Central Cee may not have the largest repertoire of released music – the 22-year-old rapper only dropped three singles last year: the jazz-infused Loading, the gritty drill tune Molly and the straight-to-the-point banger A Day in the Life, but that hasn’t stopped him becoming one of the most talked about new artists in London. In fact, he’s already earned co-signs from the likes of BBC 1Xtra rap show host Tiffany Calver, US rapper Big Sean and UK drill pioneer (and former classmate) Digga D. It’s no wonder, as he brags in the opener of his latest single Pinging (6 Figures), record labels are offering him six figures (which, of course, he turned down) to sign him.
Hailing from West London, Cench has been immersed in music since the age of eight when he would delve into his dad’s hip-hop collection. He started uploading songs to YouTube when he was 14-years-old (since taken down, in case you went looking), and even featured on AJ Tracey’s Spirit Bomb remix back in 2016. But it was 2019’s Next Up freestyle and his 2020 Mad About Bars session that really started turning heads, as he reeled off quotable punchlines with a distinctive flow and self-assured charisma.
As we wait with bated breath for his upcoming mixtape Wild West, we got the 100% lowdown on Central Cee.
10%: Where were you born, where were you raised and where are you now based?
I was born in West London. I was raised in Shepherd’s Bush, and I still live there now.
20%: What’s a piece of advice that changed your life?
It’s a bit cliché, but “mind over matter”.
30%: You rule the world for a day. What went down?
Something corrupt. Or I’d put an end to the coronavirus.
40%: What’s a bad habit you wish you could kick?
You know what, I don’t feel like I’ve got any bad habits. I don’t drink or smoke.
50%: When did you find your confidence as an artist?
I started releasing music when I was 14-years-old, so I always had the confidence. I don’t know what made me so confident ‘cos I was actually shit back then.
60%: What kind of emotions and experiences influence your work?
70%: Do you believe horoscopes?
I don’t think so. But my one is actually accurate quite a lot of the time. I can’t understand how it is, I don’t really get it.
80%: Who would you most like to see on the cover of The Face?
One of my guys, Kairo Keyz.
90%: How did you celebrate your last birthday?
We couldn’t do much because it was lockdown. I don’t really celebrate my birthday that much. I’m not really a big celebrater. I was just inside my house with a couple of my people.
100%: No.1 holiday destination?