We chat Jay-Z and Idris Elba with the upcoming urban act
Tell us about your biggest hit ‘Magnetic Eyes’? I did the track with [DJs] Matrix and Futurebound. The song is basically about having a magnetic attraction to someone, so that even when you’re far away from them, there’s still an attraction there.
It sounds quite drum and base but you’re more from a grime and rap background... It’s a drum and base track. Matrix and Futurebound are drum and base. It’s definitely on the commercial side of drum and base and I’m more from a hip-hop background so it was different for me.
You sing on the track but you’re also an MC? I definitely started out rapping and I feel more in my comfort zone as a rapper, but I just like to try different things and I started singing a bit more. My producers encouraged me to keep doing it. I mix it up now.
What were your influences? I listened to so many different types of music when I was growing up – mainly hip-hop, soul music, R&B. I was a big fan of Jay-Z and Nas.
Is it true that Estelle flew you out to New York after you sent her your music? I sent her a CD track and she invited me to the studio and we did a couple of songs together. Then she brought me out to New York with her when she recorded her first album – I was about 16. Then I was on tour with her as her hype girl and that’s where I got my first taste of the [music] business.
You also worked with actor and DJ Idris Elba. How was that? Idris got in touch a few years ago. I was a big fan of The Wire so it was a big deal for me. He asked me to come to America and work on some tracks with him so I did that. We worked together again in London. He said that music is his passion – I think he’ll always do it.
What’s the story behind your track ‘Bump’? Two Swedish producers called Quiz & Larossi produced it. They just played me the beat and I loved it. Music for me is a vibe – it’s not something that I sit down and plan.
You’ve managed to collaborate with people such as John Legend. Who else would you like to work with? Loads of people actually. My wish list is Jay-Z, Adele and I would have definitely said Michael Jackson (that would have been my dream collaboration).
How do you think you’d deal with being really famous? I think there are plusses and minuses. I’d like to release music to a large audience, so I guess I’d like to be known, but the reason I do it is not just for fame. I like making music and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
What about Dubai? I’ve seen pictures and I’ve heard stories – when I looked at the weather forecast it said 42˚C so I don’t know if I will be able to handle that. Baby Blue plays Dubai’s N’Dulge, Atlantis The Palm, August 30 (04 426 0561).