Birth name – Niomi Arleen MacLean-Daley
Born – 26 April 1981 (age 32)
Origin – Archway, London, United Kingdom
Genres – R&B, grime, hip hop, 2-step garage
Occupations – Rapper, singer-songwriter, composer
Instruments – Singing, rapping
Years active – 2001–present
Labels – Polydor (2001–06)
Associated acts – Jess Mills, So Solid Crew, Akala
Niomi Arleen McLean-Daley (born 26 April 1981), who performs as Ms. Dynamite, is an English hip hop and R&B recording artist, rapper-songwriter, and record producer. She is the recipient of the Mercury Music Prize, two BRIT Awards and three MOBO Awards.
Ms. Dynamite was born and raised in Archway, a district in North London, to a Jamaican father and a Scottish mother. As stated on the programme Ms Dynamite: In Search of Nanny Maroon in addition to her Jamaican-Scottish parentage, she shares Bajan, English, Irish, German and Grenadian ancestries. She grew up listening to reggae and hip hop music. Though she wanted to become a schoolteacher or social worker, her biggest aspiration was to be a musician. She is the eldest of eleven siblings, one of whom is a grime artist known as Akala, and attended Acland Burghley School in London.
2001–04: A Little Deeper
Ms. Dynamite (originally called Lady Dynamite) was first known for her vocals on the UK garage underground track “Booo!”, which was regularly played on London pirate radio stations and was later released as a single. Whilst working at the radio station RAW FM, Ms Dynamite was discovered by Richard Forbes AKA DJ Sticky at a West End club. After a period as a member of the UK garage act So Solid Crew, she released her debut album, A Little Deeper in 2002, featuring 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 2002, Dynamite won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, for A Little Deeper. She donated the £20,000 prize to the NSPCC.
Her first public performance was at the closing ceremony of the 2002 Commonwealth Games at the City of Manchester Stadium. On 2 July 2005, she performed at the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park, London. Among the songs performed was “Redemption Song” – a Bob Marley penned song.
2005–06: Judgement Days
On 11 September 2005, she returned to the limelight (having taken time off to have her son, Shavaar) with a new album entitled Judgement Days. Featuring more social commentary, in songs such as the first double A-side single, “Judgement Day” / “Father” and the Tony Blair critique, “Mr Prime Minister,” reviews of the album were not as favourable as those of her debut. However “Judgement Day” reached No. 25 in the UK Singles Chart.
On the 6 January 2006, Ms Dynamite was arrested outside a London nightclub, after a brawl in which she punched a male police officer in the face whilst in custody. She was convicted as she pleaded guilty to avoid having the CCTV played in court and sentenced to sixty hours of community service. The second single from Judgement Days was due to be “Fall In Love Again” (previously titled “When I Fall In Love”), with a release date of 30 January 2006. A video was shot for the track but, due to her arrest, the single was cancelled. The video did not surface until June 2006, when it was leaked on to the web.
In February 2006, she won the Naomi Award for Worst Urban Act.
Since her trouble in January 2006 and her disappearance from the public eye, Ms Dynamite confirmed that the much rumoured ‘A Little Darker’ album would be released in March 2006 as a mixtape. After the confirmation, the album was pushed back to June 2006. Also, in April 2006, Ms Dynamite confirmed that there would be no more releases from her Judgement Days album, and that she was due to start working on new material.
A collection of new and upcoming UK hip-hop and garage artists, was compiled by Ms Dynamite and her rapping brother Akala, who was voted Best Hip Hop Act at the MOBO Awards in September 2006.
In November 2006 she took part in a television show called The Race on Sky1. This was a week long event in which ten celebrities had to compete against each other on the track in different races building up to a thirty lap Formula Ford race on Sunday 12 November 2006. After about ten laps into the race disaster struck, and Ms. Dynamite hit the wall on the pit straight at about 100 mph. She was air lifted to hospital for overnight observations but later released.
2007–09: Break from music
After taking a break from the music scene for a couple of years, Dynamite guest hosted BBC Radio 1Xtra, and stated she would be releasing a third album ‘Democracy’ in 2009. The first single from the new album will be “Bad Gyal”. This was however later confirmed to have been push back, to concentrate on other projects and well as motherhood.
Ms Dynamite appeared on Hell’s Kitchen on ITV1 in 2009. She was voted out by public vote on 24 April 2009 finishing fourth. Ms Dynamite also appeared as an expert adviser on Goldie’s Band: By Royal Appointment on BBC Two.
2010–present: Return to music and third album
Parts of this article (those related to this section) are outdated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (September 2012)
In December 2010, Dynamite was featured on Katy B’s second single, “Lights On”. It peaked at number 4 in the UK singles chart. She was also featured on the Magnetic Man track “Fire”, which appeared on their debut album.
On 3 August 2011 in an interview with Digital Spy, Dynamite confirmed that she is working on her third studio album, and confirmed that the lead single “Neva Soft” (produced by Labrinth) would be released on 4 September. Her third studio album is set to be released at the beginning of 2012.
Main article: Ms. Dynamite discography
A Little Deeper (2002)
Judgement Days (2005)
A Little Darker (with Akala) (2006)
“Dy-Na-Mi-Tee” (FIFA 2003 soundtrack)
“Dynamite” (Ali G Indahouse soundtrack)
“Crazy Krush” (Misfits Channel 4 soundtrack)
Awards and Nominations
2002MTV Europe Music Awards 2002Best UK & Ireland Act”Ms.Dynamite”Nominated
Mercury Music PrizeAlbum of the year”A Little Deeper”Won
2003100 Great Black Britons100 Great Black Britons (rank 14.)”Ms.Dynamite”Nominated
BRIT AwardsBest British urban actMs.Dynamite”Won
Best British Female Solo Artist”Ms.Dynamite”Won
Best British Breakthrough Act”Ms.Dynamite”Nominated
Best British Album”A Little Deeper”Nominated
MOBO AwardsBest Single”Dy-Na-Mi-Tee”Nominated
UK Act of the year”Ms.Dynamite”Nominated
Race in Media AwardsMedia Personality”Ms.Dynamite”Nominated
2006BRIT AwardsBest British Urban Act”Ms.Dynamite”Nominated
2011MP3 Music AwardsBest UGG act
Red Everything Movement