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.

Read More

BBC Faces Backlash After Whitewashed 1XtraPowerList Names Ed Sheeran Most Influential In Black And Urban Music

14th July 2014 -


The BBC’s 1Xtra chart for black and urban music, the 1XtraPower List, turns out to be remarkably, embarrassingly white. The list of the “most influential artists” has been referred to as “the saddest list in...

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 London.Rinse FM DJ Julie Adenuga has petitioned members of Tower Hamlets' council to build a...

Legal Action For Wiley After 15-Minutes of Pain In Cumbria

25th July 2013 -


Wiley, Cockrock, it was never going to work. But hindsight is just that: hindsight, and the grime rapper being pelted by objects from the crowd and storming off after 15 minutes is the current issue...

Wiley Booed Off Stage at CockRock Festival in Cockermouth

22nd July 2013 -


Firstly, note the restraint in the headline. Just note it, then read on. Wiley was booed off stage after he slated CockRock festival on Twitter. The U.K grime star was bemoaning the distance and mocking...

Wiley Loses It At Glastonbury: "F**k them and their farm", Rapper Leaves Due To Weather

28th June 2013 -


Seems like someone's having a bad day: rapper Wiley's spit his dummy and begged to be taken off the line-up for the most prestigious festival in the world, Glastonbury. He tweeted organiser Emily Eavis with...

The Line-Up So Far For The Big Summer Session 26th - 27th July 2013

6th June 2013 -


Peter Andre, Katy B, Wiley, Tulisa, Five and Blue are just some of the sensational names lined up to play THE BIG SUMMER SESSION at Swindon Town Football Club on 26th and 27th July 2013....

Wiley Walks Out On His Label: Says He 'Don't Need' Warner Bros Anymore

5th April 2013 -


Grime MC Wiley has walked out on his label Warner Brothers in an explosive rant on Twitter during which he claimed that he 'don't need' the label any more. In his now deleted Tweet, the...

Globalgathering 2013: Full Line-Up Announced

8th March 2013 -


Live Performances From: Plan B, Example, Rita Ora, Disclosure, Katy B, Rudimental, Sub Focus, WileyDj Sets From: Carl Cox, Annie Mac, Steve Aoki, Seth TroxlerTickets On Sale 9am Friday 8th MarchFriday 26th & Saturday 27th...

Deposit Scheme for Reading And Leeds 2013, Featuring Alt-J, Deftones And Boy Better Know

29th November 2012 -


It may still only be November but tomorrow (November 30, 2012), early bird tickets will go on sale for next year’s Reading and Leeds festivals, with Mercury Music Prize winners Alt-J unsurprisingly featuring on the...

Pictures: Rita Ora Wardrobe Malfunctions and Huge Surprise Guests at Red Bull Culture Clash

8th November 2012 -


Boy Better Know arrive at the Red Bull Culture Clash in London ... but did they win?There was an urban music clash for the ages going on down in London last night (November 7) as...

Wiley - Evolve Or Be Extinct

27th February 2012 -


Given that this is Wiley's third outing in in the last 12 months - that's if you count the download only EP-ish Chill Out Zone of course - it seems easy to draw the fairly...

Wiley - 100% Publishing

9th August 2011 -


Wiley has nothing to say, but he fails to say things so charmingly and confidently that it's hard to care. The topics he addresses on 100% Publishing are relentless banal. Wiley wants to make money....

Wiley - She Likes To

13th August 2009 -


She Likes To video from WileyWiley has asked some of the UK’s best grime artists including Wrigley, J2K, Bashy, Chipmunk, Wretch 32, Ice-Kid, Ghetts, Scorcher and Griminal to appear on his new single ‘She Likes...

Wiley - See Clear Now

12th January 2009 -


Review of Wiley's album 'See Clear Now'.London made Richard Kylea Cowie aka Wiley is back with another album 'See Clear Now' on Asylum Records. Wiley well known as one of the pioneers of 'grime' music...

Wiley - Summertime

22nd September 2008 -


Watch the video for Summertime from Wiley.Wiley releases his new single 'Summertime' on October 13th 2008 through Asylum Records the single features Kenna and Mark Ronson and samples Daft Punk's Aerodynamic. This is the follow...

Wiley - Wearing My Rolex

9th April 2008 -


WileyWearing My RolexVideoWiley releases his new single 'Wearing My Rolex' (physically) on May 5th 2008 through Asylum / Atlantic Records. The MC/rapper/producter returns from his self-imposed retirement. Causing an absolute storm in the UK, the...

Wiley - No Qualms

4th October 2007 -


WileyNo Qualms Single Review The talented UK producer and performer Wiley whose fame relates to being one of the founders of the UK grime scene. There's no doubt 'No Qualms' is original. There's so much...

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Wiley Related Artists

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