"People say that I'm a silly little boy in a hat, you've got to get that out of your brain," says Dappy, the N-Dubz star who's awaiting the release of his provocative solo debut album.
He is indeed wearing a hat, and is reclined on a sofa in his publicist's office flicking through a gossip magazine. He apologies and puts down the mag, which probably features at least one story about him or his former bandmates Tulisa and Fazer.
Now that I've got his full attention it becomes clear, he's capable of being much more than "silly".
"Hear my lyrics in my songs, you will hear that I'm not a silly boy and I'm giving you something to go home and rewind and think 'wow did he just say that' or 'wow that's got a proper meaning'. It isn't just 3 1/2 minutes of pop cheese," he says.
Dappy performing with N-Dubz
Proving his point, he performs the surprisingly political lyrics of his debut album's intro: "When I see Cameron I should grab him by his neck and raise him up like a uni fee, how can these greedy people put our taxes in their pockets, f**king MPs, for me that just stands for maximum profit."
And it's not just the Prime Minister that's angering Dappy. London's Mayor also features in the rap. "I should take Boris on a road test, take him to the traps stick him in a hatch, show him how to plant trees and cook crack, now that's some dope sh*t," goes another line.
The 25-year-old singer won't tell me what political party he supports, but hints: "Put it this way, if they gave me a chance all these poverty driven areas would have half a chance and people would stop robbing things and causing crime."
We go on to discuss what he thinks was the cause of the London riots ("People can't get jobs even if they're smart as hell"). This is not the conversation I was expecting to have.
The father of two may be keen to change his image, as he says he's fed up of people that don't know him writing about him.
"I hate it when they say little words like 'N-Dubz tw*t' - it's really disrespectful. They don't realise you've got two kids that love you and that you're gold to those two kids.
"I'm not just a stupid dumb little boy, I'm good at what I do... If you chill with me for a week or a couple of days I promise that you're going to love the time that you spend with me and you're going to want to party with me again and again and you're going to see me as a good person to have in your phonebook and call… You have to give me a chance to show you that goodness," he explains sincerely.
Dappy, who happens to be Tulisa's cousin, is well aware about what people think about him. So he was probably just as surprised as the rest of the music industry when Queen rock legend Brian May said Dappy should have won an Ivor Novello for 'No Regrets' and his songwriting.
Spotting an opportunity to branch into another genre, something Dappy's very keen to do, he emailed May and asked him to collaborate: "He's the biggest rock star in the world so I emailed him my 'Rockstar' track and he said he wanted to do it. We went to number two with that track. I was gobsmacked."
What's refreshing about Dappy is he tells you what he thinks, straight up. And the biggest thing on his mind right now is going to number one with his first album...
"I need that number one under my belt, because everyone's said 'no you ain't going to make it, you ain't going to do it'...
"It's the kid thing of it... it's a f**king dream come true," he says, admitting he'd be gutted if it goes to number two. Not many artists are this frank.
"My song dropped out of the charts because of my controversial behaviour so they didn't play it on the radio," he notes. His management also reclaimed his Twitter account off him recently so that can't "send silly things out", he told Digital Spy.
As for an N-Dubz reunion, Tulisa has said it might happen next year, Fazer has said 2014, but Dappy says: "I don't know just yet. I like the success at the moment by myself. I think Tulisa is doing well with 'The X Factor' and I want more number ones by myself, I want to get a number one album, do some great collabs, travel some other countries, try and get some hits elsewhere."
‘Bad Intentions’ will be released on 22 October.
Suggest a correction