Wrap Up And Watch Out: Sincere
With his new single, 'Ain’t Nobody Like You', bubbling on the airwaves, a support slot on Wretch 32’s nationwide tour and a new mixtape release on the horizon, The Wrap Up’s Tobi Oke was lucky to catch Sincere at Urban Development HQ for a chat about the UK hip-hop scene, Adele and more...
The Wrap Up: Hi Sincere! You've got a new single coming out in November called, 'Ain't Nobody Like You'. Describe it to someone who hasn't heard it yet...
Sincere: I’d describe it as 'futuristic UK hip-hop.' It’s what I think a UK hip-hop record should sound like in 2011 – it’s got different inspirations and different sounds to it. My sound, in general, is rap/hip-hop but very British and very experimental. You wouldn’t hear my music and think it was made in Atlanta.
TWU: You’re supporting Wretch 32 on his upcoming nationwide tour in October. How are you preparing for the massive crowds?
Sincere: Rehearsing and more rehearsing. It’s surreal that Wretch is on tour and it’s surreal that I’m supporting him. From back when we used to do tracks for each other’s mixtapes, to see him come so far is crazy. It’s a bit scary, but I’m looking forward to it, still.
TWU: How does it feel being in the strange position of still being quite young but looked at as an older and experienced artist in the UK music scene?
Sincere: It’s a funny position, you know. Sometimes I wish I was just brand new, because then everything I do would be much better received. Like, if a new artist came out with ‘Aint Nobody Like You’, people would be banging their heads on the table like, ‘Oh my God!’ I came in the game making tracks at 15 and when I made ‘That’s Not Gangsta’ I was 18. Kids are coming in the game at that age now. It’s cool, though, I still haven’t made an album and I can still make a fresh splash.
TWU: Given the choice, would you prefer to be a new artist coming into the scene now or are you fine with the way everything has worked out for you?
Sincere: You know what? I’ve learned so much over the years. I wouldn’t have made the single and I wouldn’t be here speaking to you. I’m someone who believes that everything happens for a reason. I’m touring with Wretch, it’s an amazing thing and I’ve got so many things going for me right now. I’m cool!
TWU: Looking back over the years, is there anything that you would’ve done differently?
Sincere: I would have been more consistent and tried to learn about having a press team, a radio plugger, a TV plugger, etc. I didn’t know about these things as an 18-year-old taking my video down to Channel U. I just took it down there and got them to put it on. If you look at some like Sway and compare him to myself, at the time, Sway flew up and I kinda just stayed there because he had a whole team and a movement behind him. Above all of that, I just wished I stayed consistent, this is gonna be my most consistent time. It really is now or never for me.
TWU: You’ve always stood out for making top quality videos. Has this always been an important thing for you?
Sincere: I’m always competing with the majors. Right now, I’m trying to do a big campaign as big as any record company is doing it. Back in the day, with ‘That’s Not Gangsta’, I was trying to make a video as good as Kano’s ‘P’s & Q’s’ or Dizzee Rascal’s ‘I Luv U’, just trying to compete with the signed artists at the time.
TWU: You’re known for displaying an entrepreneurial side, so what else are you actively involved in?
Sincere: I’d say I’m actively involved in XYE Clothing, which is the jacket and T-shirt that I’m wearing right now. I’m also actively involved in a soccer school; I’m a qualified football coach. More on the clothing, I collaborated with House Of Billiam, who have their clothes stocked in Harrods and Harvey Nicholls. I took the model from people like Pharrell Williams with Billionaire Boys Club and Bathing Ape and what 50 Cent done with G-Unit. I just went to people who were established in that area and told them, ‘This is what I want my stuff to look like and this is the vibe I want’, and that saved me a lot of time and a lot of money.
TWU: Who would you tip to do big things from the UK scene next year?
Sincere: G FrSH, that’s my boy, he’s gonna go to the next level. I like a lot of the younger guys, though, like Cashtastic, Scruffizzer and Political Peak. There’s a lot of young talent coming up that I really appreciate. It’s good, man.
TWU: What’s the most annoying misconception about you and your music?
Sincere: I think people would see me as being a bit shallow...
TWU: Shallow as a person or as an artist?
Sincere: As an artist, because I’ve got a chain and a watch. Certain people can’t see past that, they can’t see that I overstand the material things that I possess. They don’t know that everything about me is supposed to be inspirational; they don’t know ‘Ain’t Nobody Like You’ is supposed to be inspirational. I didn’t call it ‘Ain’t Nobody Like ME’, it’s called, ‘Ain’t Nobody like YOU’. It sounds cheesy and corny, but that is why I made the song. Hopefully it will have a positive effect on the people who hear it.
TWU: There have been a few big albums in hip-hop this year, which have been major talking points. What are your thoughts?
Sincere: I think ‘Watch the Throne’ was a much better album than ‘Tha Carter IV’ – it was mature album for a mature audience. C4 sold more due to the hype, I think. Wayne appeals to a younger demographic, Young Money have Drake fans as well as Nicki Minaj fans.
TWU: If you could make a similar kind of album with anyone from the UK music scene, who would it be?
Sincere: I love UK music, man! If it was with anybody in the UK, it would have to be Adele because it would push me to make some amazing records and push myself lyrically. She’s got an amazing voice and, sonically, I think the album would be crazy. If it was with a spitter, it’d be a tie between Scorcher and G FrSH. I like working with artists, but I think I’m gonna concentrate on Sincere for a bit.
Sincere's new single, 'Ain't Nobody Like You', is out on November 7.
Stay up to date with Sincere on Twitter – www.twitter.com/SincereArtist
Words: Tobi Oke (@TeflonTobz)