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Wiley Biography

Wiley (born Richard Kylea Cowie, 19.1.1979)

Wiley is a pioneer producer of UK Garage and Grime music, as well as an MC.

Wiley: Childhood & Background

Wiley is descended from both Trinidadian and Antiguan families and grew up in the Bow area of East London.

Wiley: Musical Background & Career

Wiley was a founding member of the Roll Deep musical crew. He contributed his production skills as well as vocals to the group and they pioneered a new style of music that came to be known as Grime.

Wiley has also previously been a member of the Pay As You Go Cartel music group.

Wiley's mixtapes are released under the name 'Eskiboy' and he occasionally describes his music as 'Eskibeat'. He uses the Eskimo theme partly because he likes the wintertime and partly because he says that he sometimes feels cold-hearted. He has carried the theme on, into the titles of his albums, that he releases under the name Wiley. His debut album proper, on XL Recordings, for example, was entitled Treddin' On Thin Ice.

Another name that Wiley used, when he first started out, was Wiley Kat, based on a Thundercats cartoon character. The early vinyl release of 'Eskimo' was released under this name.

In 2007, Wiley announced that he would be retiring from music. However, it was not long before he resumed his career, only to be more successful than he had been prior to his brief retirement. 2007 saw Wiley release the studio album Playtime Is Over.

Despite being vehemently anti-mainstream in the early days of his musical career, Wiley's 2008 hit 'Wearing My Rolex' became a mainstream crossover hit. The track does not contain the heavy sub-bass of most Grime tracks and is considered to be a move away from the genre.

The album See Clear Now was released in 2008 and featured contributions from Hot Chip and Mark Ronson's collaborator, Daniel Merriweather. Prior to the album's release, Wiley's MySpace page briefly contained the headline "Do Not Buy 'See Clear Now' As It Isn't A Wiley Album." However, the message was taken down shortly after it had been posted, though Wiley still asserts in interviews that he does not want people to buy the album. In 2009, he released the album Race Against Time.

In the past, Wiley has collaborated with a number of MCs and producers, including Dizzee Rascal, Kano and MC Smudge (from the US).

In November 2008, a false BBC News Report was circulated on the Internet, claiming that Wiley was dead. Wiley spoke on Tim Westwood's radio 1 show about the hoax and he was quick to respond to the hoax online, displaying the title "I AM NOT DEAD" on his MySpace page.

Wiley: Other Ventures

Wiley has two of his own clothing ranges. The first is called Eski Boy and the second is called Eski Girl.

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Wiley Picture Gallery

 loitering with intent premiere at the tribeca film 180414
 loitering with intent premiere at the tribeca film 180414
 loitering with intent premiere at the tribeca film 180414
 loitering with intent premiere at the tribeca film 180414
 loitering with intent premiere at the tribeca film 180414

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The Latest Wiley News

British Rapper Wiley Deported From Canada

3rd April 2014

British rapper Wiley has lashed out at immigration officials in Canada after he was deported from the country before a...

Wiley Scraps New Album Which Cost $42k To Make

4th February 2014

Wiley has scrapped his new album after spending $42,000 on recording sessions. The East London-rapper has revealed he isn't happy...

Wiley Fans Petition City Council For Statue

10th October 2013

Fans of British hip-hop star Wiley have launched a petition to erect a statue of the rapper in his native...

British Rappers Wiley And Dappy Cancel Tour

20th September 2013

British rappers Wiley and Dappy have axed their upcoming joint tour of the U.K.The London Mcs were set to join...

U.k. Rapper Wiley Leads Mobo Award Nominations

4th September 2013

British rapper Wiley will lead the way at the 2013 Music Of Black Origin (Mobo) Awards after picking up four...

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Wiley Reviews

Wiley - Evolve Or Be Extinct Album Review

27th February 2012

Given that this is Wiley's third outing in in the last 12 months - that's...

Wiley - 100% Publishing Album Review

9th August 2011

Wiley has nothing to say, but he fails to say things so charmingly and confidently...

Wiley - See Clear Now Album Review

12th January 2009

Review of Wiley's album 'See Clear Now'.London made Richard Kylea Cowie aka Wiley is back...

Wiley - No Qualms Single Review

4th October 2007

WileyNo Qualms Single Review The talented UK producer and performer Wiley whose fame relates to...

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Wiley Festivals

Get Loaded

30th August 2009

Radio 1 Big Weekend

24th May 2014

Glastonbury Festival

25th June 2014

Global Gathering

25th July 2014

Wireless Festival

4th July 2014

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The Latest Wiley Press Releases

Wiley Announces September 2013 Major New UK Tour

9th April 2013

Following the release of his new album 'The Ascent' which is out now and...

The Elusive Tour 2010

4th August 2010

With Bizarre Presents The Elusive Tour, Wiley wants to bring to life the whirlwind Life of...

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Wiley Related Artists

Roll Deep

Roll Deep

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