Tinchy Stryder

Tinchy Stryder

Stryder being interviewed in 2010
Background information
Birth name Kwasi Danquah
Also known as
  • Tinchy Stryder
  • The Star in the Hood
Born 1987
Origin Bow, London, England
  • Rapper
  • entrepreneur
  • investor
Years active 1997–present
Associated acts
Website tinchystryder.com

Kwasi Danquah (/ˈkwsi dæŋˈkwɑː/ KWAY-see dang-KWAH), better known by his stage name Tinchy Stryder (born 1987)[1][2] and also as The Star in the Hood, is an Ghanaian-born[1] English[3][4] rapper, entrepreneur and investor.

Stryder has released three solo studio albums, Star in the Hood (2007), Catch 22 (2009), and Third Strike (2010).

Stryder's business ventures include the clothing line Star in the Hood, the Cloud 9 X Goji headphone and audio equipment range in collaboration with Goji Electronics.


Early life and education

Stryder was a resident in the United Kingdom from 1995 until 2008,[5] in Bow, London and he attended St Bonaventure's Catholic School in nearby Forest Gate, Newham;[1] this is where he met one of his lifelong friends to this day, Callum Snell. He gained a B.A. (Hons) in Digital arts, Moving image and Animation at the University of East London.[6][7] He began making music in 1997 and started in business almost immediately after completing his A-levels in 2006.

Music career

1997–2006: Music career beginnings

Stryder's recordings date back to 1998. He appeared in 2000[8] on pirate radio along with Dizzee Rascal and Wiley,[9] and was part of grime collective and record production team Ruff Sqwad from 2001. His pseudonym Tinchy Stryder derives from Strider and from the nickname given to him "Tinchy":[5][10] his height at 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m).[11]

In 2002, the grime group Roll Deep was formed, and included Stryder and Dizzee Rascal. They were making music that was a derivative of garage. For a while, there was not even a name for it. The name "grime" was the one that stuck.[12] While performing with Roll Deep, Stryder performed some songs including, "U Were Always" in 2002, which was released years later on Roll Deep's compilations album, Street Anthems in 2009. He also performed on Roll Deep's 2004 mixtape, Creeper Vol. 2.[12]

In 2003, Stryder featured as a cameo in the music video of Dizzee Rascal's third single from his debut album Boy in da Corner, "Jus' a Rascal", and would feature on the Ruff Sqwad albums Guns and Roses Volume. 1 in March 2005 and Guns and Roses Volume. 2 in October 2006.[13]

2006–08: Star in the Hood

The debut album by Stryder, Star in the Hood, was released on 13 August 2007 on Takeover. The album spawned two main singles, "Breakaway", which was released on 9 April 2007 and "Something About Your Smile", was released on 6 August 2007. Bonus track "Mainstream Money" was also released as an underground single in November 2007.[10]

In 2008, Stryder released his debut extended play, Cloud 9 The EP, which was released on 31 March, also on Takeover.[14] This was succeeded by him and grime record producer Maniac collaborating on the album, Tinchy Stryder vs. Maniac, which was released on 24 November 2008.[15] Only one single was released from the album, "Rollin", which was released in October 2008.[16] This track was also included on his 2009 second solo studio album, Catch 22, as part of the, Deluxe 2-Disc Edition, and he would collaborate with American band Gang Gang Dance on their album Saint Dymphna that was released in October 2008.

2008–10: Catch 22

Stryder began a partnership with English record producer and songwriter Fraser T Smith.[17] According to Smith in an interview with HitQuarters, "Kwasi had no shortage of beats and cool sounding production, but I think he wanted to try and break through into the mainstream, and I had some experience crossing underground over into mainstream having worked with artists like Craig David."[17]

The single "Stryderman", was released on 20 July 2008. It was the first single taken from Catch 22. The second single, "Take Me Back", was released on 19 January 2009.[18][19] His third single, a collaboration with the English hip-hop band N-Dubz entitled "Number 1," peaked at number 6 on the European Hot 100 Singles. His fourth single from Catch 22, "Never Leave You", was released on 3 August 2009 with the album following on 17 August 2009. "Never Leave You" peaked at number 5 on the European Hot 100 Singles on the week of its release. Catch 22 debuted at number 11 on the European Top 100 Albums. The fifth and final single from Catch 22 is "You're Not Alone," which was released in November 2009 and samples the Olive song of the same name.[20]

