Tricky returns with a new album, and a bevy of talented songstresses and beatsmiths. Watch his ‘Nothing Matters’ video with Nneka here.

Tricky by Aldo Belmonte 004

So, what have you been doing lately?

Musically? I don’t hangout in that celebrity field, I just spend time with friends and family. You won’t catch me at the Brits, I have been to the Brits but if I won an award tomorrow, someone would have to go and collect it for me. The Brits is just a pat on the back to say you’ve made a lot of money for the music industry. I don’t give a fuck about that shit, I’m not social like that, I prefer a simple life.

This deal with K7! puts me back in charge, I’m in control of my own destiny rather than listening to someone else, I’m an older guy now, I don’t see the point of being on someone else’s label, making them money, doing what they say. For me, music is survival, I just need to make enough to travel and put my kid through school. If you want to be a millionaire and own a private jet then you need to charm the radio.

How long did it take to put the album together?

Two weeks.

Two weeks. Crikey.

Two weeks to write it and then time to mix and edit. Massive Attack took two years, so either I’m fast or they’re slow. I work fast because I get bored. If I have to work on a song for four days it’s not going to make the album. I’m not too precious about throwing things away. I have had a long career, I have made ten albums, I have achieved many things and I want to provide opportunities for others. If I do good, my artists will do good. If I make my best music now then my artists will come through.

Where do you find your artists?

Fran came to a audition and her performance blew me away. At first I was just looking for someone for my live shows but then I decided to put her on the album. Some friends introduced me to Fifi, I loved her demo, and now she’s also on my album. My younger brother is also on the label. He’s not on this album as he was in prison at the time.

I can’t speak for the others on my label, I don’t tell them what to do but I think the music industry is going in the wrong direction, we have people like Simon Cowell sitting on panels, judging people. That’s where we are – everybody wants to be a popstar, that’s not really an ambition. Why the fuck would you want to be famous?

That’s the age we’re in, it’s sickening to me. Like Justin Bieber, he can’t be happy. Why would anyone want to live like that. For instance, the people that listen to my music, I don’t want to call them fans because they’re not fanatical, they’re intelligent people, they don’t need to follow me around, I don’t need a cam in my house.

All my new music discovers me these days, my daughter likes to introduce me to new bands, at the moment I am listening to a new rapper, Hopsin, from LA. He’s very truthful, he says that you make it sound like doing drugs and being shot is good.

Plans for the rest of the year?

I have a short film coming out, it’s French with English subtitles. And touring, of course.

Tricky’s new album, False Idols, is out now. 

Words: Kim Wilson