Elliot John Gleave (born 20 June 1982), better known by his stage name Example, is an English rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer signed to Epic Records and Sony Music. He has also acted in numerous movies. His name arose due to his initials being E.G., which is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase exempli gratia ("for example").
Example first found success with the release of his second studio album, Won't Go Quietly, which peaked at number 4 on the UK Albums Chart and peaked at number 1 on the UK Dance Chart. and followed his debut album "What We Made" which was heavily hip-hop influenced due to Gleave only knowing a hip-hop record producer at the time. The album had two top 10 singles, "Won't Go Quietly" and "Kickstarts". His third album Playing in the Shadows was released on 4 September 2011. The album topped the charts with two number 1 singles, "Changed the Way You Kiss Me" (produced by Michael Woods) and "Stay Awake" (produced by electronic duo Nero). His fourth album, The Evolution of Man was released on 19 November 2012 and peaked at number 13 on the UK Albums Chart and also peaked at number 1 on the UK Dance Chart.
Since The Evolution of Man, Gleave has released the lead single from his next album, entitled "All the Wrong Places", which was produced by Alfie Bamford and co-produced by Gleave and Steve Hill. It was the first song to be released through Epic Records and did so on 8 September 2013 peaking at number 13 on the UK Singles Chart. Then, "Kids Again", was released on 16 March 2014 and hit number 13 in the UK Single's charts. The fifth album, Live Life Living, was released on 7 July 2014.
Speaking in an interview for Australian television in 2013 Gleave referenced that he "might do music for another 5 years and then [he] would like to move into film directing" (preferably horror/thrillers).
Elliot John Gleave was born at West London Hospital in Hammersmith to Elaine (Johnston) and Michael Gleave. In a 2012 interview with The Guardian, he said that "I was diagnosed with Asperger's when I was younger. I was amazing with numbers, I had a photographic memory, and I hated reading fiction, preferring books on nature and history. All symptoms of mild autism." He has a younger sister, named Elise. He later went on to attend ADT College (now Ashcroft Technology Academy) in Putney. Gleave has claimed in interviews that the main reason he started rapping was due to his introduction to hip-hop through albums by Wu-Tang Clan and Snoop Dogg – the latter's album purchased primarily for "the cool cover art", and to the fact that he was not particularly good at any sports, so started rapping to fit in socially. His first experience of rapping was through a rap battle at a house party in Shepherd's Bush in 1994, when he was 12 years old. In that battle, he, in his own words, "completely destroyed a useless wanker and a fight broke out so (he) sprinted home".
It was during this period that he met Joseph Gardner, AKA Rusher, the producer whom he would go on to work with during his time releasing tracks independently through his All The Chats imprint, and later on Mike Skinner's label The Beats. Gleave and Gardner made a concept album in the audio booth of the University film department; this concept album contained the track which would go on to be Example's first white-label vinyl release, "A Pointless Song."
2004–08: Record deal and What We Made
After releasing three singles through his own label "All The Chats", including the original 7" version of "I Don't Want To" in January 2006, Example received attention from Pete Tong, Zane Lowe and others at Radio 1.
After signing a deal in April 2006 with The Beats, Example put out a response to Lily Allen's No.1 hit "Smile" entitled "Vile" and received Radio 1 airplay from Zane Lowe, Jo Whiley and Chris Moyles. His first 'proper' release on The Beats was "What We Made" in November 2006, the video for which was filmed in Chernobyl, Ukraine (see ). Example's second official Beats single entitled "You Can't Rap" was released in March 2007, followed by a re-release of "I Don't Want To" on 11 June 2007. "I Don't Want To" was followed by the single "So Many Roads" (famously sampling The Carpenters "We've Only Just Begun") which eventually turned out to be the opening track on Example's full-length studio debut. After the demise of The Beats label at the end of 2007 Example self-released his next single "Me + Mandy" on 10 March 2008 through his original imprint All The Chats. The video for "Me + Mandy" was shot over 4 days and nights in London, in over 30 locations with over 40 extras. This was done at a cost of just £1000. It was directed by Example's friend Henry Scholfield who also made the promos for "Who Needs Sunshine?", "Vile", "You Can't Rap" and "I Don't Want To".
In February 2008 Example also tried his hand at stand-up comedy as part of BBC2's The Culture Show. Mentored by English comic Richard Herring, Example spent six weeks writing and practising his own stand-up routine which culminated in his first ever stand-up show in front of 60 paying customers in a Covent Garden pub. A week later he appeared on the bill under Richard Herring, Phill Jupitus and Harry Hill at the Lyric Hammersmith – Example had performed in the same venue ten years earlier whilst a student at ADT College.
