He may be short in stature - there’s a reason he’s called Tinie Tempah - but there’s nothing small about his success.
Since releasing his debut single Pass Out in early 2010, Tinie has become one of Britain’s biggest stars and just about the only UK rapper capable of selling in the United States, the home of the genre.
His US debut single Written In The Stars set a Billboard chart record for a British rapper, entering the chart at No 12 when it was released in 2011.
Needless to say, his record label was keen for him to follow up his triple-platinum debut album Disc-Overy as soon as possible.
Tinie, however, had other ideas, taking about a year longer than expected, but the results, which can be heard on Demonstration from November 4, are worth it.
“Well,” he says with a pause, “a few things happened to contribute to the delay. Things took off in the States, so I was there for a bit, and then my label, Parlophone, got sold to Warner Brothers, so there was this big legal thing going on.
“I saw that as a positive, and used the time to make sure the music I was making was absolutely as I wanted it to be.” More tellingly, he adds: “And I was enjoying myself.”
He’s very happy with Demonstration. The guest stars, who include Emeli Sande on A Heart Can Save The World, Laura Mvula on Heroes and John Martin on forthcoming single Children Of The Sun, fell into place, with “about 90%” of the artists he approached saying yes.
“The first song I started for the album was Mosh Pit, which I recorded out in Los Angeles, but it wasn’t until I got back to England that I realised it could do with an appearance from Mr Dizzee Rascal. He’s been such an inspiration to me, I’ve been listening to him since I was 12, so to get him on a track is incredible.”
As soon as the album is released, all he’ll be able to think about is December’s tour, which takes him to arenas all over the country. Tinie and his team are currently putting together the stage and lighting design, firming up schedules with special guests, and revising the set list, which he promises will include his hits as well as tracks not on either of his albums.
Wherever he goes, though, he says he’ll never forget Britain and, if anything, he gets more patriotic the further from home he goes.
“Being British is a very big part of my personality, and it’s something that draws people to my music, so I am conscious of it. It’s a fact that separates me from so many other people, especially as a rapper. It’s just one of the things that makes me unique.”