Always a talented wordsmith, Example won the Royal Mail Poet of the Year competition as a 10-year-old, before entering local rap battles at house parties and MCing at Garage clubs. Three self-released early singles caught the attention of The Streets star Mike Skinner who signed him up to his new label The Beats and began acting as a mentor. 2006's Vile, a response song to Lily Allen's Smile, proved a mainstream breakthrough for Example, gaining valuable airplay on BBC Radio 1 and marking him out as a cheeky, sharp-tongued urban storyteller. A flurry of mixtapes and remixes was followed by debut album What We Made (2007) - featuring samples by The Carpenters and Kylie Minogue - and the singles You Can't Rap, I Don't Want To and So Many Roads. Inspired by the bouncy electro-pop of Calvin Harris and Dizzee Rascal, a slight change of direction helped Example score the UK Number 6 hit Won't Go Quietly. An album of the same name followed in 2010.