Born on January 27, 1968 as Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws, Tricky started his music career during the second half of the 1980s as a member of The Wild Bunch, a collective of musicians/DJs from the English city of Bristol, from which the Massive Attack. Before setting his name on the music scene, Tricky left his collaborations on Massive Attack's first two albums — Blue Lines (1991) and Protection (1994).
In late 1993, he released his first single, "Aftermath", with the participation of young singer Martina Topley-Bird, who also collaborated on the musician's first four albums.
Maxinquaye, the first album, came out in 1995, was critically acclaimed and became one of the references of trip hop. In February 1996, the musician released Nearly God, an album with collaborations by several artists, such as Björk and Neneh Cherry. Pre-Millennium Tensio, the second official album, came out in November of the same year. Next came Angels with Dirty Faces (1998), Juxtapose (1998), Blowback (2001) and Vulnerable (2003).
After a five-year hiatus, Tricky released in 2008 Knowle West Boy, his seventh album, the most acclaimed work since Pre-Millennium Tensio. Mixed Race (2010), False Idols (2013) and Adrian Thaws (2014) were his next albums.
In 2017, the artist released Ununiform, an album featuring his former girlfriend and constant collaborator Martina Topley-Bird, with whom he had a daughter named Mina Mazy. In 2019, Mina Mazy died of suicide at the age of 24. A new album, Fall to Pieces, arrived in September 2020.