Tinchy Stryder, born as Kwasi Danquah, is a Ghanaian-English grime vocalist and an industrialist, famously dubbed as ‘The Star in the Hood’. Born in Ghana and brought up in London from a young age, he has a distinctly positive outlook on life despite his tough upbringing and is determined to be a positive role model for kids across the country. Having started learning music at the age of 13, he was seen on pirate radio sets with other well-known grime MCs such as Dizzee Rascal in his teenage years. After appearing in several singles of other bands, his debut album ‘Star in the Hood’ was released in 2007. His next album, ‘Catch 22’, was his most successful album featuring hit singles such as ‘Number 1’ and ‘Never Leave You’, both of which topped the UK Singles Chart giving him the first #1 single of his career. Since then, he has distinguished himself from other singers, releasing several other unique singles. Apart from being a vocalist, he is also an entrepreneur serving as the head of several companies. He is the founder and the chairman of the clothing line company, ‘Star in the Hood’. He is also the chief executive officer of Takeover Roc Nation, a global independent record label company, and the founder of Goji Electronics. Over the years, he has emerged as a successful businessman and undoubtedly one of the UK’s most exciting artists.
Childhood & Early Life
He was born as Kwasi Danquah on September 14, 1986, in Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana, and moved to East London at a young age.
From 1995 to 2008, he lived in Bow, London and was brought up in one of the capital’s most dangerous boroughs, Tower Hamlets. He received his early education from St. Bonaventure's Catholic Comprehensive School in nearby Forest Gate, Newham.
He forayed into music at the age of 14 on pirate radio sets in East London with other established grime MCs such as Wiley and Dizzee Rascal. He was also part of a well-known grime group, ‘Roll Deep’, featuring in some songs including ‘U Were Always’.
Later, he obtained a degree in B.A. (Hons) in Digital arts, Moving image and Animation from the University of East London.
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In 2006, he was hired by two forward thinking teenagers, Archie Lamb and Jack Foster, to play at one of the club nights they ran. The three of them struck an immediate bond and later on he signed to their company, Takeover, for management, live performances, recording, merchandise and publishing.
In August 2007, his debut solo studio album, ‘Star in the Hood’ was released on the independent record label ‘Takeover Entertainment Ltd.’ This album spawned two main singles, ‘Breakaway’ and ‘Something About Your Smile’ with British singer-songwriter Cylena Cymone. The bonus track ‘Mainstream Money’ was also released as an underground single in November 2007.
In 2009, he released his second solo studio album, ‘Catch 22’, which was influenced by the electro hop and alternative hip hop genres. The album’s single, ‘Take Me Back’, peaked at #3 on the U.K. Singles chart in January 2009.
Then he collaborated with N-Dubz to release the single, “Number 1”, which entered the U.K. chart at #1 in keeping up with its title. Later he released another single titled ‘Never Leave You’ with Amelle Berrabah, which became his second #1 hit.
In 2010, he released his third solo studio album, ‘Third Strike’ but it failed to match the commercial success of his previous albums. The album charted poorly when released, reaching only the 48th spot on the U.K. Albums chart,
In 2011, he planned to release another solo studio album, ‘Full Tank’. Although the album was scrapped later on, the lead single from the album, ‘Spaceship’, was released which peaked at #5 on the U.K. Singles chart. The single featured guest vocals from N-Dubz rapper and singer Dappy.
He is also a leading industrialist, who in 2006 founded ‘Star in the Hood’, an international fashion company featuring mid-range to luxury clothing lines. Since 2009 he has been serving as the Chairman and C.E.O. of the organization.
In 2010, he aligned Takeover Entertainment Limited, with entertainment powerhouses such as ‘Roc Nation LLC’ and ‘Live Nation’, and created ‘Takeover Roc Nation’. He serves as the Chairman of Takeover Entertainment, and C.E.O. of Takeover Roc Nation.
In 2012, he released a line of consumer electronics and struck a joint venture deal with ‘Dixons Retail Group’ to partner with his firm, Goji Electronics, in creating a range of headphones and audio equipment. He is currently the C.E.O. and Creative director of Goji Electronics.
Catch 22’, was his most successful album featuring hit singles such as ‘Number 1’ and ‘Never Leave You’, both of which topped the UK Singles Chart giving him the first #1 single of his career.
He is a also an entrepreneur having interests in diverse domains, such as fashion, entertainment and electronics. He is the C.E.O. of ‘Star in the Hood’ (fashion company), ‘Takeover Roc Nation’ (entertainment company) and ‘Goji Electronics’
Awards & Achievements
In 2008, he won the ‘Urban Music Award for Best Video’ for “Stryderman”, one of the lead singles from his second studio album, ‘Catch 22’. The album with its other hit singles such as "Never Leave You" and "Number 1" also earned him nominations in the Music of Black Origin Awards (MOBO), Brit Awards, Mp3 Music Awards, and MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA).
In 2010, he was nominated for an additional two MOBOs. In 2011, he won the ‘MOBO Award for Best Single’ for ‘Spaceship’, a non-album single with the hip hop vocalist, Dappy, of N-Dubz.
Personal Life & Legacy
When he was young he wanted to become a footballer. He was a left-footed player and used to play in the striker position. Presently, he supports Manchester United.
He is also into philanthropy and does charity work for 'Keep a Child Alive' (KCA), which brings dignified treatment, care and support to children and families affected by HIV.