It's easy to forget the progress Niyi has made over the last couple of years. Shy and softly spoken, he isn’t your typical rapper. After dropping out of Central Saint Martin’s (twice), he started the seminal club Gauche Chic, which The Sunday Times described as kick-starting the dressing-up craze which we now take for granted on the London clubbing landscape.
The word regarding Niyi’s genre defying, tempo switching and generally odd style of djing quickly spread. Perfectly beat matching surf rock with hardcore-gabba, Niyi's 'anything goes' approach to djing once even managed to clear the dancefloor at Fabric. However, his (infamous) dj sets didn't stop him being offered half hour guest slots on Radio 1 and XFM. Niyi has also graced the decks at the likes of Glastonbury & Reading, Offset, Field Day and opened the annual brand fair Bread and Butter in Berlin with a live show and DJ set.
Niyi released his debut single ‘Ur Mummy/808 Klap’ to a rapturous reception. Despite being released on a bank holiday, it sold out within the week, and several European shows with Adamski soon followed. That period was a big one for Niyi. Following a shoot with Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, an 11 metre high image of Niyi hung alongside that of Jammer and M.I.A, outside the Paris’ Musée de la Mode for one year - it could be seen from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
After gracing the front cover of SuperSuper Magazine, and featuring in a London poster campaign, he was later asked to join the style publication as Music Editor. In addition to all this, he also ran a weekly Tuesday night at London’s Punk called ‘iheartniyi’ for one year. In this space, he gave Lady Gaga her FIRST EVER uk show during London Fashion Week. Both Calvin Harris and Little Boots were also featured DJing on other nights. On his birthday in May 2011, Niyi also joined Will.i.am on stage to sing 2 songs (Niyi sang the Cheryl Cole bits!).
2011 also saw Niyi remixing Mozart and performing the track with the respected and renowned full Aura Orchestra at King's Place, and recording backing vocals for Cocknbullkid's debut album 'Adulthood' (Island).
This year, Niyi remixed Tom Vek's "Someone Loves You" (Universal), who in turn has designed the artwork for Niyi's album. Niyi also finished filming the 2012 San Miguel commercial to be shown on televisions and cinemas across the country.
The album features a diverse anthology of sounds, and was recorded in various studios in London, Barcelona, and Erfurt. It features talents such as Adamski (Wall of Sound), Cocknbullkid (Island), and The World Domination (Kitsune).
The title track was produced by respected electronica artist Leila (Warp), and is an intelligent two and a half minute epitaph to Queen Elizabeth II. Being the newest on the album, it also gives us a hint of Niyi's most recent artistic direction.
His debut album ‘Great Britain: The Best Of 2005-2012’ is out on July 30th 2012.