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Hip hop pop duo ready to kick on; MARION MCMULLEN finds out how Rizzle Kicks are ready and waiting to score for the World Cup as they head out on a nationwide tour.

Byline: MARION MCMULLEN

LET'S skip to the good bit... Rizzle Kicks are rapping their way across the country with their own blast of lively, signature hip hop pop.

Nearly one and a half million people follow the platinumselling duo of Jordan "Rizzle" Stephens and Harley Alexander-Sule on Twitter and there is no stopping the irrepressible and fun-loving twentysomethings.

"There's a few ideas we want to throw out in the stratosphere," chuckles Jordan. "We're diverting into other media that we want in our artillery. Music is our passion, but we are capable of so much more."

Directing and writing a screenplay are high on his to-do list and he says: "The screenplay I'm working on at the moment is a social comedy kind of thing.

"I'm a fan of Woody Allen's work the way he interweaves five or six separate stories that come together in the end in some resolution.

"I've had some time to chill out recently and every night I make sure I get some lines down."

Meanwhile, Harley has been stretching his acting muscles appearing alongside David Essex in gangland movie Meet The Guvnors.

The guys from Brighton have certainly come a long way since their 2011 debut album Stereo Typical and the likeable lads have won lots of new fans popping up on TV on everything from Celebrity Juice and Sunday Brunch to Surprise Surprise, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Alan Carr's Chatty Man and The Jonathan Ross Show.

They even appeared on the Royal Variety Performance alongside Gary Barlow, Jimmy Carr and Dame Edna Everage.

Jordan recently turned 22, but says touring this time around feels different.

"I'm excited and it feels like ages since we last toured. It should be pretty boss. There's five in the band - we've added a sax and DJ this time around - and it should sound epic.

"It feels odd no longer being the 'new' band any more. We're now a band in the midst of this whirlwind that is mainstream music.

"It's going to be interesting this time around and we've just generally a more mature approach to performing... we've grown up since the last tour." And can't resist adding with a laughs: "We are going to be as entertaining as f***."

He jokingly says they might even throw in some seagull sounds at the start of the concerts to remind people of their Brighton roots.

"I'm not very organised and washing clothes is always a problem when you're touring, but we had a great woman on the last tour who was just amazing."

He pauses for a moment before saying: "I really should check she's coming along with us this time. I'm going to do that right after this. She made the last tour seamless. We really need her."

He also points out that the tour will really highlight Harley's singing voice this time around as the tempo of their second album - Roaring 20s - mixes with the high-energy of their early tracks.

Their return to the live circuit includes concert dates in Newcastle, Birmingham, Cardiff and London's Hammersmith Apollo, ending on March 7 before a homecoming gig in Brighton.

Jordan reveals they will also be involved with the World Cup later this year. "I don't have any more details yet," teases the football fan, "but there will be some involvement."

It's the next milestone for the duo who already have two top 10 albums under their belt.

James Corden made an appearance on the music video for their party anthem Mama Do The Hump, which led to films of people doing "The Hump" dance taking over YouTube.

Their hit single Skip To The Good Bit sampled the riff from EMF hit Unbelievable and Roaring 20s stormed into the chart last year, peaking at No3.

The album led to them working with the likes of jazz favourite Jamie Cullum and Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook, as well as The Wire's Dominic West, who features on That's Classic and Put Your Two's Up.

"That was down to the producer we were working with," says Jordan, "We were looking for a posh voice and he said 'Well, I know Dominic West.' "We were big fans of The Wire so it was great to have him on the album. My dad also sings on Wind Up and my mum sings on the track Lunatic, my cousins are on there as well."

He admits with a laugh: "It's a real family thing."

Go to www.rizzlekicks.com for further details.

CAPTION(S):

Jordan "Rizzle" Stephens and Harley Alexander-Sule of Rizzle Kicks, left, are about to head out on tour. The duo's second album, Roaring 20s, below, made the Top 10 on its release last year

Rizzle Kicks perform at the Roundhouse in Camden, London, as part of the iTunes Festival last year
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 9, 2014
Words:797
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