Tricky was born in Knowle West, Bristol. At age 18 he joined Fresh 4, a local rap posse, which sprouted from the Wild Bunch crew. From this he met and worked with Wild Bunch founders Massive Attack, performing and co-writing on three tracks from the critically acclaimed and multi-platinum Blue Lines LP (1991).
By a chance encounter in 1991 Tricky met Martina and after hearing her vocal talents began to work and develop tracks with her. One of the resulting tracks was "Atermath".
In 1993, with a friend in Bristol, Tricky pressed up "Aftermath" and distributed it to local retailers selling a few thousand copies within the Bristol area. Island soon signed Tricky as a solo artist. 'Aftermath'was consequently released In January 1994 on Fourth & Broadway achieving substantial critical acclaim. This support continued with the release of the second single 'Ponderosa' which was released at the end of April '94.
Tricky spent the summer of 94 co-writing and co-producing with Neneh Cherry and co-writing three tracks with Whale for their debut album. In the interim, Tricky's 1995 debut album Maxinquaye (reaching Number 3 in the U.K.) was completed with Martina's beautifully haunting voice with the exception of 'You Don't' which featured the powerful vocals of Icelander Ragga and 'Pumpkin' which featured Alison Goldfrapp. Subsequent singles from the album all reached the Top 20 In the U.K. These included, "Pumpkin", "Hell Is Around The Corner" and of course Tricky's amazing version of Public Enemy's "Black Steel".
'Maxinquaye' has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide since its release. The album was hailed as one of the best albums of the decade in the end of year round-ups by the music press, hitting the Number 1 spot in both the NME, Melody Maker and Spin and garnering a four star review in Rolling Stone.
Tricky spent 1995 touring with Polly Jean Harvey in Europe and America.
To cap off a stunning 1995 'Maxinquaye' was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and won Tricky three 1996 Brit Awards nominations (Britain's Grammy); Best Dance Act, Best British Newcomer and Best Male Solo Artist.
In August of '96 Tricky Nearly God, an album which included guest vocalists Neneh Cherry, Cath Coffey and Alison Moyet among others. Describing the album as "a collection of brilliant demos" Tricky recorded it during 2 and a half weeks In New York and London.
June and July of '96 found Tricky recording yet more new material at a small downtown Manhattan studio. These sessions featured singers, Dis and rappers from New York and appeared on an EP called, Tricky Presents, Return To The Grassroots. It was released through Payday Records in America only.
During December '95 and January '96 Tricky recorded a series of songs at a small studio 2 hours drive from Ochorios in Jamaica. These would later form the bulk of what would be his second solo album, Pre-MillenniumTension (released November '96). "There's a rawness in Jamaica that's on this album but I wouldn't say it's reggae influenced, said Tricky, "I wanted to make this a rawer album from what l've done before. I wanted to come back with attitude."
Pre-Millennium Tension was released in November of '96 to great critical acclaim. The first single "Christiansands" received MTV and alternative radio airplay. Tricky spent the summer of 1997 on the road with Lollapalooza, concocting an aggressive set to appeal to the mostly hard rock fans. He also appeared on a number of national television shows in the States including "Sessions at W. 54th Street" and MTV's "Fashionably Loud."
Tricky's work also continued to win the acclaim and appreciation of his fellow artists with Elvis Costello delivering his first ever remix - for the 'Christiansands' single. Costello had asked Tricky to do a remix for one of his most recent singles and the 'Christiansands' remix was a return of the favour.
Tricky has always maintained that his music is more influenced by hip hop (hence 'The Return To The Grassroots') and 'Pre-Millennium Tension' features cover versions of 2 classic hip hop tracks from the mid-eighties ('Bad Dreams' by Chill Rob G and 'Lyrics Of Fury' by Eric B & Rakim).
His new album "Angels With Dirty Faces" marks a further development with the influences ranging from hip-hop, blues, gospel, dub and rock and the use of musicians over and above samples. The first single, a double A-side, carries "Money Greedy" and "Broken Homes" from the album. The latter track features the inimitable PJ Harvey alongside Tricky on vocals.
Tricky truly is one
of the most innovative, creative and original musicians of his time. Since
the arrival of the first Tricky single back in January 1994 he has been
at the forefront of the music industry; confronting, challenging and pushing
back the boundaries. His music speaks louder than words but the media still
find him to be one of the most interesting characters and creative musicians
in the 90's.