With a number one single under his belt and his debut solo album reaching number six in the charts, controversial rapper Dappy's solo career has gotten off to a flying start.
But despite reports to the contrary the Camden born singer says his own success will not spell the end for N-Dubz, the group with which he and X-Factor judge Tulisa made their names.
“No I'd never say no to it. I just think that Tulisa and me are doing very individually well at the moment and I think if we keep on making our individual projects bigger and bigger, when it's time for the actual reunion, the reunion will be bigger itself”.
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“I think we need to give it approximately another year, maybe half a year and after we get back we might do an album together. But for now, you know we're getting number ones, we've been doing great by ourselves, we're making great hits so I think we should just leave it for a bit”.
Dappy is clearly very proud of his work with N-Dubz, who achieved platinum sales with their first two albums. But now he's looking to reach a more mature audience with his solo work and there is a sense that N-Dubz was simply a way of opening the doors to do that.
“The image we were pursuing with N-Dubz, it was for teenagers. It was sing-along, happy arena music, catchy male/female perspectives, arguing on the songs with the girl and the boy. It was like it was a phase for the teenagers, wearing crazy hats and saying No Mi and all these crazy little trademarks. It was a way to draw people in. Now it's all about showing off our maturer side”.
As likely to be found in the gossip pages as the music section Dappy has continuously courted controversy in a career marred by drug use, convictions for assault and accusations of bullying. His lyrics have been condemned as misogynistic but the rapper makes no apologies for the content of his work and insists he does go looking for trouble.
“Sometimes you have to be controversial, know what I mean? In ten years I want to have a book. I don't wanna just be that same artist. I'd like to be kind of exciting and spontaneous throughout the years just to keep my relevance and be current. You've always got to switch it up basically, always got to come up with new things. That's why sometimes I'm controversial”.
“A lot of my songs are to do with past experiences. What happened in my life I definitely try to put it with the music and the sound. So things that happened to me during the time I was growing up, I definitely put that into my lyrics. I definitely don't try to seek excitement. If it happens then yeah I might put it in a song. But I don't go out looking for trouble”.
Though his first solo single 'No Regrets' reached number one, he hasn't fared so well with the follow up singles. Due to his behaviour a number of radio stations refused to play his songs and Dappy admits this has made him clean up his act.
“Because I've been a bit crazy with my behaviour and a bit spontaneous at times, the radio stopped playing me for my last record. My album just went number 6, and that's all to do with no radio. It's been devastating having no radio but I'm back up now very shortly. You do something naughty and they will punish you”.
“I'm not going drinking, I'm not prowling, I'm not going out. I'm locked away, I have to behave before my tour starts. But like I said, everyone's a human being. I got two kids, I'm a young a dad and no one's perfect but we got a good heart and we write great music for the masses”.
After some very public bust-ups and twitter rows with his cousin and bandmate Tulisa, Dappy says the pair are now back on good terms.
“It's fine now, we're cool. We always looked out for each other from the day we started and I'm so proud of her for what she's doing with the X-Factor. I've always loved T, from the bottom of my heart”.
He also admits he was unhappy with Gary Barlow after he publicly insulted the singer live on the X-Factor by accusing her of having 'fag ash breath'.
“If I was in the crowd and Gary Barlow shouted that out I might have had to throw my drink at him or something. That's what I'm saying, I can't be put in these places. If Gary Barlow had said that about my family and I was there, I don't think I would have liked it. I might have shouted 'Robbie's better than you!'”.
While controversy will probably never stray very far from Dappy, the rapper says he's tired of the headlines and is working hard in the hope that in the future, the focus will be on the music.
“Sometimes it will over shadow the music. Instead of someone writing 'What a great record' they go 'What a bad person, he did that in a nightclub'. But that's why I'm behaving myself, it's all about the music for me”.