Wretch 32: 'An education might not be enough – we need new lessons'

There's a new wave of British artists A few years ago grime and dubstep were not getting played and we were all moaning, "We're not on Later with Jools Holland, we're not getting played." So we all went back to the studio and said, "Let's make incredible tracks that the world needs to hear." So we stopped moaning, got more professional and put those songs out. Now when I see someone like Rihanna calling for artists such as Chase & Status to work with her, you realise there's something great going on in the UK.

There's a new wave of British artists A few years ago grime and dubstep were not getting played and we were all moaning, "We're not on Later with Jools Holland, we're not getting played." So we all went back to the studio and said, "Let's make incredible tracks that the world needs to hear." So we stopped moaning, got more professional and put those songs out. Now when I see someone like Rihanna calling for artists such as Chase & Status to work with her, you realise there's something great going on in the UK.

When you're young you always aspire to be like your dad Mine was a reggae DJ and it was interesting watching him playing with music and talking on the microphone; when I was listening to him, [I'd forget about] anything negative that might have happened to me, and he had a big part to play with where I ended up.

There's been a grey cloud hanging over Tottenham [following the riots] but I'm all about the fight, proving people wrong. In that week when Tottenham was shown in a negative light, I went to number one in the charts [with the track "Don't Go"] which I think says a lot, as I'm probably Tottenham's biggest urban spokesperson.

If young people in this country stand up when it counts, we can make a difference in society It's why I joined the Stand Against Violence campaign [set up by Adam Fouracre, whose brother was beaten to death by a gang]. Going through what Adam did is not something I'd ever wish on anybody.

I wish everybody had the drive to achieve their goals It's all to do with what people think they can achieve. Many young people are taught to finish school and get an education, but that might not be enough; there needs to be a new type of lesson, bringing in people who've made something out of nothing, to instill in young people that belief of possibility.

Moaning is a good thing My friends tell me I get a bit moany sometimes, but venting is important: it gets stuff out of your system.

Wretch 32, 26, is a rapper and grime MC. The Stand Against Violence campaign is backed by the O2's Think Big youth programme. Visit o2thinkbig.co.uk for details on how to join

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