We Asked Tinie Tempah For Life Advice And Now We're All Infinitely Better Human Beings
The best-dressed man in UK music helped us get our lives together.
Since starting his music career in 2005, Tinie Tempah has been exceptionally busy. From two outstanding studio albums and several No. 1 hits, Tinie has taken the UK music scene by storm, and his latest project comes in the form of new single "Text From Your Ex". The song comes from Tinie's upcoming third album, Youth, and deals with the pretty relatable situation of a girl getting a text from her boyfriend's ex, saying she's been seeing him and she should look at his texts. Given that the album as a whole focuses on empowering young adults to realise their goals and dreams, we thought who best to give the staff of BuzzFeed UK some sought-after life advice than Tinie Tempah, the best-dressed man in Britain?
Maggy was up first:
Maggy: I go on loads of awkward dates, and then they go really bad and I’m too polite to leave. How would you leave a bad date? Have you done that before?
Tinie Tempah: I have, many times. Where you’re too polite to leave, as in like, how?
Maggy: I don’t wanna offend them and be like “Oh, sorry, gotta go!” I’ll stick it out.
TT: So you just, what? You just never leave?
Maggy: [laughs] I’m still there now.
TT: [laughs] You’re still on a date now?!
Maggy: No, I’ll leave after like, two drinks, but you know sometimes you just know after a drink?
TT: Yep. No, no, I get that. Well, have you heard of this thing called the Indian Slip?
Maggy: No, please tell me.
TT: I might be paraphrasing here, but one time I learnt it from someone. I used to have this friend and we’d be in these really awkward party environments, not so much dates, but really awkward parties that we’d get invited to and after a while he would just disappear from nowhere, so I’d just look around and he would be completely gone. I’d ring him and I’d be like “Where are you?” and then he’d say, “I’m at home.” And I think he said it was called the Indian Slip or it was from somewhere.
Maggy: Is it Irish Goodbye?
TT: Yeah, maybe Irish Goodbye.
Maggy: But Indian Slip sounds better?
TT: Yeah, we’re calling it the Indian Slip from now on. But I would say that would probably be my extreme option if it got to that, if it got very uncomfortable, just give it the Irish Goodbye or the Indian Slip or…where are you from, are you from London?
TT: Why don’t you say that your parents have come in from Holland?
Maggy: Oh yeah, what like…at 11pm?
TT: At 11pm. They’re staying at yours, and you have to be back.
Maggy: OK, I like that. Thank you! Thanks for sorting my life out.
TT: No problem, any time. I’m here.
Remee was next:
Remee: What’s a good opening line on Bumble or Tinder or any dating app?
TT: Erm..."I’m down if you are"? That’s a good opening line.
Remee: But what if they say, “What are you down for?”
TT: Yeah, but if you're on Tinder or Bumble – I don't even know what the other one is, but...
Remee: So Bumble is basically like Tinder, but the girl has to message first.
TT: Exactly. So if you see somebody you like, if you’re trying to get straight to the point and kind of cut the ice, because for me I guess online dating is good to meet people, but then you have to meet them physically straightaway. The sooner the better, right? Just to make sure that they’re not catfishing you or they’re not, you know...
Remee: This is true.
TT: I would kind of say something quite vague, like “Hey, I’m down if you are.”
Remee: I’m gonna try that.
TT: Yeah, and then just rope it back from there.
But Remee had one more very important question to get off her chest:
Remee: Hypothetically, if I was on Tinder…you were on Tinder…would you be swiping right or left?
TT: Which one is the good one? Right?
Remee: The good one is right.
TT: Yeah, I’d swipe right. Any day, babes.
Next up was Ben, who wanted some style advice:
Ben: So obviously you're, like, best-dressed man in the country.
TT: Cheers, bro.
Ben: But what's your advice for finding a style that suits you?
TT: I'd say now, you have loads of really cool blogs you can look at...fashion blogs that you can kind of get a rough idea of what you like from there. When I was growing up I always saw pictures of what I liked, but it was always hard to be able to find it, but I think these blogs have made it a lot easier. And then, to be honest, I think style is one of those things that's totally subjective to you, so depending on what you wear I feel like that's what says something about who you are as a person. So, just express yourself, because a lot of people tend to follow fashion as opposed to wanna do something different. You know back in the day at school, if one person's got a pair of trainers? If the cool person has it, everyone does, but I think the more you can kind of be unique and individual, then you'll find your style.
Content with that answer, Ben had another slightly cheekier ask:
TT: Anything else while we're here?
Ben: Can I go through your wardrobe?
TT: No. Absolutely not.
Ben: Worth a try.
Cassie was next, asking about how to make friends in London:
Cassie: I'm new to London and there's no such thing as a "Friend Tinder" (it's difficult to make friends as an adult), so have you got any advice on how to make friends in London or what to do?
TT: Yeah, people just get the wrong message when you're trying to do that, man. It doesn't always go that well. Erm, that is a very good question. What do you like? What are you into?
Cassie: I don't know, what's the best thing to do in London?
TT: My thing is this, London is the best city for diversity and culture. Where did you used to live before?
