Naughty Boy and friends head for ‘Hotel Cabana’

Who's a naughty boy then: Shahid Khan is a hot ticket right now. PA Photo/Charlie Gray
Who's a naughty boy then: Shahid Khan is a hot ticket right now. PA Photo/Charlie Gray

Naughty Boy has stepped out from behind his mixing desk for his solo debut album which like all good music is based on experience.

Best known for his co-writing and producing plaudits with the likes of Emeli Sande, Naughty Boy, aka Shahid Khan, is a hot ticket right now on the British music scene.

It’s called Hotel Cabana, a concept of sorts inspired by his time working in a luxury hotel not far from his home in Watford.

It features a host of famous voices including Professor Green, Ed Sheeran, Wiz Khalifa and Bastille, while Emeli Sande and Tinie Tempah also appear on a track or two.

Khan explained that this time, it was about what artists helping him, not the other way around.

He said: “Getting those people on there is a good way to catch listeners.

“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.”

According to Khan the luxury hotel had held a certain fascination for him and was a perfect catch-all for his album.

He said: “I’d never seen the five-star world before working there 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.”

‘Hotel Cabana’ took two years to record, mainly due to waiting for windows in the schedules of some of music’s busiest artists.

Khan insisted they all came to his studio - not just to bring their vocals but their ideas as well.

He said: “They’re not just singers I’ve got on the album, they’re songwriters and they’ve got what I was trying to do.

“I was bringing them into my world, but at the same time I needed them to bring a part of themselves to it too.

“I’m a producer, so it was important for me to be in control.”