Evening Standard - ES Magazine
The rapper swears by local corner shops, dines with live opera at Little Bay and goes wild swimming for the peace and quiet
Where the sun is. I recently got my own place for the first time, which is a dream come true. It’s a nice little house in an undisclosed London location with my girlfriend and my son. I love the freedom, although my girlfriend calls the shots. I might wear the trousers but she tells me which pair.
First memory of London?
Sitting on my pop’s shoulders at Notting Hill Carnival. I fell asleep the whole way round, then woke up when we got back to the station.
Which shops do you rely on?
Every single corner shop. I swear by them. They have everything I need and the rapport with the bossman is always good. Each one runs their shop differently. They’re truly pillars of the community.
Best meal you’ve had?
The first meal in my own house, or my last Christmas dinner with my grandmother. Eating out, I love my friend Elliot Cunningham’s pop-up Lagom, currently at The Spurstowe Arms in Hackney. And Little Bay in Croydon for the live opera on a Friday. Opera while you eat is quite something.
Where do you go to unwind?
Anywhere for outdoor swimming. Lidos or lakes, reservoirs or rivers, especially when it’s cold. Physical activity like swimming is my meditation. Underwater, you can’t hear the words of the world. It’s just the bubbles, your breath and your brain.
Who do you call to have fun?
I call 020 8686 1122. It’s the number for Powerleague in Croydon. On my birthday or when I get a day off, I try and get my friends together for five-a-side. I’m a Liverpool fan and like to think I play like Trent Alexander-Arnold. A paintbrush of a right foot.
Where would you most like to be buried?
I’m more of a Viking funeral guy. Wrapped in cloth, doused in petrol, pushed out to sea, then shot with a flaming arrow.
If you could buy any building in London and live there, which would it be?
The London Aquatics Centre or my neighbour Joe’s house. It’s massive with good energy and he used to work in a record shop, so it’s full of vinyl. He’ll never sell up but if he reads this, he might take the hint and invite me around more.
What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?
Give the job to Athian Akec [former Youth MP for Camden]. He’s a big inspiration who has opened my mind about Black history, equality, austerity and socio-political thought — which is crazy, considering he’s only 19. I believe he’ll be Mayor some day soon, so it’d be nice for him to owe me one.
Brixton Academy or the more intimate Corsica Studios in Elephant & Castle. I played one of my best ever shows there.
“I’m a Liverpool fan and like to think I play like Trent Alexander-Arnold. A paintbrush of a right foot”
Deliveroo. It’s a crutch for young parents. After bedtime, storytime, it’s so tempting to order in and let someone else take the strain. I’ll get brilliant Vietnamese from Hai Café or something healthy but tasty from Eat Activ.
Favourite work of art in London?
My girlfriend. I know that’s not a proper answer but please let me have it.
Best thing a cabbie has ever said to you?
I once asked a cab driver who he’d had in his car recently. He said he’d taken Loyle Carner on a trip but he wasn’t very interesting. He never turned around, so didn’t realise it was me again.