Also known as the Godfather of Grime, Wiley is a British MC, rapper and record producer from East London who revolutionised the UK music scene. Being one of the most iconic artists in the evolution of grime, his influence touches both fans and fellow artists who are passionate about the relentlessly reforming the grime and rap scene. Having had several hit singles in the charts since the start of his career, Wiley’s influence will certainly expand to thousands more in the anticipated future.
Going back to his roots, it is clear where Wiley gets extracts his creativity and musical energy. His father, Richard Cowie Senior, was a globally renowned reggae artist in the 1980s when Wiley was a young boy. Introducing him to the world of music and early hip-hop groups such as The Sugarhill Gang, Wiley started to gain inspiration from his father’s musical background as his own talents began to flourish.
Wiley’s first taste of musical success was during his time as a member of UK garage crew Pay As U Go, with whom he released Champagne Dance. The track went on to become a top 40 hit in 2001 and helped to establish Wiley as a successful British artist. After the group disbanded, Wiley formed yet another grime crew, Roll Deep, with globally renowned artists Tinchy Stryder and Dizzee Rascal. Together, the group independently released a series of mixtapes and vinyl singles prior to being signed to a major label. Diverging from typical UK garage sounds, the group introduced the music industry to grime, which has now become one of the leading genres in mainstream music.
Carrying this success onto his solo endeavours, he continued to create popular grime tracks and released his first album, Treddin’ On Thin Ice in 2004. Throughout his career, he has been involved with a large number of different labels before taking the step to form his own label Eskibeat Recordings. Dedicated to releasing his own work and helping bring young grime artists into the public eye, his record label is one of the biggest in the grime scene and continues to support many upcoming acts in kick starting their careers. In addition to this, in 2005, Wiley contributed to the formation of the English grime collective and record label Boy Better Know alongside fellow grime artists Jme and Skepta.
Since starting his career back in 2004, he has released a total of 12 albums and seen multiple successes along the way. Some of his biggest hits have included the likes of Wearing My Rolex, Never Be Your Woman, and his iconic UK number-one hit Heatwave. His music is currently available on numerous streaming platforms, including Amazon Music, Spotify, iTunes and Deezer.
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