On Monday I watched unpredictable grime artist Wiley on holiday in Jamaica smoking, or “bunnin’”, joints and MCing to previously unheard material. He was broadcasting live from his laptop via Ustream, a medium that’s gained popularity with musicians over the last couple of years.
Wiley, aka Richard Cowie, had been broadcasting “The Wiley Elusive Show” from his computer for the past week or so in 20 to 30 minute spurts, which has been documented by online magazines like FACT and grime music forums.
Below are a few screen shots I took to show what the short performances looked like, as he hasn’t saved the programmes to his channel; perhaps for fear of content being scrutinised.
I first viewed Wiley around 4pm BST, where he talked about a fracas that ensued after being aksed for ID in Barclays Bank; somewhere near his home in London. The brief story was told while sat beside a pool toking a ridiculously large spliff. The crux of the tale: the police are after him because he apparently threatened some bank staff over being ID’d, shortly before leaving for Jamaica. Nice chap.
It seems he’s on the Caribbean island with his current girlfriend. She came onto camera a few times, mostly saying she was bored – probably because the boyfriend is spending his time in Jamaica on a webcam.
Along with regaling us with stories Cowie spent most of the sessions spitting bars over some unreleased material and a lot of tunes from The Elusive album – an LP he gave away, along with lots of other tracks, to followers on Twitter after a bust-up with his management last month.
Amusingly the more stoned Wiley got throughout the day the harder it was to make out what he was saying. But for fans – who in the chat window opposite were asking for shout-outs and giving mobile numbers for him to call – it was cool for them hear some previously unheard beats and to watch him in a seriously mashed-up state.
Later on in the night around 10pm, although promising to be on at 8pm, he was live again from where he’s currently recording at Geejam Recording Studio on a balcony surrounded by lush scenery. By this point it was getting harder to understand him as he went into a trance-like state chatting lyrics that were unfortunately inaudible.
One of the last broadcasts of that day, about 1am, was from a jacuzzi at the studio where he chilled with his lady friend. They sat discussing Jeremy Kyle who she hates, but he confesses to liking the sanctimonious host! I wonder how Jez would feel about that.
The shows were bonkers but fun and it got me wondering if this technology had been about in the past what would, say a band like The Beatles, recording sessions have been like if they broadcasted them live while ripped to the tits? The times we live in, eh?