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Ms Dynamite

MOBO Music Profile: Ms Dynamite

When 'Booo!' catapulted Ms Dynamite into the spotlight,  it marked the beginning of an extraordinary career for the legendary female emcee. 

Ms Dynamite became involved in music almost by accident after a friend offered her a presenter's slot on a pirate radio station. The show was a success and led to a stint on Freak FM. From there she broke into performing, appearing with Garage band So Solid Crew on their hit 'They Don't Know.'

Signed for a one-off single deal to London Records in 2001, her first single 'Booo!' went into the charts at number 12 and became one of that summer's most popular records. An album contract with Polydor followed. 

Niomi McLean-Daley's quickly established herself as one of the hottest young talents to emerge from the capital's fertile UK garage scene. 

Britain had never seen the like. She was sharp, talented, original, charming, streetwise, outspoken and opinionated. Ms Dynamite certainly had the tunes to back it up and she exploded into the national consciousness like a pocket-sized supernova. 

It was soon clear that there was more to Ms Dynamite than most pop stars. She was the first lady of UK garage. 

After she released her debut album A Little Deeper - a politically aware blend of UK hip hop, R&B and ragga in a pop overcoat - Ms Dynamite became the first solo black female artist to win the prestigious £20,000 Mercury Music Award, which beat an impressive shortlist of artists including David Bowie. 

The album's lyrics reflected a social conscience often absent in the materialistic world of British urban music. A Little Deeper  spawned the hit songs "It Takes More" and "Dy-Na-Mi-Tee". In 2003, the album was released in the United States to critical acclaim. 

In October 2002 Dynamite landed three MOBO Awards for Best single, Best Newcomer and UK Act of the Year - at a ceremony where no other artist won more than one. Next came two BRIT Awards, for Best British Female Artist and Best Urban Act.

 

Niomi then put her mind towards a follow-up to her first explosive album in 2005 with the release of her second album Judgement Days. The formula was similar; her social commentary was backed by well-woven melodies and beats, proving that the passion we encountered from Dynamite on her first project was still alive. 

Shortly after the release of Judgement Days, Ms Dynamite shocked fans when she withdrew from the music scene to focus on motherhood, without setting a date for her return. 

Now, at long last, Ms Dynamite is back to doing what she does best. If you've been paying close attention to the urban music scene, you'll have noticed her adding her voice to a series of underground floor-shakers, including DJ Zinc's "Wile Out". 

She also appeared on "Lights on", the second hit single from London dubstep star Katy B, one of a generation of young female MCs who cites Ms Dynamite as an influence.

Her first new single since 2006,‘Neva Soft’,which was produced by MOBO Award winner Labrinth, put Ms Dynamite back at the top of UK music. Since then, Ms. Dynamite has been working on her new album.

In March 2013, she was a surprise guest at the So Solid Crew's reunion show and now she's back with a new single, released in September, a summer-jam called 'Cloud 9', which is a collaboration with Shy FX. 

Being blessed with equal skills of MCing and having a beautiful singing voice, Ms Dynamite could traverse the delicate line between UK garage and chart music, which welcomed her big melody lines. To me, she is is like the UK version of Lauryn Hill, but with more of a reggae sound and definitely funkier.

The energy Ms Dynamite still brings to her live performances is unreal. She's one of those people who puts her own stamp on everything she does. She's just got it. 

A lot has changed in music, especially in the UK's fast-evolving urban music scene, since Ms Dynamite last released a solo record, but her raw talent and legendary flow is adapting well to the sounds of 2013. 

A true legend in the Music Industry, Ms Dynamite has one of the most distinctive female voices in British music history. As the most successful female rapper the UK has ever produced, she continues to inspire and move an entire generation with her ground breaking music and incredible live performances. 

When she won three MOBO Awards in 2002, we knew she was destined for great things and MOBO couldn't be more proud of all that Ms Dynamite has achieved in extraordinary career and for that MOBO salutes you. 

To create your own special MOBO Memory, purchase your ticket to the 2013 MOBO Awards here. 
 
Confirmed Performers at this year's MOBO Awards include chart toppers Rudimental, Iggy Azalea, Tinie Tempah, Naughty Boy, Fuse ODG, So Solid Crew, Laura Mvula and Jahmene Douglas. 
 

Author: 

Adenike Gboyega