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AJ Tracey

AJ Tracey

Ché Wolton Grant (born 4 March 1994), better known professionally as AJ Tracey, is a British rapper and record producer,[4] from Ladbroke Grove, West London.[5] Tracey rose to popularity in 2016, and was listed by The Guardian in a list of "best new acts to catch at festivals in 2016".[6]

Tracey's first mainstream EP, Secure the Bag! (2017) entered the UK Albums Chart at number thirteen. In 2018, Tracey released the single "Butterflies" featuring British singer Not3s which served as his commercial breakthrough, peaking in the top 20 on the UK Singles Chart. His self-titled debut album, which was independently released in 2019, peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart and featured his highest-charting single "Ladbroke Grove", peaking at number four on the UK Singles Chart.

AJ Tracey
Background information
Birth nameChé Wolton Grant[1]
Also known as
  • Looney
  • Loonz
  • Lil Tracey
Born(1994-03-04)4 March 1994
Ladbroke Grove, London, England
OriginLadbroke Grove, London, England[2]
  • Rapper
  • record producer
Years active2009–present
LabelsMy Team Paid
Associated acts

Early life

Grant's father, of Trinidadian origin, is a former rapper, and his Welsh mother is a former jungle DJ.[7] Ché is the cousin of fellow Grime MC and close collaborator Big Zuu.[8]

He was educated locally at Middle Row Primary school and went on to attend Holland Park School. He dropped out of a Criminology course at London Metropolitan University in order to pursue his music career. He is a loyal supporter of Tottenham Hotspur football club.[9]


2011–16: Emergence and EPs

Under the stage names Looney and Loonz, Tracey's music can be found online dating back to June 2011. An early SoundCloud account, Looney Tell 'Em, contains eleven tracks, each with free downloads enabled. These include four songs from the scrapped grime EP The Dungeon (featuring non-exclusive beats from Spooky and Rude Kid) and two songs from Didn't Make the Cut, originally slated for release on the scrapped hip hop mixtape Fuck a Fairytale.[10] His debut mixtape, Didn't Make the Cut, was released 13 September 2012,[11] and comprises 21 British rap and grime songs and freestyles which, in his own words, are "the tracks that didn’t make it onto my actual mixtape". The project was initially to be titled Scirocco Musik, and its artwork still reflects this title. In August 2013, his collective, My Team Paid, announced that they were to release a joint mixtape entitled My Team Paid.[12] One single, "Clouded Skies", emerged, but the project was ultimately scrapped. Tracey's second mixtape, No More Looney, was released through DatPiff on 30 August 2014. The project includes thirty-three tracks, many of which feature fellow My Team Paid members Big Zuu, Jay Amo, Wax and Sketch.[13]

Tracey first gained attention through appearances on pirate radio stations, and the release of his debut EP The Front in mid 2015.[14][15] In December 2015, Tracey released his second EP Alex Moran, which featured acclaimed tracks including "Spirit Bomb" and "Naila".[6][16][17][18] During this period, Tracey also recorded (but did not release) a trap EP entitled Rain.[19][20]

In 2016, Tracey – a Tottenham Hotspur fan – appeared in promotional material for BT Sport's coverage of the Premier League.[21] He also collaborated with Dave over a remix of Ruff Sqwad's Pied Piper to create a well received track entitled "Thiago Silva".[22][23]

2017–present: Secure the Bag! and self-titled album

In October 2017, Tracey released his fifth EP, Secure the Bag!.[24] 2017 also saw Tracey foray into record production. He made his production debut on "LA4AWEEK", co-produced by Nyge and released in April 2017, and later produced label-mate Big Zuu's "Tell Man Twice", released in August 2017.

In early 2018, AJ Tracey modelled for the OVO clothing line in 2018.[25]

In May 2018, Tracey released the single "Butterflies" featuring Not3s. The song served as AJ Tracey's commercial breakthrough, peaking at number 19 on the UK Singles Chart. The single was followed up with "Lo(v/s)er", which peaked at number 38.

In early July 2019 the Swedish rapper Z.E released his second album, Mer än rap ("more than rap"). Tracey was featured on the title track "More Than Rap".

On 21 November 2018, Tracey announced the pre-order of his self-titled debut album, released on 8 February 2019. The lead single, "Doing It", was released for streaming and digital on the same day.[26][27] It is planned to include the Gold-certified single "Butterflies" and to be accompanied by a world tour beginning in March 2019.[28][29]


In June 2017, Tracey endorsed Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 UK general election. In a Labour Party campaign video he said: "The Labour Party strongly support the youth in following their dreams and giving people a chance". He added: "In my opinion we need a Labour government to give young people a hope, a chance for their future and I genuinely believe that Corbyn is the man to do it."[30]

Later that month, following the Grenfell Tower fire, he was asked for his thoughts on the disaster by The Guardian. His brother Mickey told the cameras: "The central government response has been shambolic. Theresa May, you have a lot of questions to answer, genuinely." Tracey added: "She needs to resign, to be honest... She came with heavy security, no one was allowed to approach her. And then Corbyn comes down, do you get me? No security, chats to the mandem. This is why everyone loves him... It seems like he genuinely cares."[31]

On 14 April 2018, in response to the May administration's decision to launch airstrikes on Syria following the Douma chemical attack, Tracey tweeted: "why is a woman none of us voted for dragging us out of europe [sic] and into world war 3? 😂".[32]


  • AJ Tracey (2019)


Citation Linkwww.ascap.com"ACE Repertory". www.ascap.com.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkhyponik.com"Mubashir: 6 essential west London tracks and freestyles - hyponik". hyponik.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkyoutube.com"AJ Tracey on new album, goat cover, Cadet passing away, Giggs, his style, tour". Tim Westwood on YouTube. 16 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkwww.bbc.comSavage, Mark (12 July 2019). "AJ Tracey puts independence before profits" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkwww.thefader.com"Rising Grime MC AJ Tracey Ascends To New Heights On This Silk Road Assassins Remix | The FADER". thefader.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkwww.theguardian.com"The best new acts to catch at festivals in 2016 | Music | The Guardian". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comBBC Radio 1Xtra (24 March 2016). "AJ Tracey drops a freestyle for Toddla T" – via YouTube.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comBoiler Room (19 July 2018). "Big Zuu Talks Incest, KSI, Gelatin & Jay Amo" – via YouTube.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkwww.facebook.com"AJ Tracey". www.facebook.com.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linksoundcloud.com"Looney Tell 'Em". SoundCloud.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linktwitter.com"Toonz MTP on Twitter".
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comMy Team Paid (11 August 2013). "MTP - Clouded Skies" – via YouTube.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkwww.datpiff.com"AJ Tracey - No More Looney". DatPiff.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkwww.dummymag.com"Interview: AJ Tracey | Dummy Mag". dummymag.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkrwdmag.com"Hear ‘Champions League’ from AJ Tracey’s new EP | RWD". rwdmag.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkuk.complex.com"AJ Tracey's "Naila", Produced By Zeph Ellis, Is A Classic-In-Waiting | Complex UK". uk.complex.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkwww.factmag.com"AJ Tracey announces second EP Alex Moran". Archived from the original on 4 December 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linknoisey.vice.com"One of the Most Killer Grime Tracks of 2015 Now Has a Video, Here's AJ Tracey's "Naila" | NOISEY". noisey.vice.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkrwdmag.com"AJ Tracey dons his ‘Trapsuit’ for new track | RWD". rwdmag.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM
Citation Linkpigeonsandplanes.com"Daily Discovery: AJ Tracey | Pigeons & Planes". pigeonsandplanes.com. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
Sep 24, 2019, 8:44 PM