The album’s called Mixed Race because being mixed race is the single biggest influence on my music. You sat down at the table in my house and you saw every colour. It’s made me much more open-minded than I could’ve been. I come from both worlds.
Since Knowle West Boy I’ve been promoting that album, touring and looking for a singer. Normally I just meet singers by accident. But I’d been thinking about Mixed Race while touring the last album, and one of the live vocalists was Francesca – Frankey Riley. So the two of us just started recording immediately. All I’ve been doing is touring and recording. ‘Cos it’s getting harder out there, and the harder it is, the harder you have to work.
A lot of the players on Mixed Race I just found on the street or met through friends. One guy was playing sax in the little square outside the studio and I just asked him to come in. This album was so different for me because it was so easy to get what I wanted in Paris.
Mixed Race is a gangster album. I can’t do gangsta rap. That’s not me. I can’t talk about being a bad boy, ‘cos I’m not. But I’ve been around that. So this is the closest I can get to a gangsta album. Its very gully, as Jamaicans call it… very dark. Tense, street and urban. It’s like a movie, almost.
This is also the most uptempo album I’ve done. I wanted something that could be played in a club… maybe! Which is unusual for me. Because I don’t give a shit about clubs.