With a handful of top 10 singles under his belt in the U.K., rapper
So why not turn his attention to this side of the pond? Following the Stateside success of fellow Brits Jay Sean, and Taio Cruz, now appears to be a pretty good time for international artists to make it on mainstream American radio.
"The British invasion, for me, is just music becoming more global, and more universal than ever before," Tempah told MTV News last week. "Now that we have networks like [MTV], Twitter and Youtube, all sorts of genres of music from anywhere in the world is attainable at the click of a button. And now more so than ever, Britain, and especially England, is loving the culture and the music that it creates. And it's more than happy to champion it and support it. That wasn't always the case. Now that we love it so much, it's starting to catch the ears of all our counterparts and our peers, and they are clearly taking note."
But though Jay Sean and Taio Cruz have both made it big in the past year, Tinie says their approach has been different from each other. "I'm good friends with both of those people," the rapper said. "I mean Taio Cruz has almost taken the world by storm. ... Like, no one will sell more singles than Taio Cruz, and that's incredible. Once you've got a catchy, incredible song — it doesn't matter if you are in the U.S., Australia or the U.K., you're in Iceland — if it's a good song, it's a good song.
"What I like about Jay Sean's story is the fact that there was some sort of affiliation, some sort of co-sign with a very prestigious American establishment, and by that I mean Cash Money," Tinie continued. "I really admire that story, and I really admire that strategy because that is so clever. Not only do you have the big pop song that everybody loved, you also have that commercial [success and credibility] all rolled up into one."
Tempah's first single "Pass Out," produced by current U.K. hitmaker Labrinth, was released digitally in November in the U.S. and has slowly begun to find its way into nightclub DJ sets — just the way he intended it to.
"I heard it in a club in New York [recently]," Tempah said. "And it was like hearing it in a club in the U.K. for the first time. When it came on in a club in the U.K. the first time, it was like people heard it and they were like, 'OK. This is different.' I would go to the same club four weeks later and people would go crazy. So it was nice. I had a little smug smile on my face, like, 'OK, I'll come back in a couple of months and just see what happens.' "
But while the rapper is a fan of the gradual appreciation of "Pass Out," he did make it clear he has a wish list of U.S. artists he'd like to have feature on the song. Snoop Dogg has already jumped on a remix of it in the U.K.
"I'd love Nicki Minaj on 'Pass Out,' " he said. "I think she would obliterate the song. That is for her, definitely. I also think Lil Wayne would have the same impact. I think Drake would have the same impact on that song as well. However, I kind of want the instrumental to leak out and for people to stumble across it naturally. I don't want to be too forced. We'll see what happens."
For his second single in the U.S., Tinie Tempah intends to release "Written in the Stars." His video for "Pass Out" will not get a U.S. revision. Fans can expect a U.S. album release sometime in the spring of 2011.