Your journey is YOUR journey.
The only expectations you need to live up to is that of your own.
It’s never about where you're at, it’s about how far you’ve come.
In my personal life and throughout my musical journey, I have always considered myself as a bit of an underdog. Academically, I was behind my peers in school. Maybe I was a slow learner or perhaps my mind was just elsewhere. Either way, I never really caught up. My Father died suddenly and unexpectedly when I was 11 years old. Music became a way for me to express myself but as a complete novice, the challenges I faced along the way were enormous! These days, people sometimes refer to me as being talented. Sadly, I have to disagree with them. The truth is that musically, nothing came naturally to me at all. I believe that everything I’ve achieved has come from my unrelenting dedication. If I’m talented at anything, perhaps I’m talented at that.
I was born in 1987 and grew up in the small coastal village of Reydon in Suffolk, UK. Raised by a Canadian mother and Bangladeshi father, the first eleven years of my life were nigh on perfect. We were a close-knit family who had very little money. That seemed to go unnoticed however, since we were filthy rich in love happiness. My parents met each other when they were 11 years old and remained very much in love. In August 1999, my Father was tragically struck by lightning during a family fishing trip and passed away. I was just 11 years old.
Struggling to come to terms with what was such a huge loss, I was itching for ways to express myself. The painful years of English lessons with my Nan were about to pay off since I found comfort in writing my thoughts down on paper. To begin with, my notes were in the form of a diary, but I soon experimented with rhyming some of the words. Inspired by Rap music, I took to performing the poems I had written. My close friend Tom Moran was one of the first people I performed my lyrics for, and he encouraged me to continue writing. Together, we went halves on some basic music software in a bid to add some backing tracks to my lyrics. We bought a £12 desktop microphone and covered it with a sock to act as a pop shield. I was a wide-eyed teen with dreams of being as big as Tupac Shakur and Dr Dre. The only problem was… I couldn’t rap in time with the music!
Despite being a confident lyricist, I had no sense of rhythm in those early days. I couldn’t even rap my favourite songs in time with a drumbeat. I literally couldn’t tap my foot or even nod my head along to the beat.
Unfortunately, music was never in my family. We listened to music of course, but none of us could play. You often hear of people whose Mothers taught them how to play the piano at 4 years old or of Fathers who play the guitar and end up teaching their kids. For me, I was very much guessing as to what I needed to do. I didn’t play an instrument. (I still don’t). I was living in a small rural village earning next to nothing as an apprentice Carpet Fitter. I wasn’t sure where or who to turn to for help.
I eventually teamed up with George Bennett, a local guitarist who was keen to collaborate. We began making tracks together and he helped me to develop a sense of rhythm. With endless amounts of practice, and a tonne of laughs at my expense, I slowly began to feel the music more and more. George had experience as a videographer and in 2009 we filmed a music video for a track titled ‘Louise’. It was a tribute song that I had written for my Mum as a thank you to her. The video was posted online and was extremely well received by local people who already knew my story.
To make my music more accessible, I started to get my head around all the different social media platforms and managed to build and maintain relationships with fans, followers, music producers, and media outlets. My fan base was growing, my music was getting played on the radio and I was starting to collaborate with producers who I had never actually met in person. It’s funny because if you’re in a band with 5-6 other people you can obviously delegate certain duties to each of them. I however, was very much a one-man band networking with Graphic Designers, Website Designers, Mixing Engineers, Mastering Engineers, Music Publishers and the list went on.
I Remember telling my house mates that my music was going to be on Playboy TV, but they didn’t believe me!
One of the first major milestones for me was when two of my tracks, ‘Erotic’ and ‘Falling’ were licensed by PlayBoy TV in 2013. After looking for new ways to gain exposure, I contacted the company’s managing director, Phil Barry. He loved my originality and placed the songs in regular rotation on Sky’s PlayBoy TV Chat channel. I was amazed to hear my music coming out of my very own TV.
My songs later fell into the hands of Dingwall’s owner Maria Kempinska, who has previously discovered artists such as Ellie Goulding. Maria invited me to perform in a showcase at the London Hippodrome in Leicester Square. I was thrilled by the opportunity and the event’s host Billie Laurie commented that I “definitely have hit songs”. The gig was later televised, marking my first ever appearance on Sky TV.
In September 2017, I was nominated for a New Music Generator (NMG) Audience Choice award. After receiving more votes than 109 other artists from East Anglia, I was presented with the gong at the awards ceremony which took place at the Cambridge Corn Exchange. After this career-defining moment, My music was played by BBC Cambridge’s Sue Marchant on the radio station’s Introducing show and I also secured airplay on BBC Radio 6 Music.
A year later, I ended up winning ‘Male Act Of The Year’ at the International Achievers Awards. I also went on to have my music licensed by Road Trip Nation, a US TV series. My song “I’ll be there” was played during a segment of the show Beating the Odds in which Michelle Obama is interviewed about overcoming challenges in her life.
In recent times, my music has gradually moved away from the hip-hop and rap that first inspired me. The only remaining evidence of this influence was in the verses, which I continued to rap.
However, my latest music takes an altogether new direction. I became intrigued by Country-Pop music when I heard Florida Georgia Line’s collaboration with Nelly in 2012, on a remix for their song, ‘Cruise’. Subtly, I began incorporating elements of the genre into my own music. My song, ‘Gullible’, for example, was very much a hybrid of the two genres, featuring country vocals by British Country Music Association award winner, Kezia Gill.
I didn’t actually know whether or not singing was going to be an option for me, I just knew I wanted to try.
As I got older, I became more and more inspired by Country-Pop music, so much so that I decided to try and leave Rap music behind. I think it’s important to mention that singing came as naturally to me as rapping in time with the music did. I didn’t even know if it was going to be a possibility, but I knew for sure that I wanted to give it a shot. In a bid to fully transition from a rapper to a singer, I began having singing lessons and have been working closely with David Edward Booth, a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Woodbridge, Suffolk. David has been mentoring me throughout my transition and it’s been invaluable having his experience on hand to help me with the recording and song writing processes. My first songs as a singer were ‘Poison’, ‘Partners In Crime’, and ‘King of the World’. The latter is a song that was written for my fiancée, who I recently proposed to. We met two years ago via an online dating app. I even managed to convince her to be in the music video for the song, which you can watch HERE.