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Music Interview

Wiley interview: 'I rate Emeli Sandé over Adele'

By
Wiley

Grime artist Wiley


When Wiley invited us round to his place for a chat last month, we'll admit we were excited to have a nose around the rapper's East London home.

While we were there, we thought it'd only be right to talk to him about his eighth studio album The Ascent, London's grime scene, and get an answer to the age-old question: Adele or Emeli Sandé?

We're interviewing you in your house. It's quite brave to let journalists in, isn't it?
"Yeah, no, I've got nothing to prove to you lot!"

What's the most valuable item in here?
"Honestly nothing. Apart from my children of course. My new toaster is cool - I bet yours doesn't have four slots."

Your new album The Ascent is out this week. Are you enjoying doing the promo or is it a chore?
"What a lot of people don't think about with the music industry is that you have to do it all. If you don't do telly you won't be on telly and if you don't talk to radio stations they won't play you on the radio. It's what you don't do that shows. You don't realise all this when it's your hobby."

You've had huge success with the singles you've released from it; that must bode well?
"I just hope to god people want people to listen to it. The process of making an album is so long and boring that when it's done not even I can listen to it. I will eventually put it on in the car, when the label give me a CD. It's out of my hands now so I hope the public like it."

What's the album like compared to the singles?
"Those are the radio songs - the three steps you have to take to get your album out - and then hopefully you do three more and get good sales and two and a half years down the line you think about the next one."

What's the best song on the album?
"'Skillzone' from a grimehead's point of view and 'Heatwave' from a different point of view. Another human shouldn't take my word for it as they might like something else but they are mine based on how I delivered them. I've now realised what an important song 'Heatwave' was for me."

There are a lot of guest features on the record...
"It's basically a 'Who's in England and not in America?' thing. In my urban crowd, whoever blows rarely seems to come back here. I wanted to show everyone who will work with me, because everyone else hates each other and f**ks off to the US."

Bestival 2012: Wiley

© PA Images / David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment

Wiley at Bestival 2012



What about Emeli Sandé? She features on your album but is taking off in the US as we speak.
"Yeah but she deserves it. Listen to this - I rate her more than Adele. I like Adele but I rate Emeli more. Adele is sick but Emeli is against odds. A lot of people thought she wouldn't go anywhere and she did. I didn't think England would accept her."

You're releasing the album through Warner Records. Have they interfered much or just let you get on with it?
"Warner have been great. They're the best label for what I do. Someone like Devlin - who is brilliant and I've learnt a lot from - wouldn't work on Warner. He's not about chart positions."

You're playing some shows in April; did you consider booking the O2 Arena?
"What people don't realise is that you can't just book the O2. O2 or SJM essentially approach you rather than the other way around. I'm don't know if that will ever happen for me. You have to sell tickets - bums on seats. You have to be someone through the television, whereas I'm someone on the music channels. You have to go on things like The Jonathan Ross Show. Believe, I'd book them and organise a rave if I could."

Why don't you appear more on TV then?
"It's funny as I never wanted to be a kid star - I never wanted to be famous as an adult. When I got to 21 and I met Dizzee [Rascal] I made him the star - I didn't want it anymore. He put it back in though, he gave me life."

How did he do that?
"He was interested in the same music as me and we bonded over it. Even for him though, being young and everyone getting on you, he went mad. You don't know how to take it all in."

Are you a fan of Dizzee's new music?
"I've only heard 'Bassline Junkie'. I know that it's pop - I saw him tweet something along those lines about it. It'll probably be along the lines of 'Bonkers', but that's how it is."

This is your eighth studio album; have you ever considered taking your music to Europe or America?
"Maybe, maybe not. The dream says you can and reality says what it says at that time. Sometimes you think if you haven't done something by a certain time then you've probably missed out. I would like to blow international - especially in Australia and Europe - but in reality I can't see it. It's a dream, but I can't really see it."

Wiley's new album The Ascent is out now. Listen to the album below:

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