My Secret Life: Taio Cruz, singer-songwriter, 26


My parents were ... My father is originally from Nigeria and is a lawyer; my mother is Brazilian and used to run her own hairdressing company. They are still together.

The home I grew up in ... was a five-bedroom house in Kensal Rise in north-west London. It was me, mum, dad and my elder brother. Though he and I went to separate boarding schools, so I didn't see him that often.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... a lawyer; when you're young you want to do what your dad does. I would've been good at law but my heart wasn't in it in the end.

If I could change one thing about myself ... Are you allowed to say nothing?

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... designing and editing. I'm not just about the music, I do my own album covers too.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... pop quizzes.

At night I dream of ... I used to have big superhero dreams of flying. I haven't dreamt much recently; if I do it's usually just a stream of thoughts running through from the day.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... I sometimes think: "Wow, I used to be much younger. So I did actually grow up after all."

My favourite item of clothing ... is a plain black Hermès belt with a silver 'H' on the buckle; I wear it every day.

I wish I'd never worn ... the clothes my stylist chose for my 'Moving On' video. They didn't represent the person I am.

I drive ... I have an Audi R8 and an Audi TT. The R8 is impressive and fun to drive around and look cool in, but you can't shop with it as there's no room in the boot. The TT is also fast though it doesn't look as cool, but I can go to Selfridges in it and fill my boot with shopping. Plus, it doesn't attract as much attention.

My house is ... quite big and overlooks the Thames. It's kind of contemporary with slick wood floors, in opposition to the cosy furniture, and with lots of bean bags.

My favourite work of art ... is Leonardo da Vinci's 'Vitruvian Man'. To me it conjures up images of trying to be successful – the numbers and drawings are indicative of formulas, of finding ways of figuring things out and navigating your own path to success.

My favourite building ... is the Apple store in New York.

A book that changed me ... 'How to Win Friends and Influence People', by Dale Carnegie, most probably.

Movie heaven ... would be a full-sized screen in my house, cuddling up to my girlfriend. If I wasn't compromising on the movie it would be a huge blockbuster, sci-fi, epic, comedic extravaganza. Like 'Independence Day'.

The last album I bought ... Don't know. But the last single was Owl City's 'Fireflies'.

My secret crush ... is no secret: Megan Fox.

My greatest regret ... I don't do that. If there is anything to regret, I use that to fuel my progression rather than dwelling on what went wrong: turn the frown upside down.

My real-life villain ... is Osama Bin Laden.

The person who really makes me laugh ... is Jimmy Carr. You have to pay attention; he's not slapping-himself-in-the-face funny.

The last time I cried ... was watching the end of 'The Pursuit of Happyness' with Will Smith.

My five-year plan ... If you have exact plans, you set yourself up for disappointment. I don't work like that, but I am going to stay focused on my music while expanding my record label and my accessories line.

What's the point? To have experiences. To feel stuff.

My life in six words ... Pretty damn fun while still chilled.

A life in brief

Taio Cruz was born in London on 23 April 1983. A singer, songwriter and music producer, he wrote Will Young's Brit Award-winning single "Your Game", Tinchy Stryder's recent Number One "Never Leave" and the single "Stand Up" for Cheryl Cole's debut solo album. Cruz also runs his own record label and accessories line, under the brand name Rokstarr. He lives in south-west London and the latest single from his Rokstarr album, "No Other One", is out now.

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