He has a string of hit singles and albums to his name, but is Tinchy Stryder, 25, No.1 (see what we did there?) when it comes to biking. We joined him at the launch of Halfords BMX Sessions to find out…
Where Skaterham, Caterham, Surrey
So Tinchy, how are your BMX skills?
I remember being given a red BMX for my ninth birthday and I got a lot of cuts and bruises learning how to do tricks. The best was spinning the steering wheel 360º and then carrying on.
What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
I had to escape out of a straitjacket hanging off a 50ft-high crane for my TV show, Tinchy Stryder: Under Pressure. My mum rang me after she saw it and said: “Are you OK? Why did you do that?!”
Who would you really like to be giving a backie on your BMX today?
I haven’t got a girlfriend, but there’s a long list of girls I like. I really like Vanessa from The Saturdays. She’s cute, down to earth and not the one everyone talks about. Cheryl Cole is still high on my list, too.
Aww, would you ever ask Cheryl out?
Yeah, if we got along and there was that vibe there. I’ve met her before and she’s cool. She was taking a picture and said: “Am I not special enough for you to take your shades off?” I’m like: “I’ll throw my shades away now if you like.”
Who have you enjoyed collaborating with most?
Probably Dappy from N-Dubz. We just have a natural vibe, and we’re not afraid to tell each other things when we’re in the studio. It’s fun, and he’s mad talented.
Do you hang out with Tulisa?
I supported N-Dubz on tour, and they’re all cool people. I still speak to T and I’m happy for her because she seems to be doing really well since going solo. Doing The X Factor is a powerful move.
Would you go on the panel of a talent show?
Maybe as a guest for a couple of weeks, but on the panel for a whole show? I don’t know if I could. I’m quite straight up, so I’d tell people they should have done this or that.
Who’s given you the best advice?
Jay-Z told me that you learn more from failure than success. If everything’s going right, you don’t know what wrong is. But when something goes wrong, you make it better and it makes it more meaningful.
Deep! Do you ever get overwhelmed hanging out with Jay-Z and Beyoncé?
They’re so laid-back and welcoming you don’t feel star-struck.
Is Beyoncé as gorgeous in the flesh?
She looks better in person than she does on TV. What I liked so much about her when I went to Jay-Z’s show is that she’s his biggest fan. She knows every word and was jumping up and down in the mosh pit.
What’s been your most showbiz pinch-yourself moment?
When I got invited to Downing Street. I was thinking: “Really? I’m just from Bow in east London, and I’ve been invited here because I make music.”
So, do you live a life of fast cars, champagne and hot girls?
I like cars that look cool and when I party, I party. And the ladies come with it. You just have to be careful about who you let close. But I find girls attractive and girls find me attractive – you live life.
- Tinchy Stryder is supporting Halfords BMX Sessions, free events for kids aged 9-14. Sign up at Halfords.co.uk/bmx
Times Tinchy fell off his BMX 0
Times we fell off Lots
How many tattoos he showed us All of them – and there are many