Tottenham-born Jermaine Scott, better known as Wretch 32, has had an explosive 2011. Branded as ‘the new don of UK hip-hop’ by fellow rapper and friend, Devlin, the 26-year-old certainly has the world at his feet after recently achieving his first number 1 with ‘Don’t Go’ and gleaning nominations for four MOBO awards, including Best Newcomer. Wretch recently took time out to speak to The Glasgow Journal’s Tom Collins about his upcoming tour, acting and the truth behind his name.
First of all, congratulations on your first UK No.1. How did it feel to achieve the top spot?
You know, I think it’s one of those things that I’ll never actually believe is true. It’s an incredible feeling to know that you have sold the most records out of every artist in the UK that week. I just felt an incredible sense of love from my fans. It made me believe that anything is possible.
How did you celebrate after hearing the news?
We had a quiet little drink and some food with some friends. We didn’t do the infamous ‘Number 1 party’ thing. I feel like I’ve partied too much this year already.
Now, moving onto the name. I associate the word ‘wretch’ with an unfortunate or an unhappy person but judging by your recent success I find it hard to believe that you are unfortunate or indeed, unhappy. So where does it originate from?
Well, my mum is Jamaican and in Jamaica ‘wretch’ means ‘slim’ or ‘skinny’ and when I was growing up that’s what she used to call me cause I was so skinny. The name just sort of stuck, though. Everyone calls me Wretch. And 32 is my lucky number so I thought it would be interesting to have my surname as a number. It’s kinda different.
Before pursuing a music career, you tried your hand at stage production and acting. Is this something you might go back to in the future?
Possibly. It’s not really my love right now cause of all the stuff going on with my music. But maybe in the future, given the position I am in, there is definitely a possibility of moving into acting.
So you could be the next Ludacris, starring in a Hollywood blockbuster?
Haha, yeah man. But I don’t know - sometimes doing things like that can have a negative affect on your music. I mean, Ludacris is a great rapper and he’s great in his films, but sometimes people should just stick to music.
Now, in October you’ll be coming to Glasgow. Have you ever been before?
Yeah man, a few times. I’ve done In Demand and I also performed at Barrowlands on Example’s tour. But yeah, really looking forward to coming back to Glasgow, you guys always give me so much love. You love a party man.
Finally, 2011 has been a huge year for you so far but what else can we expect from you in the coming months?
Well, we’d like to win some of the MOBOs we’ve been nominated for. Also, the tour starts in October so I’m really looking forward to that. And I really want to push this album. I want to make it as big as it can get really. And obviously myself too. I want to be considered as a top rapper. I don’t want there to be any argument about it.
So we can expect to see the Wretch 32 name everywhere?
Hopefully man, hopefully.