In February 2010, Stryder headline toured for the third time, he invited the English singer Example and rapper JME as his supporting acts. The tour was Stryder's second sell-out tour after he toured in 2009 and helped in raising the profile of Example.[21] Stryder opened on the pyramid stage at the England Glastonbury Festival, on Saturday, 27 June 2010. He also performed at the O2 Arena in England, for the Transformation Trust's first birthday alongside The Saturdays.[22][23]

2010–11: Third Strike

Stryder's third solo studio album, Third Strike was released on Monday, 15 November 2010 and was an unsuccessful album.[24] Stryder began recording Third Strike shortly after he completed his previous album; he then released a promotional single, "Gangsta?", six months prior to the release of the studio album. This was followed by the release of the first official single, a year from the day he released his second studio album. He began working with Fraser T Smith who had also worked on his second studio album. English singer Taio Cruz produced the largely, along with Fraser T Smith. The album title was picked by the title of Street Fighter III 3rd Strike which was also a massive success. Third Strike features several artists, including English singer Amelle, with whom he collaborated on Catch 22 on the single "Never Leave You". The album features Taio Cruz who also featured on the Stryder's last album. The album also features artists affiliated with Roc Nation: Canadian singer Melanie Fiona on "Let It Rain", American singer Alexis Jordan, and American singer Bridget Kelly on "Take The World". The song "Game Over" features six different artists. Eric Turner from the Swedish rock band Street Fighting Man also features on the album.

2011–14: Non-album singles

The first single from the scrapped studio album entitled Full Tank is "Spaceship" and it features English singer and songwriter Dappy from N-Dubz. Stryder performed at the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final in support of the single, making him the first rapper in history to perform at a UEFA Champions League final.[25][26]

He teamed up with Scottish DJs and record producers Calvin Harris and Matt Burns, credited as 'BURNS', for the second single from the scrapped album, "Off the Record".[27] On Thursday, 3 November 2011, Stryder announced in an interview that his fourth album would be entitled; "Full Tank".[28] On Tuesday, 3 January 2012, Stryder released the video for the third single from Full Tank entitled "Bright Lights" which features English singer Pixie Lott. There is also another version of the song entitled 'Bright Lights Part II' that is featured on Pixie Lott's second studio album, Young Foolish Happy.[29] In various media outlets in July 2012, Stryder spoke of the single "Help Me" being released in September 2012. The video of the single was released on 15 August 2012, featuring singer and songwriter Camille Purcell.[30] It has been described as "unmistakably Tinchy" and "among his better work".[30] On 25 December 2012, on his Facebook page, Stryder released a freestyle titled "Look At Me Now" along with it he said "Look out for the first single from my fourth album early next year. Can't wait to share this new music with you all!". This being said means "Spaceship", "Off the Record", "Bright Lights" and "Help Me" became non-album singles.

2014–present: The Cloud 9 LP / 360°

Four years after his last album, Stryder released a promotional single, "Misunderstood", on 14 April 2014. It was slated to feature on his forthcoming fourth album, but didn't make the final cut.

"ESG", the album's lead single, was released on 9 June 2014.[31] It features vocals from Takura and production by Show N Prove. Along with the release of the single, Tinchy announced that the new album would be titled 360°.

In October 2014, Stryder paired up with the Chuckle Brothers to release a charity single "To Me, To You (Bruv)" to raise money for the African-Caribbean Leukaemia Trust.[32]

Stryder participated in the fourteenth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, having been chosen by the public to complete one trial.[33] He left on day 22.

On 26 April 2015, Tinchy released a new non-album single, "Imperfection", featuring vocals from Fuse ODG.[34] Despite being playlisted by numerous UK radio stations, the song failed to enter the UK Singles Chart.

On 8 May and 16 May 2015 respectively, Tinchy released "Six Four Stuff" and "Blurt" (featuring K2 World) for free download via SoundCloud. With the two grime singles, he announced that the new album was to be titled The Cloud 9 LP. On 23 August 2015, Tinchy released a video for a new song, "Sekky", which features vocals from fellow Ruff Sqwad member Roachee and production from Sir Spyro and Rude Kid.[35] This was the second song from the album to be premiered.

