Not Letting Go
by Tinie Tempah (featuring Jess Glynne)

Album: Youth (2015)
Charted: 1

Songfacts®:

  • This bass-heavy summer groover features a hook courtesy of vocalist Jess Glynne. "I've been a fan of Jess since I heard her song 'Home,'" said Tempah. "We met properly at the Brits last year and spoke about doing something together. We both had crazy summers and kept bumping into each other at festivals. We eventually set a date for studio with Bless Beats, who produced the track, and it just kind of happened."

    "Both being Londoners, I wanted to make a song that captured that London summertime feeling which is always the best time of the year for me and the time where I've had my most romantic experience," the rapper added. "So it's an ode to a girl I met and our experiences in this amazing city we call home – London!"
  • Tinie Tempah scored his sixth UK #1 with this song. His chart-topping sequence started in 2010 with "Pass Out," which was followed by "Written in the Stars" the same year. The run continued with the Rita Ora hit "R.I.P." in 2012, and the 2014 releases "Tsunami (Jump)" with DVBBS & Borgeous and "Crazy Stupid Love" with Cheryl Cole.

    This was Jess Glynne's fourth appearance oat #1 on the UK chart. She sang on Route 94's "My Love" and Clean Bandit's "Rather Be" chart-toppers in 2014 and reached the peak position in April 2015 with her own "Hold My Hand."
  • This was the starting point for Youth. When the song topped the UK singles chart it gave Tempah the direction for the record. He explained to HMV.com:

    "That's when I decided 'OK, cool, if Youth is gonna be nostalgic then I'm gonna take all the influences from stuff I was listening to growing up', whether that's Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff or Aaliyah and I put all of that into an R&B record, or I take all my influences from house music and put that into a song like 'Girls Like', which Nana Rogues (producer) did."

    "So the concept was literally that, getting in loads of different producers who were capable of listening back all through our youth and creating something that really resonated with us, and 'Not Letting Go' was really the first installment of that."
  • Tinie Tempah explained the song's meaning during a Guardian webchat:

    "Not Letting Go is about two things: before Not Letting Go the vibe I felt was that: could he do it again? At that time I also fell deeply in love with someone, in love for the first time - this was real love. Not Letting Go has a double meaning, in the sense that: I'm not letting go of the music industry, whatever you guys think, 'you make me stronger', that's me and Jess talking about the music industry. And we came back with a number one. But people were wondering: is he here to stay, is he flash in the pan? So I wrote a song that I could dedicate to someone I love, but also reference my place in the British music industry. A lot of songs on Youth have that double meaning."

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