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 a brief yadda yadda! of how it all began musically up to present day?  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 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 at that time and my attempts to share the love and excitement  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  be accepting. It is a time that left it's scars, young, confused, scared, but mainly  angry that there was so much hatred over  skin colour, and so I had to practice 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 ever been in a room with anyone that might feel the same way as me about the genre, we cut a deal, they could take over spinning my Vinyl for awhile and in return they would dance and try and teach me some  moves, it sure 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. 

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  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. 

I was bed-bound for two years but during that time recorded a mega rough demo rap/hiphop album on an old 4-track placed on my lap, there were no effects and it was incredibly  poor quality as you can imagine 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 & having lost all trust in the NHS after years of abuse and mistreatment, it took me another two years to get myself back. 

It was then I went  on to record a studio album "Nobody Want's To Know Ya When Ya Nobody"  that took 5 years to make, then an E.P "Runnin On Empty" & a number of singles  which took another 4 yrs.  During that time due to more medical negligence  I also had a cancer scare, 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 and  was told by a consultant I should say my goodbyes.  Thankfully, it was successfully removed & by a miracle turned out to be benign, but it's left me with weakness and problems on my left side . 

I was just about to release the E.P "Runnin On Empty" 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 ( You can read the story: "Give Us This Day")

I'm not going to lie, dealing with  illness and grief has been a challenge to say the least, utter shite, there's no other way to describe it. Grief whether through loss of loved ones or/and illness that takes away your normality  is a forever thing that you have to try and live with, it comes down to choice, 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 bones and hopefully while here I can still leave a positive mark, help others and maybe inspire a few? 

Everyone's idea of success is different, for me it's not about fame or being popular, It's about sharing honesty, I don't pay lip service. When I hit the other-side the main mans not going to be impressed by a chart position or whether I have lips that look like a baboon arse?  I own every line, every wrinkle because they're mine & they're personal memories written on my face, roads, journeys, times had, places traveled, the good, the bad & the ugly, a life map, it says we're still here, we're getting older & have been gifted with another day.   I'm by no means the best at what I do , but my love, stories and delivery is honest and I just hope people can appreciate that if nothing else? I try to use any platforms given to talk about things that matter, like M.E, Disability, Mental health etc and in turn try & give others a voice and platform. 

I have kinda been stuck and struggling, flapping about like a butterfly in a spiders web the passed seven years, but my choice has dictated it's time  to soar again.

Just remember that no matter how tough life gets, you still have a choice, stand firm, stay true, 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

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