Slowthai has spoken out on his controversial behaviour at the NME Awards 2020, admitting that his actions were “inexcusable” and that he’s “learning every single day”.
During the ceremony at London’s O2 Academy Brixton back in February, an interaction between Slowthai (real name Tyron Frampton) and comedian Katherine Ryan (who was co-hosting with Julie Adenuga) escalated to what he describes as “to a point of shameful actions on my part”. Later in the show, Slowthai left the ceremony following an altercation with an audience member who accused him of misogyny as a result of the evening’s earlier events while accepting the fan-voted Hero Of The Year Award.
Frampton later apologised for his “shameful” behaviour” and asked for his award to be given to Ryan, who later stated that he “didn’t make her uncomfortable” and that she was able to “diffuse” the situation with her skills as a comedian.
Now in a new interview, the rapper has reflected on the evening and the world’s reaction after footage spread across social media. He revealed that he hasn’t drunk alcohol since the event which he admits, “taught him a lot about his habits, be it drinking or being so outspoken and impulsive.”
“It’s inexcusable to do anything like that, but people just see one side,” he told Dazed. “You can’t judge a book by a two-minute video clip.”
He continued: “For the way I acted, I’m remorseful. I’m learning every single day, and I’m never going to stop learning. I know that it’s never something that will come across from me ever again. I was just playing into a joke, and people took it how they took it.”
As well as Tweeting about the incident, Ryan later opened up about the experience on her podcast Telling Everybody Everything. “I said on the night, ‘No, I had a great time, I’m a comedian, these are the interactions that happened’,” she said on her show, “and you would not believe the amount of vitriol I had in my DMs.”
I knew you were joking and congratulations on your very award-worthy album! I hope you know that a bad day on social media passes so quickly. Everything will be better tomorrow. Xx
— Katherine Ryan (@Kathbum) February 13, 2020
He didn’t make me uncomfortable.
This is why we need women in positions of power. I knew he had lost from the moment he opened his mouth like any heckler coming up against a COMIC – not a woman – a COMIC. I was operating 2/10. What a sweet boy. I defused it.
Tonight was fun! ❤️ https://t.co/BBMPZpIvhy
— Katherine Ryan (@Kathbum) February 13, 2020
Speaking about the reaction at large, Slowthai said: “Katherine tweeted it first, she’s spoken about it multiple times, she’s even done a podcast about it. Believe it or not, I’ve read every single thing everybody said about me. I’ve read it all. Anyone who still thinks negatively of me, you’re entitled to your opinion.
“I know what I am, anyone who’s around me knows who I am, and anyone who has been with me from day one knows what I stand for and believe in. That’s never changed for anybody or anything, and it never will.”
The rapper also later made reference to the incident on his new song ‘ENEMY’, which included a line from The 1975‘s Matty Healy from the night, saying: “Fuck knows where he is but god bless the boy.” Later, a female voice declares: “Slowthai, you have officially been cancelled. C**t.”
Speaking to NME about the track, Healy said: “I just got a FaceTime from Ty and he’s like, ‘Let me play you this! Let me play you this!’ And you know, Ty is actually a really sweet boy and a smart guy. He was just like, ‘Do you reckon this is cool? Is this alright? I’m not taking the piss or anything.’ I was like, ‘No, I know you’re not, it was part of the moment, I get it and to be honest with you I’m quite into it.’”
Healy continued: “I think that to demonise him when… we as a society love living through people like Slowthai. We love celebrating young people who are economically disenfranchised who are kind of anti-establishment who are doing these things, and they’re reckless and they’re wild. And we basically go, ‘Yeah, fucking go on! Yeah, do it for me! Say that thing for me! Do that thing for me!’ And then when it goes too far, we’re all a bit like, ‘Whoa’.”
He added: “But we’ve got this guy and we celebrate them, we put them in pantheons and then when they reveal themselves to be young and naive at times, we go, ‘Well, that’s not fucking good enough.’ It’s a bit like, it’s all part of an issue, you know? We need to be looking after young men a bit better before we start demonising them.”