The Ascent (Wiley album)

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The Ascent
Wiley The Ascent album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released1 April 2013[1]
Length46:04 (Standard Edition)
59:12 (Deluxe Edition)
LabelWarner Music Group
ProducerWiley, Rymez, Wize, Thomas Mellor, Sillkey, Kid D, Xaphoon Jones
Wiley chronology
Evolve or Be Extinct
The Ascent
Snakes & Ladders
Singles from The Ascent
  1. "Heatwave"
    Released: 27 July 2012
  2. "Can You Hear Me? (Ayayaya)"
    Released: 28 October 2012
  3. "Reload"
    Released: 24 February 2013
  4. "Lights On"
    Released: 7 June 2013
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[3]
Drowned in Sound4/10[5]
The Guardian3/5 stars[6]
Hot Press3.5/5[7]
musicOMH3.5/5 stars[8]
Pitchfork Media6.2/10[10]
The Skinny2/5 stars[11]
Time Out London3/5 stars[12]

The Ascent is the ninth studio album by English grime artist Wiley. The album was released on 1 April 2013, via Warner Music Group and Boy Better Know, after originally being slated to be released on 4 February and 11 March, respectively.[13][14] The Ascent succeeds Evolve or Be Extinct which was released in January 2012. The album features a variety of experimental genres, varying from dance pop to grime. The lead single "Heatwave", featuring Ms D, peaking at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Wiley's first number 1 as a solo artist. This was followed by "Can You Hear Me? (Ayayaya)" featuring Skepta, JME and Ms D, "Reload" featuring Chip and Ms D, all of which peaked in the top 10.[15]

The album received positive to mixed reviews from music critics, and entered the UK Albums Chart at number 26 - becoming his highest-charting solo studio album until Godfather (2017) reached the top 10, yet is his first top 40 album entry. The album has spawned four top ten hits in the UK Singles Chart including the number one single "Heatwave" which also charted in Australia.


The name of the album was first confirmed by Wiley on 27 September 2012, via his official Twitter account. The album's track list was later revealed on 11 October 2012, detailing sixteen tracks - however, in January 2013, the track list was revised. "Walking Through Fire", "Stay Here", "Common Ground" (featuring Ryan Keen), and "Drink My Pain Away" (featuring Stacy Barthe) were removed from the album;[16] while "Ninja" was demoted to the deluxe edition, and "So Alive", "Tomorrow" and "Humble Pie" were added to the standard edition, and "Rubicon" and "Broken Thoughts" were added to the deluxe edition.[17] The album was originally due to be released on 4 February 2013, but was later delayed until 11 March 2013, in order for a third single to be released prior to the album. The album was once again delayed until 1 April 2013, to allow for final edits to be made on the album.[18] "Ninja" was previously released as an official free download. Wiley collaborated with an extensive number of artists for the album, with featured guest appearances including American hip hop quartet Far East Movement, English rappers Kano, Skepta, JME, Ghetts, Griminal, Manga, Frisco, Big Shizz, Double S, Chip, Wrigz, J2K, Ice Kid and Megaman, and English singers Tulisa, Angel and Scottish R&B singer Emeli Sandé.[19] On 19 March 2013, Wiley leaked the album for free temporarily via Twitter after a dispute with iTunes, but has since removed the link.


"Heatwave", featuring Ms D, was released as the album's lead single, debuting at #1 on the UK Singles Chart on 5 August 2012, selling over 114,000 copies in its first week, becoming Wiley's first ever solo number one. "Can You Hear Me? (Ayayaya)", featuring Skepta, JME & Ms D, was released as the album's second single on 28 October 2012. It peaked at #3 on the UK Singles Chart, selling 75,000 copies.[20][21] "Reload", featuring Chip & Ms D, was released as the album's third single on 24 February 2013. It entered the top ten of the UK Singles Chart on the week ending 3 March 2013 at #9. "Lights On", featuring Angel & Tinchy Stryder, was released as the album's fourth single on 7 June 2013. It also entered the UK Singles Chart at #9.

