“I was never interested in being the richest guy on the planet. My attitude was, I’m gonna turn music upside down. I’m gonna make a sound that nobody’s heard before.”
Tricky took the UK by storm in the early 1990s, creating a sound that helped define the soundtrack of the post-rave generation. His first solo album, ‘Maxinquaye’ went gold, sold a million copies worldwide, was the NME’s album of the year in 1995 and nominated for that year’s Mercury prize. Since then he has recorded a further twelve albums. Before his music career, however, he grew up in the ‘white ghetto’ of Bristol’s Knowle West – alongside family members that included convicted criminals and bare-knuckle boxers. Out of an environment of urban struggle and economic disadvantage – he forged a unique creativity, finding acclaim from the likes of David Bowie.
Tricky speaks candidly about how his mother's suicide when he was just four years old has had a lifelong effect on him, both creatively and psychologically, and how the underground cultures of the 1980s and ’90s, like squatting, festivals, Jamaican sound systems and the emerging UK hip-hop scene gave him the space and inspiration to express himself artistically. Free to develop his taste naturally and experimentally, in part by working with like-minded peers such as Bristol’s Wild Bunch – from which later came Massive Attack – Tricky pioneered his extraordinary sound. When Island Records’ legendary figurehead Chris Blackwell signed him, his adventure as a household name began.
Tricky takes the reader on a journey from the margins of Bristol’s ghettos to the high-life of 1990s music industry excess. In his distinctive voice, he talks about loss, violence, personal struggles and financial ruin – and how he emerged from a crazy, drug-infested LA to reinvent himself in Paris and Berlin.
The book has been written in collaboration with music journalist Andrew Perry and features contributions from members of Tricky’s family, music industry insiders, former gangsters and also noted music icons such as Terry Hall and Shaun Ryder.