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I never set out to be a role model but it's great to be one ; IN THE HOTSEATBetter known by his stage name Wretch 32, Jermaine Sinclair is a 28-year-old rapper from London. In 2011 his debut album Black and White sold over a million copies and scored three top five singles. His latest single Blackout was released this week

May 18, 2013


What are you up to today? In the studio fine tuning, wrapping up the album, making the final tweaks before taking it to be mastered.

When will the album be out? I haven't got a release date pencilled in however August looks promising, But don't hold me to that.

The album is untitled at the moment, there's a couple names floating around in my head but I don't want to give you a name just in case it changes.

Will it be similar to Black and White or a new sound? I feel like it's a progression from where Black and White left off. Each album describes the stages of my life, where I'm at the growth and I think this album definitely shows that lyrically and musically.

What is the new single Blackout about? It's about going to that place or zone to unwind. Where you can block out all the stress and worries you may have. It can basically be anywhere, some people go fishing, some go for a jog. I like to blackout in a booth at a studio or at a nightclub. And I basically mention this in the record.

How do you come up with your songs, where do you get your inspiration? I find my inspiration comes from everything. Everyday life, things that happened in my life or what I've seen. It can be my state of mind at the time, something that may have occurred on the way to the studio and when listening to the beat gave me the inspiration to write about it.

Is it true that you have no music on your phone, not even your own album? I hear so much artists' material getting leaked so yeah, I'm scared to put it on my phone just in case I misplace it somewhere or in an attempt to charge my phone I might use someone's laptop and it might sync. So I'd rather not take the risk. It's better to be safe than sorry.

How did you get into music? I started out at 16 just writing down my frustrations and day to day dilemmas in a lyric form to a beat, sort of a therapy, a way to vent. Then as I got better and more respected as a lyricist I took it more serious and I thought it's something I love and was good at so why not try and make something of it? What was your big break? When Traktor went number five. Before then I was knocking on the glass ceiling but the success of Trakor helped me burst through into the mainstream.

You come from a tough area of London, what kept you on the straight and narrow? My mum. She was an old school mum that didn't put up with any c**p. You know the ones that ON just had to look at you in a way and you know to fix up.

Do you feel pressure to be a role model to young people? Not at all. I'm a little more sensible and conscious of what I do in public but I think that's just me being a mature adult.

I've never set out to be a role model but it's great to be one that the youth can look up to and be inspired by.

What did you do before making a career out of music? I used to work at Sainsbury's Supermarket in the bakery section, but keep it between us!

What are your dreams for the future? I don't have a plan of sorts but hopefully to become a highly respected artist worldwide performing in stadiums and I want to get there by being me.

Will you be touring this year? Any festivals? Yeah, got a whole heap over the summer, The Isle Of Man, Wireless, Wakestock, Leeds and Reading.

When you are off duty how do you relax? When I can I have a kick about with some friends but I never really relax. I'm not able to switch off, when I try to I end up coming up with an idea to a song and having to write it down before I forget.

Wretch 32's single Blackout Ft. Shakka is out now.


You have two children, do they understand what you do? My daughter is still a little young and doesn't entirely understand what I do. But my boy is seven now and listens and understands my music, so I have to be conscious of that.

The other day he asked me why I know everyone. He thinks I know everyone because he noticed a lot of people saying hello to me on the street.


What's the story behind your name? Wretch is what my mum used to call me when I had done something bad.

Then it trickled to the streets where mates of mine would call me it as a nickname.

Three and two are my lucky numbers, so I added them to give it a bit of luck.

I used to work at Sainsbury's ... but keep it between us!

(c) 2013 Evening Mail; Birmingham (UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

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