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  1. ITV Report

Music producer Naughty Boy on why he didn't want his colour to be seen and the chance meeting that changed his life

  • Watch Rageh Omaar's full interview with Naughty Boy in the latest episode of Young, British and Muslim

It is hard to believe some aspects of Naughty Boy's journey from growing up on a council estate in Watford to producing music for the likes of Beyonce, Sam Smith and Rihanna.

The award-winning music producer, who got his first big break after appearing on Deal or No Deal, has opened up to Rageh Omaar in the latest episode of ITV News' digital series Young, British and Muslim and explained his rise to fame.

The 33-year-old, whose real name is Shahid Khan, told us how he created the alias Naughty Boy in order "to not be seen".

Naughty Boy and Emeli Sande helped launch each other's careers. Credit: PA

"No one could judge [Naughty Boy] based on his colour, or his ethnicity or even religion because when you hear music it's colourless, it's a colour that everyone in the world understands," he explained.

He added: "I'm so much more comfortable now to talk about being proud of being Pakistani, being proud of being Muslim because I've got a CV - those songs were given without me trying to sell my skin colour."

He also thanked Noel Edmonds for presenting him with a career-launching £44,000 after he forced the Deal or No Deal banker into making an offer.

"When you've got ten pounds in your bank account you don't know what £44,000 is going to feel like so up until it went into my bank account I just thought this is just a number," he said.

After appearing on the game show, Naughty Boy says the next big moment in his journey was a chance meeting with another musician at the beginning of her career.

"We met for a reason, that was like the universe engineering, definitely, because I went to a showcase in London to see someone else perform and Emeli (Sande) just happened to be there."

"I was like 'I need to find a singer to work with' and I'd just met her, saw her perform and I just thought I was the person she was performing to, I just felt 'no one else is here right now, she's singing to me' and then I just had to go up to her."

Naughty Boy was initially created to 'not be seen' but his name is now regularly up in lights. Credit: PA

The pair went on to collaborate on several successful tracks, sending them both into superstardom, but Naughty Boy, whose dad was a taxi driver as he was growing up, says he is thankful for everything.

He said: "Sometimes when you go through life not expecting, what you receive, you're just so much more grateful for.

"I'm grateful, I feel blessed for the life I get to live for the people I get to help as well because music is therapy."

Despite his huge musical success he says one of his proudest moments was being recognised by Prince Charles and performing at Buckingham Palace for the British Asian Trust.

In the interview he also thanked The Prince's Trust for providing him with a "great mentor" and giving him a £5,000 grant at the beginning of his career.

Naughty Boy met Charles and Camilla while performing at Buckingham Palace for the British Asian Trust. Credit: PA

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