Tinie Tempah, whose real name is Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu, was born and raised in London, England.
Tempah was raised Catholic. His parents, who emigrated to England in their 20s, are Catholic Igbo people from Nigeria. All their children went to Catholic schools growing up. Tempah’s middle name, Chukwuemeka, means “God has done well.”
Talking about how important his faith is to him, Tempah said,
I definitely believe in God. I pray as much as possible. I think it’s imperative to have faith or religion, because it’s good to have morals, to be kind to others.
Tempah throws his support at the Labour party, so we can assume he’s at least moderately liberal.
He counts a few black American political figures as role models. He mentioned that he would like to have a cup of tea with Obama to see what his life is like. And he quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. on Twitter in response to the 2011 London riots.
He received some criticism for not playing a larger role in trying to calm the violence which stormed through South London, where he used to live. But those riots–and the protests of the Arab Spring–made enough of an impact on him to greatly influence his latest album, Demonstration. And he made his sympathies as well as disapproval for the rioting clear:
People were rioting for a cause. It was almost like a riot as well as a protest. But as all riots, sometimes hooligans just get involved. . . . Eventually why people were rioting it became a little bit unclear. . . . Nothing good is going to come of this, all we’re going to have to do is pay taxes to get everything repaired.
In a show of support for the music industry, Tempah along with other British musicians, composers, and producers signed a letter urging the government to do more to combat piracy of music online.
No word yet on his views on issues like gay marriage or climate change, but we might see more from him in the future. He’s intent on being a role model, and his interest in politics indicates he’ll probably use his influence in that sphere. For now, he just wants represent the good side of Britain’s youth:
When young people get talked about, it’s always negative: it’s ASBOs [Anti-Social Behaviour Orders] or shooting people or binge drinking. I want to be someone who represents people in a positive light. That’s become my prerogative.