For an artist renowned all over the UK for his erratic, enigmatic and downright unpredictable nature, it’s only right Wiley’s latest single Heatwave, arrives in the month we’ve had heavy rainfall and thunderstorms, but tellingly, right at the crucial moment the all important heat wave has indeed arrived.
In regards to his indifferent reputation, it's only fair Wiley gets his props for remaining innovative and charismatic musically for well over a decade. However, looking back on the horrible handling of his last major label outing with Asylum (Warner), which spawned the critically and self panned album ‘See Clear Now’ (Wiley disowned the album and the label and took part in no promotional activities), it seemed safe to say that was probably the last we’d seen of Wiley in terms of launching a full scale assault on the British charts. Wiley reverted back into his zone and did what he does best, all he knows. He wrote, produced, recorded and dropped music at a ferocious pace; and here we are, summer 2012 and Wiley’s back with Warner and has a legitimate top 10 hit on his hands with his first single in a while. He’s even turned up for the video - shot abroad with close to 50 bikini clad beauties on set, it’s hard to see why even Wiley wouldn’t show up to this shoot.
With close to 50 bikini clad beauties on set, it’s hard to see why even Wiley wouldn’t show up to this shoot.
Produced by Rymez and accompanied by the vocals of Ms.D, Heatwave is a summer slice of pop with elements of rap, grime and soca sliced in between. Instantly giving off a fun vibe, it’s easy on the ears and catchy and Wiley declares “When I arrive I’m causing a Heatwave/ I got vibes to sell people want them”. Fundamental to any amount of success Wiley will have this time around is that he no longer seems weighed down, carrying the boulder on his back that came with the tag ‘Godfather of Grime’.
For many years he’s been handicapped in having to cautiously tread the line in between chasing the commercial breakthrough he’s always been capable of and having to represent the niche scene he helped create. Having proven beyond doubt over the last decade there still is no one to displace him from the top of that scene, he appears comfortable with just making music now. Any genre, any style.
In stark contrast to 2008’s ‘Summertime’, ridiculously released in mid October, most importantly Heatwave is released during perhaps the only peak time we get to experience one. With temperatures reaching 30 degrees on the week of release, TV and radio play rising steadily, it seems Wiley and the label are working cohesively this time around (for now, at least) towards a big hit. For an artist as volatile as British weather itself, it's perhaps fitting his eventual breakthrough comes in the form of a salute to sunnier climes.
Heatwave is out July 29th
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