Headie One has had a big year. Breaking through and taking his stage by storm, he recently collaborated with Adidas for a one-off special show as the brand reworked a chicken shop into a Glitch haven. We spoke to him about life off the mic where football runs riot.

Let’s talk about those first memories of football, when did you fall in love with the game?

“From young, my family were all into football so really from as far back as I can remember. I can remember watching football from the first time I ever watched TV. I used to play football games on the PlayStation, even before ‘PES’ (Pro Evolution Soccer), there was a mad one I used to play… ‘ISS’. Before it was called Pro-Evo it was called International Superstar Soccer. I used to play that. I loved that.”

What was it that led you to Man Utd and made you a fan of the club?

“It’s the family team. My older cousin’s got me into Man Utd and I got to attached to the club through them when I was little and ever since, they’ve been my team. I still hold them close to me now.”

Football has changed a lot since the days of Cantona, Beckham, Scholes etc… What would you say is your favourite era as a Utd fan?

“Tevez, Rooney, Berbatov and Ronaldo. No formation up front, just imagine having all of those players on the pitch at the same time. I’d say that’s my favourite era. I remember a time when we scored four goals for five or six games in a row. We had a crazy style back then.”

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Going back to those earlier football memories - have you always been into football kits and all those things that come with supporting a team?

“I’ve always been into the kits, yeah. I was big into the football computer games and was quite specific when it came to updating the kits on the games. I always wanted that to show the latest kits that the players were wearing but overall, yeah. Football kits are special and I’ve always been into that side of the game.”

Music and football seem to be crossing paths more than ever these days, especially the UK scene, is that something you get excited to see?

“Definitely. For me they’re two of my favourite things, music and football so it’s great to see that happening.”

Where do you think the crossover with the UK music scene comes from with a lot of players showing up in lyrics at the moment?

“It’s a good question. I think a lot of footballers are into the music that is around right now and a lot of musicians are into the football that is going on right now so naturally, there’s a healthy crossover and respect for what each other is doing. It’s kind of back and forth and the two cultures are kind of slowly becoming one.”

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Football shirts are worn as a fashion accessory now, is that something you’ve seen more of?

“I’ve done that a few times and yeah I’ve seen that happening definitely. They work a lot better with current styles than they may have done in the past. It’s a good look right now.”

Do you think Football is almost taking the space NBA shirts did a decade or so ago?

“I don’t really know too much about NBA jerseys but yeah I can see the comparison, being worn as lifestyle items rather than just to play in.”

How about you personally and your football shirt collections as you’ve grown up? Do you wear them and collect them now?

“I’ve got quite a lot of Man Utd shirts yeah, even the last couple of seasons, I’ve got the three from this season and the three from last season. Every opportunity to get a Man Utd kit, I’ll take it. They’re my thing still. I like this new pink one, it’s something different.”

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Who are the players out there you think are showing a creative side to their characters these days? Anyone you think brings a strong style on and off the pitch?

“I like Lingard a lot, you know? I like the way he carries himself and the way he plays the game. He is casual and relaxed and he makes the game fun still. He’s obviously professional but he shows a lot more character and personality out on the pitch and we need that.”

Thinking of yourself as a fan, there any players you’d like to meet that you idolised over the years?

“Obviously for me, it’s always about the Man Utd players. I’d love to meet the current whole squad but then of all time, players like Zidane. He’s easily one of my favourite players ever. He’s a genuine legend and a hero.”

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How much do you see your stage as your football pitch for you to go and perform?

“I’d say I’d treat it like stoppage time. There’s loads of energy, everyone is pushing to get something out of the game so I’d say it’s more about that kind of energy.”

How about where on pitch style is concerned, do you think the game is in a better place now than it ever has been?

“I feel like the game is really different around the world but in the UK, it feels like the energy is high throughout most of the matches. It means you can watch more football no matter who is playing. You get pulled into any games because they’re exciting. It’s definitely in a good place right now.”

Talking the international game, what did you make of the World Cup?

“It was good, I enjoyed it. I like that there was a few surprises in there and yeah I enjoyed the World Cup. It’s got me looking forward to international football again.”

How do you like to consume the game, can you set the scene what watching a match would look like with you?

“Most of the time it would be at home with the family, the mandem and the people that I’m close to. I think watching a game with your friends is the best way to enjoy football."

Performing in a chicken shop, it’s one to tick off the list, what do you make of a setting like this?

“It’s exciting to do something different like this so yeah I like it. Always good to do something that looks fresh and different so yeah, I’m excited about it. Seeing adidas on the Man Utd kit as well, for me the brand is winning. I’ve seen them pushing a lot of good things and it’s stuff like tonight that sets them apart, I’d say.”

Headie One performed at a completely reworked chicken shop as adidas launched their latest Glitch boot. You can see what went down, here.

Photography by Jack Orton for SoccerBible.