Monday 30 April
As Stephen Paul Manderson, aka Professor Green, geared up for his biggest UK tour to date, The MMP were spared a few moments to speak to the Hackney lad ahead of his Cardiff show. The down to earth, straight talker chatted about his successful collaborations, musical influences, his tour bus essentials and more.
You are about to start touring your current album At Your Inconvenience. Can you tell us a bit about the background of the album and what you got out of it personally?
At the time of writing the album I wasn’t in a good place and working on my music helped me a lot. It kind of put lot of things under a microscope for me and it was a very transitional period, but having said that the album is not all down beat. There’s a lot of upbeat stuff on there. I went into it with a clearer direction than the first album. I really enjoyed the creative process because I felt like I found my voice creatively.
There are some great collaborations on the album. How do you decide on who to work with?
I think when you write a song you can hear someone and normally you get an idea straight away. When I recorded Read All About It the only person I could hear on it was Emile [Sande]. I tend to work with people who I either know, like or who I have a great respect for. I’m not one to throw money at people. I don’t think you should ever collaborate on that basis.
Of all your collaborations, which would you say is your most treasured and are there any other artists you would love to work with right now?
Emile and I had such amazing success with that record but I think the friendship I got out of working with Lilly Allen is worth far more than the success I’ve had musically. You meet so many people in this industry you become acquaintances with and there are those who you like and get on with, but not so many friends. In terms of future collaborations, I’d love to do something with The Prodigy or on the complete other end of the spectrum, Lana Del Ray perhaps.
I’m sure you’re very excited to get the tour under way and looking forward to coming to Cardiff too. Can we expect to see any other artists joining you during your show?
Yes, definitely. I didn’t come to Cardiff last time – I think it’s over a year since I’ve been - but it’s a really good place to go and perform. It really depends where the show is and what people are around. It’s never easy to get people to gigs because we’re all so bloody busy. I’m definitely bringing out Rinse and Dream who collaborated on the How Many Moons remix, so they’ll be there at every show.
Everybody likes to have a nose around an artist’s tour bus, so what are the three most important things for you to have while on tour?
What can’t I do without? Errrr…..My toothbrush. To be honest I’m not really rock and roll anymore. For me it’s more like my toothbrush, my Beats by Dre box and my juicer. They keep me grounded and healthy.
2012 is being talked about as a big year for Britain, but what is Professor Green looking forward to apart from the upcoming tour this year?
I’m doing Wireless and V Festival this summer and we’re really trying to work out if I’m going to do Benicassim again. That was the biggest surprise for me last year because I never really knew what to expect and I had one of the most insane fucking crowds that I had all summer. So if I get to do it again I’ll be very, very happy. A day before I went out there last year I had to have a dental implant so I looked like a fucking chipmunk. My tour manager was telling me not to do the show, I was up to my eyeballs on codeine but I thought “fuck it, I’m doing it” and I did. I’m really looking forward to doing Ibiza Rocks aswell.
Words: Benjamin Price / @BenjaminRPrice