Tulisa on her big comeback:
“I want it to feel like it used to feel when I was in N-Dubz”
Tulisa on her big comeback: “I want it to feel like it used to feel when I was in N-Dubz”
A quick recap: Camden-born Tulisa scored three platinum albums as part of underrated British hip-hop trio N-Dubz, became a household name when Simon Cowell hired her as an X Factorjudge, mentored Little Mix to victory in her first series, reached Number One with her Ibiza-ready solo single ‘Young’, and then, well, saw everything begin to crumble.
In June 2013, a high-profile tabloid sting led to Tulisa being arrested on suspicion of dealing class ‘A’ drugs. Though the case against her collapsed when a judge ruled that Mazher Mahmood (the infamous “fake Sheikh”) had lied to the court at a pre-trial hearing, her reputation, already threatened the previous year when an ex leaked their sex tape, was tainted. The way Tulisa was portrayed in the media often contained more than a hint of sexism and classism. One broadsheet columnist wrote in 2014 that “if Tulisa Contostavlos were middle class, she wouldn’t face such scorn”.
Now, two-and-a-half years after her last single, and almost exactly a year since she won a lengthy legal battle to be recognised as co-writer of the Britney Spears and will.i.am. banger ‘Scream and Shout’, Tulisa is back.
The playful, dancehall-flecked ‘Daddy’ is the first in a quickfire run of solo singles designed to return Tulisa to her urban roots. In person, she’s fun, friendly and surprisingly open for someone who could be forgiven for owning a voodoo doll shaped like a newspaper editor.
NME spoke to Tulisa briefly
Do you worry it might be difficult to work your clubby early solo singles, like ‘Young’, into a live set with you new material?
“Nah. Like every artist does, you just think about how you build your set and make sure you give people the hits. But I really wanna go back to playing with live bands again, because that was what I always used to do, what N-Dubz used to do, and it just feels right for me. I’ve played around a bit, and done the heavy dance thing, but overall my energy is more of a rock star. Just give me a microphone and a double JD and coke and let me rock out on stage! That’s what I’m good at, you know?”
listen to Tulisa’s new single ‘Daddy’ HERE.