parents. It was his mother who encouraged him to work with his cousin Dumi who was to be come his manager.
Dumi saw the potential in his young cousin who diligently studied the emerging grime scene and began to make mix tapes and do PAs and appear on pirate radio stations alongside the MCs he idolized. Tempah worked hard while studying at school and college, and worked to pay for music videos. With confessionals about early insecurities and doubts, the book provides great inspiration for those keen to break into the music industry and any one with a dream.
Tempah’s main message is to seize the day and follow those dreams. He explicitly analyzes the dreams, which have been realized for him including his number one singles such as Pass Out and Written in the Stars (the official theme song for Wrestlemania 27), his double platinum-selling debut album Disc-Overy, his music videos, life on tour including life backstage and his non-controversial rider and experiences in America (he appeared on Jay Leno and David Letterman and played Coachella), and his relationships with the artists, producers and famous faces he has met and worked with such as Prince William, Labrinth, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams, Adele, Kylie, Diddy, Wiz Khalifa, Usher and Lindsay Lohan, who messages him on Twitter! Famous names such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jay-Z and Jessie J are also quoted.
Having joined the ranks of those big names, MOBO and Brit award winning Tempah is not afraid to show his cards as he talks about the way fame has affected him and those around him. Tempah’s voice is definitely recognizable in the book. Known for his insightful lyrics and clever word play, readers can be confident that his intellect comes across.
The self-assured, comfortable in his own skin persona is what has made Tempah so well received. His character comes across in the book and you get to know him, from his crushes and musical tastes, to his hobbies and passion for fashion. The story so far is only the beginning and if it is anything to go by, the next chapters can only get bigger and better.
My story so far by Tinie Tempah is out now, published by Ebury Publishing, priced £14.99. For more visit: http://www.eburypublishing.co.uk/viewbook.asp?isbn=0091945232
The UK Corner covers urban entertainment from a British perspective and is written by Fiona McKinson ©. She is a freelance journalist and creative writer based in London. Contact her. Visit her blog for more: http://thetalentshow.co.uk/theukcorner/
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