Saturday, 24 February 2007

N Dubz - About To Blow

rwd23020705023318650500, originally uploaded by chantelle.

They’ve already been compared to The Black Eyes Peas, but N-Dubz are taking the UK by storm their way or no way... Words by Chantelle Fiddy image by Kevin Joseph

Every month we think really hard about who deserves our coveted About To Blow mantle. This month, when Chewy ‘make ‘em and break ‘em’ Richards mentioned maybe doing those three kids that have got schools and streets on lock, the answer was a resounding ‘Yes.’ Without a doubt, it’s N-Dubz time. Meeting the north London trio on their home turf in Camden, it becomes clear that such is their popularity that once the bell rings, it’s every man for himself. “Come with us to a few primary schools and you’ll see what happens...” singer and lyricist Dappy explains, rather excitedly, over a chicken wing. “Can you believe I was on a boat coming back from France, in the toilet taking a piddle, and I turn around to find some guys facing me and they say ‘You’re that baby in the cot (from the video)! Oh my God - can we have an autograph’. We’re building up our fan base like hotcakes.”

Since hitting screens with Better Not Waste My Time and current heater I Swear, which was No. 1 on Channel U for over two months, there’s been no stopping the screaming kids, hollering record labels or their songs echoing from mobile phones up and down the country. Celebrity fans already include Kano and Rio Ferdinand and they’ve already had a couple of deals on the table. Taking inspiration from song-writers such as Phil Collins and George Michael, they’re not your average R&B or rap outlet either. But Tulisa, 18, cousin Dappy, 19 and best friend, Faze, 19 have been making bedroom bangers for the last eight years. “They're both mad," says Tulisa. "But Dappy is the motivator, making us get on it and getting on point. I’m the mother hen moaning at everyone. They’ll be bringing girls to the studio and I’m like ‘Get them out, we need to record’. Every week I’m giving them condoms saying ‘Protect yourself, we don’t want any babies!’ They’re very protective of me with guys though.” Under the guidance of Dappy’s dad, a session musician, they recorded a garage album in their teens and released a low-key (or as Tulisa puts it, ‘gutter’) video for an old song, Everyday Of My Life, which didn’t garner much support.

“That was then and this is now,” says Faze. “People are calling us the UK version of the Black Eyed Peas, but we’re not. We’re coming up with tunes that window cleaners can sing along to when they’re scrubbing... We’re doing this for Japan, Germany, everywhere. If you’re not doing it for this reason, you might as well stop now.”

And with major record label negotiations on-going, world domination might not be far off for N-Dubz. However, these forward-thinking three still plan to release their next single, Feva Las Vegas, on their own label, LRC. RWD can also exclusively reveal they’ve done a battle style collaboration with L. Man and Narstie over the name N Dubz (Ed: see Page 39 for L. Man’s thoughts on the two crews sharing a similar name).

“Who won? Who do you think” laughs Dappy. “It’s two thousand and heaven, baby. Heavens on our side and we’ve got the bangers coming. Go buy them and make us rich cos we’re starving. I’m on TV and I’m still wearing odd socks!”

Worst beating your mother’s given you?

Faze: One time, when I was about 11, we put a hose through someone’s window and I got taken home by the police... then that was it after the Feds went. The broom came out - it broke on me.

Tulisa: The first time I came home smashed when I was 14. I was in my room throwing up after an all-nighter drinking vodka shots.

Best advice from Ma?

Faze: ‘Don't trust no one!’

Tulisa: Can I swear? ‘All men are f*ckers, don't trust none of them’ - and she was right. She told me that when I was about 12 to prepare me.

Dappy: ‘Don't fear no man and use a condom.’

A version of this article appears in the new RWD Magazine

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