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Interview: Rizzle Kicks chat ahead of gig at Cheltenham Racecourse

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 28, 2014

Rizzle Kicks

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JORDAN ‘Rizzle’ Stephens is running around his west London flat in his boxer shorts while a taxi waits for him outside.

“You’ll have to excuse me,” says one half of the hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks, searching for a T-shirt. “I can do two things at once though.”

The car is waiting to take him to a meeting with Beats By Dre headphones, a company they’re ‘collaborating’ with at the moment.

You couldn’t blame the audio company for wanting to be involved with the duo.

They are, after all, embarking on their biggest ever tour with The Centaur at Cheltenham Racecourse on Sunday their next stop.

To mark the achievement, they’ve added a saxophone player and DJ to their live band and the stage design will be more elaborate than the “little boring ramp” they had last time.

“There’ll be more colour in the backgrounds, platforms, loads of stuff...” he continues.

“We need to make it more of a show at every step. There are going to be a lot of fans who’ve seen us before and we don’t want to make it the same for them.”

To prepare for the tour, the live band, which features Jordan’s dad Herman on bass, rehearsed for a couple of weeks before Jordan and his much quieter bandmate Harley Alexander-Sule joined them.

The duo formed properly when the pair, already friends from school in Brighton, attended the BRIT school in south London, an establishment that boasts the likes of Adele and Amy Winehouse as former students.

Jordan began putting his own versions of his favourite songs on YouTube and asked his friend, who was studying to be an actor, to sing on them too.

“It’s mad to think how I was fully prepared to go to drama school,” says Harley, also 22.

“We started doing stuff together, but when college finished, I was always just going to study acting – that was my passion. Jordan persuaded me to give it a year, and then if nothing happened with the music, I’d go back to drama school. I thought ‘Why not?‘

“Within two months we’d been signed and six months later we’d had a hit single.”

The pair signed to Island Records, getting to work on their debut album, Stereo Typical, which spawned six singles including Down With The Trumpets and Mama Do The Hump.

Their second album, Roaring 20s, was released last year with Jamie Cullum and Fatboy Slim both involved in the creative process.

The gig on Sunday starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £19.50. Call 01242 513014.

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