On 3 March 2016, Tinchy announced that The Cloud 9 LP / 360° will be released as a fourteen-track double album on 8 April 2016. This announcement was accompanied by the release of "Allow Me" (featuring Jme) as an "instant grat" single; those who pre-order the new album can instantly download the new single.[36]

Business career

Kwasi Danquah III
Born 1987
Residence Coloane, Macau Macau
Citizenship Dual Citizen: Republic of Ghana and United Kingdom (naturalized 1996)
Alma mater University of East London
  • Rapper
  • entrepreneur
  • investor
Title Chairman and CEO of S.I.T.H

President and CEO of Takeover/Cloud 9

Chairman of Takeover Entertainment

CEO and SEVP of Takeover Roc Nation

CEO and Creative director of Goji Electronics

In 2006, Tinchy created Star in the Hood, an international fashion company, then in January 2009, he founded the global publishing company, Cloud 9 Publishing.[37] In June 2010, he aligned Takeover Entertainment Limited, with entertainment powerhouses Roc Nation LLC and Live Nation, and created Takeover Roc Nation.[38] The joint venture ended in 2013 but he remains close to Roc Nation.

In 2012, Tinchy struck a joint venture deal with Dixons Retail Group to partner with Goji Electronics in creating a range of headphones and audio equipment. Tinchy's first Cloud 9 X Goji collection became very successful, posting strong sales for two years straight. An entirely revamped second collection was released in November 2014.

In November 2011, he was hired by Honda's motorbike division for their pan-European campaign to push the division's Vision 50.[39]


Star in the Hood

Stryder created the clothing brand Star in the Hood, named after his pseudonym "Star In The Hood" in September 2006, it became global in 2010.[10]

Takeover/Cloud 9

In December 2008, Stryder created his own global publishing company, Takeover/Cloud 9 by a joint venture with EMI division EMI Music Publishing.[37]

Goji Electronics, Inc.

In June 2012, Danquah released a line of consumer electronics. The Goji Electronics line consists of the brand of headphones, Goji Tinchy Stryder, the Goji On Cloud 9 Audio equipment, a circumaural headphone, an on-ear headphone, an in-ear headphone, a series of HD over-ear headphones, a supra-aural headphone, travel speakers, also consumer electronics such as tablet computer, netbook and smartphone accessories.[40][41] The headphones are distributed by DSG International plc.[42][43] DSG International and Danquah announced the deal in June 2012. The Goji Electronics consumer electronics and audio equipment, known as Goji Tinchy Stryder and Goji On Cloud 9, were available for sale mid-July 2012 and are distributed by DSG International plc subsidiaries across Europe and Pixmania globally.[42]

Honda Motor Company, Ltd.

On 8 November 2011, Honda's motorbike division hired Stryder for their pan-European campaign. The campaign featuring Stryder was supported by Facebook, Inc., and a tie-up with fashion brand GAS in order to push the Vision 50, Honda's 50cc entry level scooter. The Vision 50 was launched on 8 November 2011 at the EICMA (Milan Motorcycle Show) in Milan, Italy along with six other bike models.[39]

Personal life

Stryder revealed in January 2010 that he wanted to become a footballer as a youth.[44][45][46] Stryder was a left-footed player who could play as a striker or second striker positions and was enrolled at the academy of Wimbledon F.C. from 2000 to 2003 and the youth team of Leyton Orient F.C. from 2003 to 2006.[47]

Stryder supports Manchester United, where he is known to have an executive box at Old Trafford.[48] He has said, "I've got a team in every country and Rangers are the team for me in Scotland".[49]

Charity work

On Thursday, 4 November 2010 Stryder attended the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in England, for Alicia Keys' charity, Keep a Child Alive charity ball and auction, along with other special guests. All proceeds from the auctions for the event were donated to Alicia Keys’ charity, Keep a Child Alive (KCA).[50] Stryder donates income from Goji Electronics to charity.[51]


