Album explores fame and wealth

Naughty Boy.  PA Photo/Charlie Gray.
Naughty Boy. PA Photo/Charlie Gray.

Naughty Boy is on his way home from a live session and interview at BBC Radio 1.

The same week, he’s already done Radio 2 and a handful of commercial stations, demonstrating the wide appeal of his music.

He’s perhaps most famous for co-writing and producing Emeli Sande’s award-winning album Our Version Of Events. Plus he’s worked on tracks by the likes of Cheryl Cole, Britney Spears, JLS, Tinie Tempah, Jennifer Hudson and Leona Lewis.

But now it’s time for Naughty Boy, real name Shahid Khan, to step out from behind the mixing desk and release an album of his own music.

It’s called Hotel Cabana, inspired by his time working in a luxury hotel not far from his home in Watford, and features a host of famous voices.

“Getting those people on there is a good way to catch listeners,” says Khan, 28. “The artists featured on the album - I wasn’t trying to make their kind of music, I was making a Naughty Boy album and they’re singing on it, they’re guests. I wanted to take them out of their comfort zone with the musical style and lyrics. It was exciting, not just for me but for them too.”

He adds: “I’d never seen the five-star world before working there [at the aforementioned hotel] and I became a bit obsessed with it all.

“It was a weird environment: people with a lot of money, a lot of waste, a lot of affairs and escapism. Lifestyle of the rich and famous and all that...

“I always thought there was something not quite right about the whole thing, and doing an album about a hotel is perfect.

“It lets me discuss morality, temptation and money, all the things that people have in life, looking at how what you want and what you need are different, exploring fame and celebrity and how people crave it. Hotel Cabana represents the age we live in.”