Track listing[edit]

The Ascent — Standard edition
1."Ascent Intro"Richard Cowie
  • Alex Oriet
  • Saltwives
2."First Class" (featuring Kano and Lethal Bizzle)Xaphoon Jones4:01
3."Skillzone" (featuring Ghetts, Griminal, Manga, Frisco, Double S, Scratchy and Big Shizz)
  • Cowie
  • Justin Clarke Samuel
  • Joshua Ramsey
  • Matthew Reid
  • Bashir Bazanye
  • Peter McNulty
  • Deshane Cornwall
  • Jordan Birch
  • Ryan Williams
4."Hands in the Air" (featuring Tulisa and Ice Kid)
  • Cowie
  • Rodney Hwingwiri
  • Ariowa Irosogie
  • Kian Joshua Roberts
5."Reload" (featuring Ms D and Chip)
  • Mike "Scribz" Riley
  • The Skeptiks (add.)
6."Chainsaw" (featuring Wrigz, J2K and Kivanc)
  • Cowie
  • Jason Black
  • Daniel Wrigley
  • Thomas Mellor
  • Kivanc Sezen
Thomas Mellor3:59
7."Heatwave" (featuring Ms D)
  • Cowie
  • Hwingwiri
  • Irosogie
8."So Alive" (featuring Far East Movement)
9."Lights On" (featuring Angel and Tinchy Stryder)
  • Charles
  • Wez Clarke (add.)
10."Can You Hear Me? (Ayayaya)" (featuring Skepta, JME and Ms D)
  • Rymez
  • Sillkey
  • Anthony "Krunchie" Bamgboye
11."Tomorrow" (featuring Megaman and Styalz Fuego)
  • Cowie
  • Dwayne Vincent
  • Kaelyn Bahr
Styalz Fuego3:40
12."My Heart" (featuring Emeli Sandé and French Montana)
Chris Loco2:59
13."Humble Pie"
  • Cowie
  • Dean Robertson
Kid D3:45
Total length:46:04

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Catalogue
United Kingdom 1 April 2013 CD, digital download Warner Music ASC003


  1. ^
  2. ^ "The Ascent – Wiley". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  3. ^ Jeffries, David. "The Ascent – Wiley". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  4. ^ Martin, Felicity (2 April 2013). "Wiley – The Ascent". Clash. Music Republic. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  5. ^ Hamilton, Billy (3 April 2013). "Album Review: Wiley – The Ascent". Drowned in Sound. Silentway. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  6. ^ MacInnes, Paul (28 March 2013). "Wiley: The Ascent – review". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  7. ^ Heslin, Maeve (24 April 2013). "Wiley: The Ascent". Hot Press. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  8. ^ Young, Martyn (27 March 2013). "Wiley – The Ascent". musicOMH. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  9. ^ Hoban, Alex (2 April 2013). "Wiley – 'The Ascent'". NME. Inspire. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  10. ^ Finney, Tim (2 April 2013). "Wiley: The Ascent". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  11. ^ J. Kudos, Omar (28 March 2013). "Wiley – The Ascent". The Skinny. Radge Media. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  12. ^ Duggins, Alexi (22 March 2013). "Wiley – 'The Ascent' album review". Time Out London. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Twitter / EskiDance: #WileyTheAscent...Out Feb 4th....2013". Twitter. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  14. ^ "Wiley's official website". Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  15. ^ "Wiley - The Ascent [Artwork & Track list]". The Grime Report. Retrieved 2013-01-10.[dead link]
  16. ^ "Wiley unveils The Ascent album tracklist feat Emeli Sandé, Kano, Tulisa + more". Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  17. ^ "Wiley Instagram: The tracklisting for my new album "The Ascent"". Instagram. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
  18. ^ "Twitter / EskiDance: My new album is called Wiley - The Ascent". Twitter. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
  19. ^ "Wiley Instagram: The tracklisting for my new album "The Ascent"". Instagram. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
  20. ^ "Wiley, Skepta & JME Premiere 'Can You Hear Me (Ayayaya)' Video". Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  21. ^ "Can You Hear Me? (Ayayaya)". iTunes. Retrieved 2012-10-17.