2009–2010: Won't Go Quietly
Example made his first chart appearance in September 2009, when he released "Watch the Sun Come Up" as the lead single from his second album Won't Go Quietly through Data Records. The single debuted at number 20 on the UK Singles Chart, rising to number 19 the following week. The single was followed by a release of "Won't Go Quietly", released on 18 January 2010. The single debuted at number 6 in the United Kingdom, marking Example's first appearance within the top 10. It also peaked 36 in Ireland. The announcement was then made in April 2010 that the second album Won't Go Quietly would be released on 21 June 2010 and would be preceded by the single "Kickstarts". Receiving its radio debut on 13 April by then-BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, the song was produced by Sub Focus. "Kickstarts" was released on 20 June, where it debuted at number 3. Released the following week, the album Won't Go Quietly debuted at number 4 on the UK Albums Chart. On 12 September, Example released "Last Ones Standing" as the fourth cut from the album, where it reached a peak of number 27 in the United Kingdom and 37 in Ireland. On 14 November 2010, he released the final single off the album "Two Lives", though it only peaked at 84 on the UK Singles Chart. On the other hand, it was able to peak at number 10 position on the UK Dance Chart.
2011–12: Playing in the Shadows
In June 2011, he released his first single from his third album, "Changed the Way You Kiss Me" where it debuted at number one in the UK. The song also charted in many European countries and Australia, where it was also certified Platinum. The second song of the album "Stay Awake", which was produced by Nero, was debuted on Friday 1 July 2011 on BBC Radio 1 by Annie Mac. It was released in August, and also debuted at number 1. His third single "Midnight Run" was released in December 2011 and reached number 30 in the UK Singles Chart.
2012–13: The Evolution of Man
Example confirmed he was to have a track he wrote for The Wanted to be featured on their debut US album, The Wanted. The song is called "Chasing The Sun". The track was released as a single in April 2012 in USA and May 2012 in the United Kingdom, featuring remixes from Hardwell and Tantrum Desire and peaking at number 2 in the UK Singles Chart, and receiving worldwide recognition. In January 2012, Example signed a US record deal with Mercury, which is part of Universal. He is hoping to crack America on his own terms with his next album.
On 17 August 2012, the 2013 tour dates were announced. The 13-date tour started on 11 February 2013 in Bournemouth and finished at the Manchester Arena on 1 March 2013. Support comes from British dubstep producer Benga  who also produced Example's album track "Come Taste the Rainbow".
The lead single "Say Nothing" was released in September 2012, debuting at number 2 in the UK charts. His second single from the album entitled "Close Enemies" was released in November 2012 and peaked to number 37 in the UK charts. The album was released on 19 November, shortly after the release of "Close Enemies". The Evolution of Man reached a peak position of 13 in the UK charts. "Perfect Replacement" was announced as the third and final single of the album; it was thought before that "Queen of Your Dreams" would be the third single, but Gleave ended up opting for "Perfect Replacement". It was released in February 2013 and peaked at number 46 in the UK charts.
A song entitled "Where Did The Sun Go?" was also expected to appear on the album or one of the deluxe versions, due to live performances, but Example confirmed on his official Twitter account that the song had been scrapped due to him and its producer Alvin Risk "not liking it" or it "not being me" (referring to himself).
2013–14: Live Life Living and Epic Records signing
On 15 April 2013, he stated on Facebook that he was in Los Angeles working on his fifth studio album. The album was due to be released in June 2014. Five album tracks were written and produced in Los Angeles with Stuart Price. The lead single from the album, titled "All the Wrong Places", was debuted at his Auckland concert in New Zealand on 24 April.
Gleave collaborated with Pet Shop Boys on their song "Thursday" from their 2013 studio album Electric, released on 15 July 2013. The song was released as a single on 4 November 2013 and reached number 61 on the UK Singles Chart. Gleave was also asked to feature on Dizzee Rascal's song "Goin' Crazy", but declined the offer and Robbie Williams took the part instead.
In July 2013, it was announced that Example had signed a record deal with the UK division of Epic Records, after leaving his previous label Ministry of Sound. His final release with Ministry of Sound was the compilation album #Hits, released on 5 August 2013. He appeared at the 2013 Glastonbury Festival. Example announced via Twitter that tracks from his upcoming album "All the Wrong Places" and "Only Human" were played at all festival gigs in the summer. "All the Wrong Places" made its radio debut on 15 July on BBC Radio 1 with Zane Lowe and was released on 8 September. It charted at number 13 on the UK Singles Chart. "Only Human" was first performed live at a pre festival warm-up show at the O2 Academy Bristol on 6 June 2013.
At festivals during the summer, Gleave also performed the album track "Take Me As I Am", produced by Critikal. It was premiered at Global Gathering 2013. Gleave also wrote Friction featuring Arlissa's single "Long Gone Memory", which was released on 10 November 2013.
His fifth studio album Live Life Living was released on 7 July 2014. Gleave cites the Prodigy, Faithless, Underworld and the Chemical Brothers as influences for the new album. The album's second single, "Kids Again", premiered alongside its remixes in January 2014 and was released on 16 March. It was produced by Gleave and Fraser T Smith, and co-produced by Critikal.
