Wiley a.k.a Richard Kylea Cowie a.k.a the Godfather of Grime, is one of the most innovative and influential musicians today. Earlier this month, the 38-year-old released his anticipated autobiography ‘Eskiboy’.
For the past twenty years, Wiley has released ten top-twenty singles and sold over 4 million records. He has helped launch a new generation of stars in the genre he helped invent – Grime.
Eskiboy tells his story in full, for the first time, from childhood trauma to white-label releases, to lifetime achievement awards.
In 96 short chapters, it covers the friendships and rivalries, the tragedies and triumphs of two decades in music. It also explores the history and future of Grime and the Eskimo Sound.
Featuring lyrics, never-before-seen photographs and contributions from the people who know him best, Eskiboy is a celebration of a singular musical icon, and the world he has created.
Eskiboy, takes us right back to the start. The reader is taken back to when Wiley was making grime alongside fellow pioneer Dizzee Rascal in east London in the early noughties.
This extract is taken from the book; he revisits the period when he’s trying to get signed.
‘Back then, it was all about the scene. There was a proper scene, and we were all trying to get into it. But we were all kids, really. We loved it, and they obviously showed appreciation to us for loving it, but we weren’t really in it. Jungle kept it tight.
‘Like they didn’t care about major labels, they don’t jump up for man, they weren’t gassed about anything. They were feet-on-the-floor people. You can’t just go in jungle and bust one tune then go clear. It didn’t really work like that. You had to keep going’.