His name might be Tinie Tempah, but the 22-year-old musician is fixing to become hip-hop’s next big deal. Already a breakout star overseas, his platinum-selling debut record, Disc-Overy, earned him four top-five singles and two BRIT Awards. He’ll invade America with a little help from some friends—musical guests Ellie Goulding, Kelly Rowland, and Swedish House Mafia among them—when the album gets its stateside release this month.
But he won’t rest there: he wants your closet, too. Tempah intends to expand his successful T-shirt brand, Disturbing London, with the hope that it will grow into his very own Billionaire Boys Club. Drawing from his own sense of style, Tempah admits that fashion design is a natural extension of his passion for music. “I record a song to express myself in the same way that I put on clothes to express myself,” he says. “I was spending so much time putting together loads of different brands to achieve my look that I decided it would be easier to make my own brand with all of the staples together.”
The collection, which is scheduled to launch this summer, will feature “a little bit of high fashion, and a little bit of street cool.” We asked the budding streetwear titan for his sartorial must-haves, and he happily obliged us. “When I wear something, I like it to be as close to the source as possible, so I go with original vintage Levi’s rather than denim that looks vintage,” he says. “I always wear trainers regardless of whether I’ve got on a suit or some camouflage shorts. I go with new Nike Blazers or some vintage trainers. I have pairs of black eyeglasses and pairs of clear ones. I especially love Cutler and Gross glasses, which have become an everyday staple. As for a watch, well, it’s got to be Rolex.”