Wiley claims that he’s walking out on his record label, Warner.
The grime touchstone signed to Warner last year, releasing his first number one UK single in ‘Heatwave’, and this month dropping his first album for the label, The Ascent. However, as is often the case with Wiley, things along the way didn’t go quite to plan: last month he leaked The Ascent (or at least, the version of it that he wanted the world to hear) after a dispute over the version of the album available for iTunes pre-order. This morning, Wiley has claimed on Twitter that he’s leaving the label.
After first claiming that Warner are forcing him into releasing a single that he doesn’t want to (“My label are doing ‘Lights On’ next but I do not like that so you will not see me in the video … If my first two singles were dance and third was drum and bass, why am I doing a dance single fourth … my musical mind is better than that”), Wiley announced that “I am walking out of Warner today, I don’t need em anymore”, adding that he’s “rinsed majors for every penny, enough is enough. Need to put my own money where my mouth is now and stop pussy footing around the industry. I have got time for [Warner] and I respect you but goodbye.”
It’s not the first time Wiley has felt hard done by over a label’s choice of single: one of his many public disputes with his manager John Woolf followed a drum’n'bass switch-up on past single ‘Cash in my Pocket’ that Wiley didn’t approve. Of course, Wiley has claimed on multiple occasions of late that he plans to do one more album and then retire, so if he is going to take things independent again, then it’s understandable that he’d want to make all the calls on his final hurrah himself.
Wiley spoke in-depth to FACT last year about the difference between majors and independents and much more – you can read that piece here.