What’s the story behind the album?

When I started this album like three years ago, I just wanted this big analog 90s feel, but when I started actually making the beats, I started veering towards the more drum and bass, dubstep, garage kind of bassline sound, that’s what was exciting me the most. Then I’ve got Turno who produced two tracks off this album, then there is some of the more hip-hop stuff, like ‘Here For Now’, that was produced by Chencs, then I’ve got ‘Teddy’, which is that grime sound. There’s a bunch of different bits on there, the album was-- more so than anything-- just about having fun with making music again.

Do you have any advice for those within the upcoming grime scene in Liverpool?

The way the game is now yeah, no-one’s safe, so everyone needs to find their own thing, what works for me won’t necessarily work for anyone else. I’ve always liked Tremz though, I’ve always thought he was sick.

Obviously, London was quite territorial when it came to different neighbourhoods. I remember listening to a podcast with Giggs and he was saying respect to Dizzee, it was like the jungle and he just blew everyone’s hat off.

What was it like performing in different neighbourhoods back then?

You know what back then, it’s true what people are saying, it was dangerous to go into other ends, it was really territorial, but I just felt the love, but it was techy, sometimes it wasn’t love sometimes you could feel the danger, sometimes man were onto you as well, as much as man were onto you, there was always a pocket of man that already had your back and you didn’t even know, like Giggs and that. There’s a bunch of stories, one day they’ll come out, but yeah, the love was there too, that’s how I got to know my city and other cities too, around the country.

Is it true that you’re a heavy Thai boxer?

I’ve been training for years and I can look after myself, I always try and spa with pros and semi-pros, people that know what they’re doing, so that they don’t start rushing you and get carried away, that way you actually learn better.

Who were your musical inspirations growing up?

Shy FX, Tupac, Jay-Z, Three 6 Mafia, Nirvana.

Do you have a standout moment from your career?

I’d say the opening ceremony of the Olympics, because on that same ground maybe 10 or 20 years before, I was on the roof with Titch and Wiley, then it all got knocked down and they built the Olympics there, it’s quite deep to be fair.

During your pirate radio days, did you ever envision your career being this successful?

I don’t think so, if I’m being honest. At that point, when I was making Boy in da Corner, I was still on pirate radio, but I just wanted to make the biggest and best thing I could based on the albums that I loved, like All Eyez On Me by Tupac or Bone Thugs-N-Harmony by East 1999. I wanted it to be same quality while still making sure I spoke about where I was from and sounded like myself.

What does the future hold for Dizzee Rascal?

I’m just going to keep experimenting and just navigating the music industry, putting stuff out there. Raising kids in this kind of environment is different but its good.

Listen to the new Dizzee Rascal album, Don't Take It Personal, here