Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dizzee Rascal 'naughty but nice'

tuff, TV3, yahoo

Dizzee Rascal describes his latest album as "naughty but nice" - a bit like himself.

Aside from releasing his fourth album Tongue in Cheek in New Zealand this week, it was also announced Rascal will be playing at the Big Day Out in Auckland on January 15.

The 24-year-old East Londoner's latest album has made him become the first British solo artist to ever have two consecutive No 1 on his own independent label.

The 10-track album still has aspects of his signature grime style, but also brings in hip-hop, reggae, house and even a hint of disco.

It flits between the schizophrenic club track Bonkers, which he worked on with UK DJ Armand Van Helden, to the sleazy swagger of Dance Wiv Me to the frantic pace of Road Rage which is based on Mills' own experiences of crashing into a police car.

"It's an up-tempo, fun party album, but quite edgy because it's me, basically naughty but nice, it's a bit rude."

When pressed about what is naughty in the album, he says sex has a big part in it, but it is not totally smutty.

"We're covering sex, there's naughty songs in there about a few of my little escapades, then there are the more serious tracks talk about social commentary, the economy and that."

He is particularly proud of the fact he has remained on his own label Dirtee Stank, and mentions about four times in the interview his three singles, Holiday, Bonkers and Dance Wiv Me have topped the UK charts.

He also boasts his music video for Bonkers was shot with a camera that captures six different angles at the same time.

"It's never been used in a music video before they've used it in one film or something like that. It's colourful and powerful, you know what I mean, and it's futuristic looking."

Another video, Holiday, has a particularly American hip-hop music video feel to it - complete with girls in thongs - but was shot in Ibiza, a place Mills calls "a nice holiday spot and a good place to play".

The album is about having fun and partying, he says.

He has recently branded himself a pop star, reflected in this album, which is more accessible.

When asked if the new branding and style might upset old fans, he says there are other things they could be upset over.

"The fact that I'm on TV will alienate some of my older fans but that's the way it goes, it's not a new thing for successful artists to upset old fans."
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While his fan base has increased dramatically, he says it's not always easy.

"I'm busier than I've even been and enjoying life a lot more, I get recognised wherever I go. Sometimes it's good, sometimes when I'm eating at a restaurant and there is a queue of people waiting for photos, it's a bit crazy."

Included in his fan base is Prince Harry who went to a festival he was performing at in the UK.

"We had a laugh and that and he was on the side of the stage dancing around with his friends."

Asked how he is going to celebrate the release of the album, he says he does not know yet, he's still trying to find a new way of celebrating going No 1, again.

* Tongue 'n' Cheek is out now. Dizzee Rascal performs at the Big Day Out on January 15.