I usually prefer to leave the talkin to the tracks, mainly true stories, but I get that people are often curious as to what and who you're about, so here's the one and only yadda yadda! of how it all began? Watford born and bred I was raised on a tough council estate and started Songwriting at the age of five, about nine years later I experienced the birth of Rap/Hip-Hop, from the first time I heard it, it literally stopped me in my tracks like an electric shock, it sounds cliche and it's really hard to explain, but the love and excitement I felt in my soul at that moment was like nothing I'd experienced before, although new, It felt warm and familiar like a missing limb had been given back. I went on to feel exactly the same about Black American Gospel.
However, neither genre were met favorably here in the UK and my attempts to share my love and excitement of it were met with racist comments that I sadly went on to endure for many years, it was a real shock to the system because I'd never thought of anything in terms of colour, but it was evident there was no way a UK society would allow me to be the Rap/Hip-Hop artist I wanted to be at that time, so feeling confused and alone I practiced in private. The highlight of my life was the School youth club held twice a week, as there was a record player, I was about the only kid on the block with a job working weekends in a Newsagents, so I spent some of the money on Vinyl and the Youth Club gave me a chance to give it a spin.
There were two black brothers who used to hang out and stand in the corner listening to the music, when they thought nobody was looking they would throw a few quick Body Popping & Break-dance moves, I nearly hyperventilated, it was the first time I'd been in a room with anyone that might feel like I did about the same genre, and I got the feeling they were just as desperate as me to express themselves, we cut a deal, they could take over the player and my Vinyl for awhile and in return they would dance and try and teach me some moves. I had a mix of stuff, Rap, Hip-Hop, Dancehall, Reggae, it felt great to finally share this mutual love.
By the time Rap/Hip-Hop started to emerge in the UK mainstream, while thrilled at the possibilities it was a bit of an anti-climax to say the least, it wasn't even close to the calibre of the US sound I'd spent years listening to and honing my craft from. I did attempt rapping with a purely English accent but by then it felt so uncomfortable and fake. At the end of the day it's about being true to yourself so I carry on today as I started out, hence the vocal Stateside twang. Sadly many people still have a misconception about Rap/Hiphop and I'd like to try and change that, and also encourage future generations to keep it going in the direction I believe was meant, at the end of the day it's a gift .
I'd just started getting interest from major labels when I got the debilitating complex chronic illness known as M.E and was told by medical consultants and Counselors that the Dream was over and making music and gigging would no longer be possible as it would worsen my condition, I lost my day job, my social life and Life as i'd known it in general, not content with that, I then went on to get diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoporosis, but I firmly believe that no matter how dire a situation we still have a choice?
I was bed-bound for two years but during that time recorded a demo rap/hiphop album on an old 4-track placed on my lap, there were no effects and it was really poor quality hence the "Raw" title but it was received well nonetheless, but when I was eventually able get out again, after two years of being indoors bedbound i'd developed agoraphobia and it took me another two years to get myself back as i'd lost all trust in the NHS after years of abuse and mistreatment, It was then I went on to record a studio album that due to poor health took 5 years to make, then, an E.P & a number of singles which took another 4 yrs. During that time I also had a cancer scare, it's a long story with more negligence but in brief a large mass was found in my torso and by the time it was acknowledged it was crushing my organs and had pushed my bowel up into my chest so I was having problems breathing and Walking. The consultant quite nonchalantly told me to go home and put all my affairs in order and say and do anything I needed to . Thankfully they successfully removed the mass that turned out to be benign but it's left me with weakness and problems on my left side . While I still have no trust in the NHS and have become phobic of all things medical, there have been a few fab docs over the decades of which I'm really thankful for.
I was just about to release the E.P in 2015 when my brother sadly took his own life, it was a massive shock and then two months later my sister was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma and passed away 10 short weeks later, and that was that, my only siblings gone within 5months.
I'm not going to lie, dealing with illness and grief has been utter shit, there's no other way to describe it. M.E is an invisible illness, people think you look okay so you must be fine, but I'm not fine, it comes with more awful symptoms than I have underpants, and as for the pain of grief it's a forever thing, not a day goes by where I don't shed a tear for my brother and sister, I miss them like i can't even describe, but it's back to that choice thing, Sink or Swim, I either find ways to cope and carve out the best life I can with the cards I've been dealt or I give up? But quitting isn't in my vocabulary and hopefully I can still leave a positive mark by helping others and maybe inspire a few?
Everyone's idea of success is different, for me it's not about fame or being popular, when I hit the other-side the main mans not going to be impressed by a chart position? I'm by no means the best , but my love, stories and delivery is honest and I just hope people can appreciate that if nothing else? I try to use any platform given to talk about things that matter, like M.E, Disability, Mental health etc and in turn give others a voice and platform. I'm also a voluntary ant at Let's Do It For ME! that raise awareness and funds for Charity: Invest In ME Research if you have time, please check them out.
Just remember that no matter how tough life gets, you always have a choice, stay true to yourself and don't let anyone tell you that you're not capable of achieving something, each and everyone of us is gifted with being able to make a difference?
Forever A Life Student X