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.
Dizzee has always held Wiley responsible for the 2003 incident in Ayia Napa that left him hospitalised.
The pair have been professional rivals ever since the ugly incident in 2003 that saw Dizzee hospitalised, and have been exchanging disses and insults in their tracks. However, having always maintained his innocence before, he admits in a new interview with The Sun that the knifing was partly his fault.
“I love that boy. He knows I love that boy but we’re not gonna be friends, not because we argue. We’re not gonna be friends anymore because he holds me responsible for being stabbed,” 38 year old Wiley said about his relationship with Dizzee now.
Continue reading: Wiley Accepts Responsibility For Rival Dizzee Rascal's Stabbing
Wiley thinks Stormzy is leading the new generation of grime and praised the rapper for pushing ''different doors and different barriers''.
The 'Can You Hear Me?' hitmaker is really ''happy'' for the 'Shut Up' rapper for all of his success and hopes each generation going forward will bring something new to the grime genre.
He said: ''I'm happy man, big up Stormzy. I'm happy for him - I feel like he's pushed different doors and different barriers that needed to be pushed. I feel like different generation will do different things.
Continue reading: Wiley Praises Stormzy
Wiley is ''so happy'' to see that music from the grime genre has become such a hit and is looking forward to watching the careers of the likes of Stormzy and Skepta.
Wiley is ''so happy'' grime music has become popular.
He said: ''Bro, I'm so happy grime's come back round. Those guys are doing things we never did. Stormzy is having meetings with the people from The Brits. None of us ever did anything like that back in the day ...
Continue reading: Wiley Pleased By Grime's Newfound Popularity
Grime artists make a strong showing in the nominations for the 2015 MOBO Awards.
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
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.
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
Black artists are rallying against the idea that white, pop-driven entertainers have had the biggest influence over the hip hop, R&B and urban scene.
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 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'.
The grime star is in trouble with the Cumbrians.
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.
Wiley 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