Studio albums


Extended plays

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "The prince of grime comes of age". The Independent. 23 July 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  2. "UK number one for Tinchy Stryder". BBC News. 27 April 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  3. "Tinchy Stryder profile". Pressparty. Retrieved 2013-11-22.
  4. "Tinchy Stryder | MTV UK". MTV (UK and Ireland). Retrieved 2013-11-22.
  5. 1 2 Simon Hattenstone (24 March 2012). "The Saturday interview: Tinchy Stryder". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  6. Katbamna, Mira (20 August 2009). "Tinchy Stryder's university days". The Guardian. London.
  7. Press office, UEL (12 May 2009). "UEL Student is Number One in the UK singles chart three weeks running". University of East London. London. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  8. Universal Island Records. "Tinchy Stryder Biography". London. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  9. "Jay-Z - Key Mentor Jay-Z". Contactmusic.com. (Reuters). 25 July 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  10. 1 2 3 Petridis, Alexis (25 July 2009). "Tinchy Stryder: Rapping with the LibDems". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
  11. Tinchy Stryder. "I'm 5/5 in height and a size 6 with the footwear.... Any more questions??? Lool #HelpMe". Twitter. Retrieved 2013-11-22.
  12. 1 2 "Wiley Interview 2023". Rolldeep.co.uk. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  13. Smart, Gordon. "Tinchy inches to No1". The Sun. London. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  14. "Tinchy Stryder Cloud 9 - EP". iTunes. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  15. "Tinchy Stryder vs Maniac". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  16. "Tinchy Stryder VS Maniac - UK Record Shop". www.ukrecordshop.com. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  17. 1 2 "Interview With Fraser T Smith". HitQuarters. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  18. "Top 40 Singles Archive: Week 32, 31 January 2009". The Official Charts Company. January 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  19. "Three weeks at No.1 for Lady GaGa: Week 32, 25 January 2009". The Official Charts Company. January 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  20. Monday, 31 August 2009, 06:56 BST (2009-08-31). "Music - News - Olive want Tinchy Stryder collaboration". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
  21. In pictures: Tinchy Stryder plays the LCR at Norwich UEA BBC Norfolk.
  22. "The Saturdays top stellar support for children's charity birthday celebrations". Transformationtrust.org.uk. 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
  23. "Pyramid Stage openers announced". Glastonbury Festival. 2010-05-11. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  24. BBC Newsbeat, BBC News (8 February 2011). "Tinchy Stryder admits 'failure' of album Third Strike". BBC News. London. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  25. Smith, Caspar Llewellyn. "Tinchy Stryder to become first rapper to perform at Champions League final". Footytube. Valletta, Malta. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  26. "Tinchy Stryder to become first rapper to perform at Champions League final". The Guardian. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  27. "Tinchy Stryder Confirms New Single With Calvin Harris". Capital FM. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  28. Renshaw, David (3 November 2011). "EXCLUSIVE: Tinchy Stryder Reveals New Album Title". PopDash.com. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  29. "Tinchy Stryder - Bright Lights ft. Pixie Lott". Vevo. YouTube. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  30. 1 2 "Review of Help Me by Tinchy Stryder". MusicEyz.co.uk. 15 August 2012.
  31. "ESG by Tinchy Stryder". SoundCloud. 6 June 2014.
  32. "Tinchy Stryder's track with the Chuckle Brothers becomes internet sensation". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  33. "I'm a Celebrity's Tinchy Stryder wins four stars in Chamber of Horrors trial". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  34. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/imperfection-feat.-fuse-odg/id965830534
  35. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7r2TbnIn_w
  36. http://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/blog/premiere-tinchy-stryder-allow-me-ft-jme
  37. 1 2 "Tinchy team signs EMI joint venture deal". Music Week. 27 April 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  38. "Jay-Z and Tinchy Stryder team up on Takeover Roc Nation". BBC News. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  39. 1 2 "(in Italian) Tinchy Stryder testimonial per la nuova campagna di Honda". Pubblicità Italia. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011., Chapman, Matthew (8 November 2011). "Honda bikes hires Tinchy Stryder". Marketing (magazine). Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  40. "Products". Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  41. "We meet the man behind the label and find out about his collaboration with Goji headphones". Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  42. 1 2 "UK Rap Artist Tinchy Stryder Teams up with Goji to Develop New TechRange". DSG International. 11 June 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  43. "UK Rap Artist Tinchy Stryder Teams up with Goji to Develop New TechRange". Marketwire. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  44. "Tinchy Stryder: I could have been a professional footballer". NOW (British magazine). 6 February 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  45. "Tinchy Stryder alternate career in football". presspuppy.com. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  46. "KISS Takeover". Kiss TV. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  47. "Tinchy Stryder: 'I named myself after a Sega Megadrive game'". Daily Mirror. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  48. "Rio Ferdinand gives Tinchy Stryder signed Manchester Utd shirt (Number Five defender meets Number One chart star)". nme.com. 16 August 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  49. "If I'd bought Rangers I'd be playing for them myself". thesun.co.uk. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  50. "Tinchy Stryder – Stryder Headlines London Gig For Keys' Charity". Contactmusic.com. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  51. "Tinchy Stryder – Charity Work, Events and Causes". looktothestars.org. Retrieved 24 August 2012.

External links

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