Brighton duo Rizzle Kicks have exploded on to the UK scene since their home-made video for the summer anthem 'Down with the Trumpets' went viral on YouTube and landed them a major label deal.
Having built up a faithful army of fans through live show support of fellow British acts like Professor Green, as well as releasing their debut album Stereo Typical to critical acclaim and performing at the BRITs alongside Olly Murs, Jordan 'Rizzle' Stephens and Harley Alexander-Sule are embarking on a headlining tour of their own.
TaleTela caught up with the pair during some rare down time, as they talked life on tour, a food fight that ended in their hotel room being wrecked, and getting Space Jam-related tattoos...
You've just started your first headlining tour. Before you became big you must have had dreams about the 'tour lifestyle.' Has it met your expectations?
Jordan: That's a cool question actually, because when we released 'Down with the Trumpets' the gigs that we were doing were little supports, like we supported Wretch 32 at XOYO or gigs in Brighton to maybe 50 people.
Since it kicked off we had a few radio gigs and people knew our name, but we hadn't been on tour. For some people, particularly our friend Ed Sheeran, that's how music started for him. He was touring for like two years straight.
We never had that but we love performing, so when we went on tour with Professor Green we were like, 'This is our first experience of touring, man!' And there's tour bus, and we're not coming back for like three weeks - this is crazy.
Harley: You hear stories and see films of this crazy, crazy madness and at times it is pretty crazy but you've also got to think about your personal health [laughs]. So there was a few times on our tour where we were like, 'OK we're not going out tonight because we've got stuff to do tomorrow.'
Are there any times it didn't live up to what it expected?
Jordan: No I think ultimately the nights out, it's fun, the gigging was great; I think what's different is that I think you're a little bit more isolated than you think.
Touring's amazing, but you can understand why artists have entourages and kind of like just chill. Because you're on the tour bus, it's very obvious, you've got people around it and if you want to leave the tour bus you've either got to be a knob and have security hold people back, or sneak into the venue or gate things off.
And then if you finish a gig and everyone's out in seconds around the tour bus you've got to kind of sit down for like 40 minutes and then you've got to go out and make sure you appreciate the fans, and if you don't do it you feel a bit bad. Or if you go out to a club you have to be in VIP...
You HAVE to?
Jordan: Yeah man! Believe me, we've tried - it's so difficult to explain how weird it is that we can't just go to a club and just go to the main room. I promise you we've tried it. Like, 'Yeah let's just go to the club man, we'll all go in,' but you know, what would you do if you want to go to the bar, go get a drink, and in that process - and I don't even like saying it because it feels weird - but during that process, that basic movement, you'll have to stop 8 or 9 times?
And people are like 'Oh, it'll be fine in the club', but it's worse! Pissed people are like [drunkenly] 'Oh yeah, what are you having mate!' So yeah, we get a sectioned part of the club. It can be a little bit weird, but touring is ultimately awesome.
You must have some tour stories?
Jordan: Tour was pretty crazy in terms of the nights out and the chilling out in the day time. We had a huge food fight with Professor Green as well. We had some beef with him and ended up completely smashing a dressing room to pieces and it cost like £1,500 to renovate.
Where was that?
Jordan: In Bristol. Basically he let a fire extinguisher off in my face. So it was like pure war from that. Then we had some Twitter beef - it was all fun and games - and then I thought, 'Right, if we're going to get him back we're going to wait until the last night'.
So Bristol was the last night we performed with him, we rushed him on the stage, then we egged him when he came off stage. Then him and his crew came into our dressing room and we got tooled up with cheese and Nandos and stuff. The whole floor was just coated in shampoo. They had to repaint the walls...
Harley: The sofas were f**ked.
Jordan: It was just completely... We left without paying for it as well...
Harry Hill gatecrashed your concert in Shepherd's Bush the other night. Which celebrity do you have in your phone book you'd have never expected?
Jordan: That's a difficult one. I don't know, I'm trying at the moment to be a bit more schmoozy. Is that the right word? To like 'capitalise' on the circles we're moving in.
Jordan: Yeah, it's interesting and always a bit funny. We've got our mates, we live with two of our mates, so it's funny to see what else is going on.
You know what (to Harley: I think you'll agree with this), even though there are some weirder ones, I think Fearne Cotton. Purely for the fact that we grew up watching her and had crushes on her and now, you know, we went to her Christmas party and ended up staying late. We met her boyfriend, who's wicked. She's just so lovely and every time we see her she's just like 'You need to come down for a drink' and stuff. It's just kind of awesome.
You must have been pretty nervous before your performance at the BRITs. What was going through your mind while you were crouched in that cage made of female dancers?
Harley: 'If I mess up, a lot of people are going to see'
Jordan: In rehearsals I was putting my microphone through their legs and they were trying not to laugh and stuff, it was funny. During the performance I was just saying to myself 'When you stand up, don't trip over'. And I changed some of the lyrics just to make it relevant to BRIT Awards and I thought 'If I f**k them up, I'm an idiot'.
Harley: And we had in-ear monitors in, so when they popped out we couldn't hear anything. So we thought no-one cared. We thought we'd hear [crowd cheering] but we didn't hear any of that. So we were just like 'Oh.' But then we watched it back and it was alright.
Did you get any tips from Olly Murs?
Jordan: Olly was nervous himself! But you know Olly, he was just like [Essex accent] "Come on lads, let's do it! Rizzles!"
I was reading your old blog Your Daily Kicks...
Jordan: Oh s**t, I keep forgetting that's on the internet.
There's stuff that documents what life was like before you were signed and there was also stuff that the label now might look at and be like [oh!].
Jordan: What, us dissing people?!
Well yeah, there was a day in the week when you typically had a rant.
Jordan: Tuesday, day of disrespect.
It was interesting to see a snapshot of what you were like when you were unsigned, and how quickly you've gone from that to performing at the BRITs.
Jordan: That's kinda why I want to keep it up there. I don't really care much about taking it down.
Do you occasionally think you've blown up too quickly and want to slow things down and soak it all in?
Jordan: I think it's a weird one, ultimately we can never be annoyed at the fact we've been successful so rapidly. But it is hard to take in. When we've got friends now like Jessie [J] and Ed, and people who are just killing it on a worldwide scale, you kind of think that even we're going slowly.
I don't think we'd wish for it for it to slow down, it is an odd one. But we're taking it gradually. I think there'll be a point where we feel a little bit more comfortable.
What's the biggest thing you dreamed of doing before you got famous and have you done it yet?
Jordan: [thinks] Dunno, don't have a clue. That's too difficult. I dreamed of a lot of things.
OK, what's the biggest thing you still want to do?
Jordan: Direct a film
I was looking at your list of favourite films on Your Daily Kicks, which was yours again?
Harley: Mine was Dogma.
Jordan: Space Jam... you've got to look at the other films on the list as well, though! Space Jam just means a lot to me. I'm getting the logo tattooed on me. I love Space Jam.
What the half Michael Jordan, half Bugs Bunny thing?
Jordan: No, no, just the Space Jam logo. I'm not going to get a tattoo of f**king Michael Jordan!
Rizzle Kicks are playing dates across the UK now until late July before heading off on another tour in November.