Best known as the singer/songwriter/guitarist for Bloc Party, Kele Okereke was born in Liverpool, England to Nigerian parents. His family moved to London and Okereke met future Bloc Party guitarist Russell Lissack while still in high school. During college, he formed the band the Angel Range with Lissack, adding bassist Gordon Moakes and drummer Matt Tong to the fold soon after. In 2003 they settled on the name Bloc Party and found success with a string of post-punk-inspired releases, starting with the Banquet and She’s Hearing Voices singles and albums including 2005’s Silent Alarm, 2007’s A Weekend in the City, and 2008’s Intimacy.
Late in 2009, Bloc Party went on hiatus and Okereke began working on songs on his own, moving to Berlin and collaborating with producers Hudson Mohawke and XXXchange in New York on a solo album. In 2010, the single Tenderoni arrived, revealing that Okereke's solo work was more dance-oriented than his music with Bloc Party. That year, he also confirmed rumors that he is gay and was named Sexiest Out Gay Male Artist by the music website LP33. His full-length debut, The Boxer, arrived in summer 2010.