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.

Biography by Contactmusic.com

Harlem School Of The Arts (HSA) 50th Anniversary Gala

Kehinde Wiley - Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) 50th Anniversary Gala Kickoff in the Grand Ballroom at The Plaza - Arrivals - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 5th October 2015

Wiley and Harlem
Wiley and Harlem

JME, Krept And Konan And FKA Twigs Lead MOBO Awards Nominations

Mobo Awards Krept and Konan Wiley FKA Twigs Lianne La Havas

The recent renaissance in British grime music has been reflected in 2015’s Mobo Awards nominations, with JME and Krept and Konan scooping four nominations each.

Grime artists account for 27 nominations in total across all available categories. London duo Krept And Konan, who scored a Top Ten hit with ‘Freak of the Week’ earlier in 2015, are nominated in four categories including Best Male, Best Song, Best Hip Hop and Best Album, the latter for their album The Long Way Home, which entered the UK charts at Number 2 back in July.

JME, the co-founder of the Boy Better Know record label and a big artist in his own right, is nominated in three of the same categories as Krept And Konan, except he’s up for Best Grime rather than Best Hip Hop.

Continue reading: JME, Krept And Konan And FKA Twigs Lead MOBO Awards Nominations

2015 Sony Music Brit Awards Afterparty

Jo Wiley - A variety of celebrities were photographed as they attended the Brit Awards 2015 Sony after party which was held at Sushi Samba in London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 25th February 2015

Wiley and Sony
Wiley and Sony

He Brit Awards 2015 (Brits)

Jo Wiley - A variety of stars from the music industry were photographed as they arrived at the Brit Awards 2015 which were held at the O2 arena in London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 25th February 2015


The Soiree: Grammy Weekend Party

Jazsmin Lewis - The Soiree: Grammy Weekend Party at The Grafton, Grammy - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 7th February 2015

Meredith Anne Bull
Nick Hissom
Luis Lauro
Suze Lanier-Bramlett

Deleon Tequila Launch Party

Kehinde Wiley - Sean Diddy Combs also known as Puff Daddy was the host of the world premiere of the new Cîroc commercial in Times Square, Brooklyn, New York, United States - Thursday 20th November 2014


Tre Mission - Stigmata Album Review

Toronto producer and MC Tre Mission follows up last year's critically acclaimed free mixtape 'Malmaison' with his debut full length LP 'Stigmata'. His blend of R&B, grime and rap comes out of Canada, via the Caribbean, with a distinctly West Coast flavour but has its heart on the East End streets of London. It's been spun and twisted to fit Tre's delivery and style but there's no doubt of the influence and character bestowed on 'Stigmata' by some of the UK's premier grime artists.

Tre Mission - Stigmata Album Review

With 'Stigmata', Tre Mission has taken the East End to the West Coast and blended the gritty reality of street level culture with a bling my crib, pimp my ride sensibility. The fluid and polished production is fuller and less sparse than some harder, edgier, confrontational grime. Mission is smoother, more soulful and, as such to a large degree ('Jack Pot' ft. Skepta excepted), easier listening than some of the UK's more aggressive MCs such a Kano. 

From the off, Tre takes us onto the '416' streets of Toronto, "This is for my ni**az on the strip", telling it as it is, no holds barred, heart on his sleeve, up close and personal. 'Stigmata', the title track itself, drops the bass deep and heavy but blends in some reverse beats, keys and high hats as Tre trades vocals with his partner, both scarred from a relationship in tatters.

Continue reading: Tre Mission - Stigmata Album Review

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

Wiley Ed Sheeran Rudimental Tinie Tempah Sam Smith

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 history” after Ed Sheeran took the top spot, followed by Disclosure in second. The first Black artist to make the bizarre list was Tinie Tempah, followed by white, middle class singer Sam Smith (who grew up I a small town in East Herthfordshire) in fourth place. The list, which was allegedly compiled by “industry experts” continues in the same vein, with Katie B and Jessie J also making an appearance, the former in the Top 10.

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran topped the bizarre list.

The BBC told The Independent the list was chosen on the artists' 'quality of music' and 'impact across the wider industry', and was 'not about the colour of someone's skin'.

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

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


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 at hand. He took his £15k fee, boasted about it and got the hell out of Cumbria.

WileyWiley at Bestival

But the CockRock event organisers are a bit miffed about this, as it turns out, they don’t think £15k for three songs in 15 minutes is a very good deal. Actually, they feel like they’ve been ripped off, and tweets that called them and other Cumbrians “inbreds”, “reptillions”, “you county of witches' children”, “invalids”, and “cretins” certainly won’t have helped.

Continue reading: Legal Action For Wiley After 15-Minutes Of Pain In Cumbria

Wiley Booed Off Stage At CockRock Festival In Cockermouth


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 the name of the festival, which, unsurprisingly, didn’t please the paying punters.

“Just the name makes me not wanna go. My agent knows that there are cool places to play and other places are just not worth the hassle. Do not throw p*** at me cos I will throw it back lol.”

He tweeted. And for a fleeting moment, it appeared as though everything was finally running smoothly. "Jammin at the festival and do not worry everything is ok ...just had a moan about the distance but then drove it anyway for my fans" he added to his Twitter followers.

Continue reading: Wiley Booed Off Stage At CockRock Festival In Cockermouth

Wiley Loses It At Glastonbury: "F**k Them And Their Farm", Rapper Leaves Due To Weather

Wiley Rolling Stones

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 "please can u take me off the line up I beg ya ." and then the festival with: "tell Michael eavis I dont wanna play please maybe he has the power to throw me off the line up ."

Wiley: Is He Ranting Or Singing?

Seems like the weather is what's sticking in the 'Heatwave' rapper's craw: "Soon as I land ...Rain ffs, " and "Festivals in nice hot places are sick not festivals p*ssing it down with rain ever year," adding "...f*ck a rainy festival on the West Country tbh.." As a stage performer, Wiley wouldn't even have had to sing in the rain (which is a glorious feeling, apparently) and could be ferried around in a little jeep if he wanted. Regardless of the scores of performers who would give their right arm to be invited to play at Glastonbury, 34 year-old Wiley showed he just wasn't going to 'Roll Deep' in the mud and get stuck in with the revellers. Refusing to man up and don an all-weather waterproof/fleece combo he sent out a long tirade of tweets, most of which have now been deleted.

Continue reading: Wiley Loses It At Glastonbury: "F**k Them And Their Farm", Rapper Leaves Due To Weather



Date of birth

19th January, 1979





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