In February and March 2014, Gleave hosted four Saturday night shows on Capital FM. Gleave also announced that throughout March 2014, he would release details including track list, pre-order information, album artwork and the title for his fifth album.
On 4 March, Gleave announced the title of his fifth album, Live Life Living. The album was released in the UK on 7 July 2014, and features twelve tracks, with an additional four on the deluxe edition. The album cover features a new logo, which debuted alongside the single artwork for "Kids Again".
On 19 April, Gleave debuted the album's third single: "One More Day (Stay with Me)", previously entitled "Stay with Me", which was renamed due to the Sam Smith song released by the same name. Gleave revisited five album tracks which initially just involved him singing and added raps to them. During the "One More Day" premiere with Danny Howard, he confirmed new collaborations with Klaxons, Wretch 32, Angel Haze and Sigma are in the works.
2015–present: Sixth album
Prior to his 2014 tour, Example had confirmed to a fan on Twitter that work on his sixth album had begun, although he stated that it wouldn't likely be finished before the end of 2015. Gleave has spent studio time with Netsky and Sigma leading up to his 2014 tour who could be possible collaborators for the album. In early 2015, Gleave released a statement on his Twitter account detailing his plans for the year ahead and the following year. The statement detailed that he would be taking a significant break from touring in 2015 in order to spend time with his wife and son as well as to write new music for his upcoming album, and in 2016, he plans to release his sixth album and return to touring with a full live band. He also released an brief early demo snippet on Instagram, displaying part of a rap verse.
On 8 June, Gleave revealed to a fan on Twitter that "Whisky Story", the lead single from his sixth studio album, and its music video would be revealed on 8 July. The track was available to download on 10 July, and peaked only at number 96 in the Official UK charts.
In May 2016, Example appeared in the music video for WSTRN's "Come Down". He is seen entering a house and looking at a photo before speaking on his phone and leaving. The same month, Example confirmed that the second single from his untitled sixth album is "Later" and will be a return to "classic Example", citing "Changed the Way You Kissed Me" as a reference in an interview with Russell Kane on Virgin Radio.
In November 2017, Example stated that the third single from his sixth album would be released in January 2018 and that the album would be released later on in the year.
While filming a promo video for his track "What We Made" in the abandoned city of Prypiat in northern Ukraine, Example also filmed an 18-minute documentary in the ghost towns he visited and their deserted schools, hotels and funfairs, many of which still remain exactly as they were when they were abandoned after the infamous disaster in 1986. "I don't think anyone who's been here can be for nuclear power," he said, looking around at empty cots and babies' gas masks in a disintegrating schoolroom near Chernobyl. "I've read stuff recently about how we're only ever going to survive if we make nuclear power available, but you just think: why would you want it to happen after seeing this?"
Speaking in an interview for Australian television in 2013, Gleave referenced that he "might do music for another 5 years and then [he] would like to move into film directing (preferably horror/thrillers)."
Gleave has made his feature film acting debut in Between Two Worlds, which he filmed a number of scenes for in 2013. He is currently acting in his second feature film which goes by the name of A Bus Could Run You Over. The Instagram page following the progress of the movie can be found . His short film acting debut comes in February 2016 in the form of Instagram-exclusive Shield 5, directed by Anthony Wilcox & starring alongside Christian Cooke.
Gleave has also announced via his instagram that he is presenting an "upcoming tv show for Channel 4 showcasing the subcultures of the supercar world". He has also said that this will be broadcasting on Channel 4.
Gleave is married to Australian model and actress Erin McNaught. They got engaged in November 2012 and were wed in Australia on 18 May 2013. He is the nephew of the late former footballer Tony Grealish. Gleave is involved with charity work and is an ambassador for the Teenage Cancer Trust. In November 2013, he visited India with the Life Water charity on their "Drop4drop" campaign to introduce fresh water. Gleave and his wife donated a water pump to a community in the Kadapa region. In April 2014, Gleave stated on Twitter that he plans to move to Australia with his wife by 2018 at the latest.
On 23 July 2014, McNaught announced the news that she and Gleave were expecting a child. On 21 December 2014 in Australian time, their son, Evander Maxwell Gleave, was born. On 12th September 2017 Gleave announced the birth of their second child, Ennio Stanley Gleave.
- What We Made (2007)
- Won't Go Quietly (2010)
- Playing in the Shadows (2011)
- The Evolution of Man (2012)
- Live Life Living (2014)
Awards and nominations
|List of awards and nominations|
|2008||UK Music Video Awards||Best Urban Video||"Me and Mandy"||Nominated|
|Best Budget Video||Won|
|2010||"Watch the Sun Come Up"||Won|
|Popjustice £20 Music Prize||Best British Pop Single||"Kickstarts"||Won|
|2011||BT Digital Music Awards||Best Male Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Best Independent Artist or Group||Nominated|
|4Music Video Honours||Best Boy||Nominated|
|Best Video||"Changed the Way You Kiss Me"||Nominated|
|2012||BRIT Awards||British Single||"Changed the Way You Kiss Me"||Nominated|