Wrap Up And Watch Out: Chrome
Tyrone Emmanuel Paul – better known as R&B singer, Chrome – caught the eyes of many when he appeared on the hooks of Dizzee Rascal’s number one hits, 'Dance Wiv Me' and 'Holiday', a couple of years back...
Now back with a noticeable fervour for good music, it’s time that he stepped out into his own domain. His new single, 'Wake Up', is a total feel-good jam, which could fit well in the clubs and on your kitchen radio. The Wrap Up’s Errol Anderson caught up with him.
The Wrap Up: Chrome! Welcome to The Wrap Up. First of all, tell us how you got into music?
Chrome: It was a natural thing, I just started doing it. It wasn’t a thing where I did it from childhood; it was just a thing that I got into. I used to play basketball and that went pear-shaped after I had an accident and had to stop doing it. In church, I used to play drums and then I got asked to rap for the choir and that’s how I started out in music. I was about 18 or 19, and it just grew and started to happen. I don’t really want to sound too cheesy, but it was my destiny. I was destined to be a singer or a musician.
TWU: Who were the artists that had an impact on you?
Chrome: Wow, so many. Michael Jackson, obviously, as a performer and entertainer. I’d say Kool & The Gang, Billy Ocean. In my teenage years, it was more like H Town, Dru Hill and Jodeci; these were the type of people that blew me away with their R&B. But then again, I didn’t grow up just listening to one type of music. I grew up listening to reggae, soca and even a lot of pop. A lot of the artist, I don’t even know their names, but once you play the song, it takes me straight back to childhood. It was just good music in general that inspired me. But Michael Jackson was one of those artists who only come around once in our lifetime – the older I got, the more I appreciate all that he’s done.
TWU: Is there much on your iPod that would shock or surprise people?
Chrome: Yeah, dubstep. The funniest thing is that when I actually met Dizzee, it was through a guy who is like a brother to me – Footsie from Newham Generals. He’s the one that brought me through. He’s the one that told me about grime music and at the time I knew absolutely nothing. It was just one of the genres that I wasn’t really familiar with. Even before I met Dizzee, the only songs that I really knew would have been ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ and probably ‘Just A Rascal’. Those were the two tunes that I actually knew. But the more I was around them –I was around them for about four years – I learnt about just the music itself. But coming back to the point, dubstep was another thing that I didn’t really know about. I heard a song from Magnetic Man, ‘I Need Air’, and the first time I heard that song, I was just like, ‘Wow! What is that music?’ Right now, I think that’s the next step that I might be looking to tamper with, a bit of the dubstep.
TWU: Going back to Dizzee, what’s he actually like to work with?
Chrome: Talented. You can tell that he’s got a lot of experience where he’s been doing this and that he’s mastered the craft. It was an honour to be able to work with all of them: Dizzee, Footsie and D Double E. Just seeing them work was a lot and just being around them – because I was like a student – when I didn’t know too much about grime music, was a great experience. When I met them, I was more into the soul side of things, so it was all new and different to me. Seeing these guys at their peak was a blessing.
TWU: With ‘Holiday’ and ‘Dance Wiv Me’, the two tracks that you featured on, how much input did you have?
Chrome: I co-wrote them, myself and Nick, who is Dizzee’s manager. I came up with the melody and then we both came up with the words.
TWU: What do you have to say about the current R&B scene in the UK? You’ve got big new artists such as Talay Riley and Loick Essien doing big things right now...
Chrome: Most definitely positive. It’s showing that we have our own identity and we’re not trying to be like anyone else. Every single artist that is doing it is a blessing and I’ve got so much respect for them all. Can’t forget about people like my boy, Wretch 32, who’s doing massive things. In America, they’re actually establishing the UK scene and, to me, that’s a very good look. It has taken us a while but we’ve gone out to let the world see who we are.
TWU: Most definitely a good look. As for yourself, congratulations for your publishing deal and on your new single, ‘Wake Up’. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Chrome: ‘Wake Up’ just has so much energy in it. It’s how I’m thinking and feeling right now. It’s also how I see life, you know, ‘So long as I wake up every morning to see another day.’ That’s actually my philosophy right now and anything is possible. The tune means a lot to me, there’s a lot of feeling when I perform it and you can just see the pure energy coming out naturally. It’s real.
TWU: Any talks of an album or an EP coming soon?
Chrome: We’ve got about 17 songs and I’ve just been working very hard on what I’ve got at the moment. Yeah, there will be an album, but I don’t want there to be a time or date on it at the moment because it’s still very much in the mix. I’m working with some talented producers and I’m even trying to get Benga on the album. I’ve also got Sway and Wiley on there, too. So yeah, it’s shaping up nicely. I think that’s more likely to come out around the middle of next year.
Chrome’s new single, 'Wake Up', is out on September 19.
Stay up to date with Chrome on Twitter – www.twitter.com/IAmChrome
Words: Errol Anderson (@Elzan1)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)