Leading singer and rapper Example gave an exclusive interview to Raising Your Game.
A fan of Example and his work, Javid and friends lead an exclusive 30-minute interview with the star before the gig, discussing the artist’s ambitions and discovering how he got to where he is today.
Since joining Raising Your Game and passing his Duke of Edinburgh, Javid says, “Raising Your Game has made me more open. I think about things and I choose my words more carefully now.”
Raising Your Game’s young people often struggle to find the right words to say what they mean. They relate to Example’s lyrics about daily pressures, socialising, and being accepted for who you are.
Here, Javid asks Example about working hard to achieve his goals and staying out of trouble.
Javid: Who inspired you?
Example: My parents inspired me to work hard. My dad wanted me to go into finance because I was good at maths. But then he said, look if you wanna go into music I’ll support you. I used to love grunge and listen to Nirvana, but I’m 29 so in the early nineties when Jay-z and Snoop came out, they really inspired me. I watch dance acts like the Prodigy and I’m inspired by the energy of the show.
Javid: What do you do when you’re not working?
Example: Watching a good old movie. Everyday I’m somewhere different, people wanna take you somewhere exciting, take you nice places to eat, buy you clothes and that. But on my day off I wanna just do simple things, I play X- Box or go to the gym.
Example with Mike, Javid, and Dion from the project along with staff Katy Palmer and Catherine Sadler.
Javid: What’s your favourite dinner?
Example: I love Nandos, I’ve got the Nandos black card, I sang a song about Nandos with Ed Sheeran once.
Javid: Have you ever been in trouble with the police?
Example: It doesn’t matter where you live or where you go to school you’re always going to come into contact with people who are a bit naughty when you’re growing up. You can’t really avoid it. Some people go through a naughty phase and other people see sense.
I was a bit naughty when I was a kid, but the people I hung around with were more naughty than me. And I just never got caught, I was slyer.
I went to school in Wandsworth, and a lot of the guys I went to school with got really good results, A’s and B’s at GCSE, but when they come out they didn’t really have any guidance so a lot of them turned to crime and did a lot of naughty stuff. Now they contact me from prison, they’re all like, ‘we should have stuck to what you’re doing’. If you have supportive parents or other artists to keep you focussed, that helps.
Javid: Who is your role model?
Example: I look up to my parents and other artists. When I was younger I saw So Solid and realised it’s okay to rap in British accent.
Then Dizzee blew up and I was hungry for rap and music in general. A lot of the most successful artists in the country now are rappers because they have the strongest work ethic. So it was rappers that inspired me to begin with, they all love the hustle. It doesn’t matter if you’re hustling in the streets or hustling in the music industry I think the same mentality carries through.
Also people like Kanye, he sings and raps and mixes so many musical styles together. Now I’ve been doing this for 8 years and I feel like I tell my story better through singing than spit. I don’t really think I should dress like this, or have my hair like that, so I just do whatever comes naturally. One of the best bits of advice I was ever given, was by Mike Skinner from The Streets. He said, ‘only talk about what you know’. So however controversial it is, or however depressing it is, if you only talk about what you know, then you’re always gonna be as real as you can. And then no-one can say anything.
Javid: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Example: There’s so many people I’d like to work with but I’ve got to be careful not to water down brand Example. It has an image and a sound, and I’ve recently worked with Skream, Wretch 32, Giggs. I get asked to do features every day but you have to turn ‘em down, you’ve gotta keep it exciting or people get bored of you.
Javid: What are your future plans?
Example: I want to headline a major festival like v or Glastonbury, wireless. I wanna play Wembley stadium, to 80,000 people. No-one in my scene has never headlined a big festival, no dance rap acts. Only bands like Oasis or Take that. People think it’s bad that you think like that, but you’ve gotta remember that two years ago I was playing to 200 people and I said I’m gonna play arenas soon. 02 arena is 18,000 people and I played there. If I go from 200 to 18, 000 in two years, then why can’t I go from 18,000 to 80,000 in the next two years?
As long as you stay focussed I think anything can happen. I’ve gotta reach for the top or there’s no point existing. I don’t wanna be like the average guy. Even if people think he cant really sing, or anything bad, I don’t really care I’m achieving my personal goals.