TT: I'm sure there's loads of people from Birmingham in London. So depending on what you're into, what you like, what you like to eat, what kind of music you like, what kind of fashion you like, there's all these different sections of London. The more you know London, the more you start to understand that some people go to Shoreditch for one thing, they go to Soho for another thing, they go to Knightsbridge for another thing, so the more you get into it and find the places you like, I'm sure you will meet people who like similar things to you, and therefore have your first batch of friends. It's really a nice feeling to have friends.
But Tinie had kind of got the wrong end of the stick:
Cassie: I do have friends!
TT: You do have friends? Oh!
Cassie: Just not, like, a good group in London.
TT: Just not in London? Right! OK, totally different advice then. But yeah, that's what I would do if I was you. And erm, London over Birmingham?
Cassie: Probably London.
TT: Well then, let's make it work, man! Let's be positive.
Rachael wanted some advice on biscuits:
Rachael: In your popular song "Frisky" you ask: "Would you risk it for a chocolate biscuit?" Since you value chocolate biscuits so highly, could you give us a definitive ranking of your top three?
TT: Yes. Is that advice though?
Rachael: It's biscuit advice! As you see, all our rooms here are named after biscuits, so we really care about biscuits here. [At BuzzFeed UK, all of our meeting rooms are called things like Hobnob, Jammie Dodger, etc.]
TT: You pride it quite highly at BuzzFeed?
TT: OK, I'd say top of the list would have to be Hobnobs. Definitely Hobnobs. And then I'd say number two would probably be...you know Maryland Cookies? Do they have a chocolate one?
Rachael: They do. Well, the cookies have got chocolate in them, haven't they? That counts.
TT: Perfect, I'd say that. And then thirdly, do we just have to throw in a good old classic chocolate digestive in there?
Rachael: If you want to.
TT: I mean, you know, general consensus, right? Everyone loves those.
But Rachael wasn't quite satisfied with Tinie's answer:
Rachael: So nothing fancy in there? No Leibniz?
TT: I thought Hobnobs were fancy!
Rachael: [laughs] I don't want to start controversy here.
TT: So what is fancy on the biscuit hierarchy?
Rachael: You know the Leibniz ones in the blue box that have fancy chocolate all on top?
TT: Ooh, someone's doing well for themselves! I've never actually heard of those, but I'd love to try some. Do you have some at your desk?
Rachael: We don't have any here, I'm sorry.
TT: So none of the rooms are called Leibniz?
Rachael: No, none of the rooms are called this, we don't have them here, but you're a powerful man, so I'm sure you could get some.
TT: Has anyone heard of Leibniz?
Rachael: I'm googling this!
Rachael spent the remainder of her question time recommending Leibniz biscuits to Tinie. He thanked her, and assured her he'd try them.
Next up was Tolani with some "hypothetical" man issues:
Tolani: So, it's man issues. It's hypothetical, of course.
TT: Are you sure?
Tolani: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. OK, so, how bad is it to check someone's text messages if you think they're cheating?
TT: Ooh, you see this is exactly what I wrote a song about.
Tolani: I know, that's why I asked.
TT: To be honest, someone said to me a long time ago, if you go looking for something, you're always gonna find something.
Tolani: But then should you find something if the person's cheating?
TT: Exactly, that's what's crazy about that, but I think sometimes if something's playing on your mind, maybe if they get a message from their friend or someone from back in the day, if you really are trying to find something from them, then you're gonna take it into the wrong context. I'd say, if you trust someone and you have a really good connection with them and a good vibe, and they have not given you any reason to think otherwise, then I wouldn't recommend [looking through their phone] personally.
Tolani: But what if they have?
TT: I'd check the damn phone ASAP.
Tolani: When they're sleeping, right?
TT: When he's in the bathroom. Best time.
And Gena (after obsessing over Tinie's coat) asked the final question:
Gena: You seem to be a very chilled person.
Gena: Very positive. Positive vibes.
TT: That's right. Meditation.
Gena: But as a creative, obviously you put out your work to the world and there's positive reactions and there's sometimes negative reactions, and my question to you is how do you deal with negative criticism?
TT: That is a good, good question.
Gena: Thank you very much.
TT: I think at the start I definitely wanted everyone to love everything I do, isn't it? It's like anything: You just want everyone to like it, everyone to say it's good. But after a while I think the more and more stuff you do, you just start to realise that not everyone can like everything. Everyone has different opinions. Not everyone likes everything, basically, and I've really, really come to terms with that. I think that that helps me when I'm creating whatever it is, whether it's music or it's clothes or it's visuals. I don't have that worry in my head any more, that like, Ah, it has to be something that everyone likes. I just do it and make sure I love it. Someone once said to me, "Make sure whatever you do, you can always go to bed at night and be proud of what you did." And so as long as I am, then I'm fine with whatever anyone says. That's how I deal with it, I think.
Gena: How long did it take you to learn that, though?
TT: It took me a while, I'm not gonna lie. Recently, over the past three years. And then also, like I was saying earlier, being zen and being able to meditate and having "you" time and just being able to get into your head and find out what you want and what you're trying to do is very, very important because that's when you get to know who you are a bit more, I guess.
Gena: Wow, that was inspirational.
TT: That was deep.
Gena: I'm gonna be a better person. Positive vibes.
TT: 2017, man.
Gena: Good year for both of us, thanks.