Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Ms Dynamite - Biography

All you need to know about garage star Ms Dynamite

Ms Dynamite in a sheer outfit
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
Updated: 28 July 2023
Share this:

Early life

Born Niomi McLean-Daley to Scottish mother and a Jamaican father who split up when she was two, Ms Dynamite comes from an extended family of 11 brothers and sisters. Throughout her childhood in north London she helped her mother bring up her brothers and sisters, and at 13, when her mother developed cancer, Niomi had to grow up even faster.

"When I was supposed to be a child, I had the responsibilities of an adult" she later commented. With her mother's illness in remission, Ms Dynamite left the family home and moved into a series of hostels. During what she describes as a "difficult" period she continued to study hard at school and was rewarded with A levels in English Literature and Media Studies. Although offered a place at Sussex University to read social anthropology, however, she decided to turn it down to concentrate on her fledgling music career.

Start of career

Ms Dynamite at the MOBO Awards© Gareth Davies

Niomi became involved in music almost by accident after a friend offered her a presenter's slot on a pirate radio station. The show was a success and led to a stint on Freak FM. From there she broke into performing, appearing with garage band So Solid Crew on their hit They Don't Know. Signed for a one-off single deal to London Records in 2001, her first single Booo! went into the charts at number 12 and became one of that summer's most popular records.

An album contract with Polydor followed. For the next 18 months Ms Dynamite channelled her energy into A Little Deeper, which was recorded in Miami, New York and Jamaica under the direction of an array of producers including Salaam Remi, P Diddy's beatmaster "Punch" and veteran reggae duo Tony and Dave Kelly.

The result was an ambitious and accomplished record which justified the glowing reviews it earned in publications ranging from NME to The Daily Telegraph. The album's lyrics reflect a social conscience often absent in the materialistic world of British urban music "There's a lot more important things to be talking about than 'I'm so beautiful and I'm so wonderful and I've got so much money," says the singer, who opted to donate her £20,000 Mercury prize to charity.

As her career took off, Niomi was once more living at home with her family and helping her mother, a primary school teacher, with Khameron, her youngest half-brother. And she still sees her old school friends and visits the local community centre where she once studied martial arts.

Continuing career

Ms Dynamite performing at a ChildLine event© MJ Kim

She returned to the limelight in 2005, though, with her second album Judgement Days. This would prove to be her final album, however, with a talked about third project, Democracy, never surfacing. She did resurface on a 2010 track with Katy B and another with Magnetic Man, before relasing a 2011 solo single Neva Soft.

Personal life

In July 2003 the singer gave birth to a baby boy, Shavaar - Persian for "prince" - with fiancé Dwayne Seaforth by her side. The pair went their seperate ways two years later. After the arrival of her son Niomi took a two-year break from music to concentrate on being a mum.

In 2006, she was sentenced to a 60 hour community service order after she assaulted a police officer.

More Profiles

See more