I grew up in a Jamaican home in Nottingham – England. Music was a fundamental factor in our
house, and “Gospel” was the primary source. My dad sang and played a bit of guitar, bass, and
keyboard. Church life, the Caribbean community, and British culture were an integral part of every
day, which ran alongside our school lives and workplaces. Growing up I’d had the chance to listen
to the diversity of sounds at weddings, funerals, and other events that would be accompanied by
the main genres of Afro-Caribbean music: Reggae, Dancehall, Calypso, Lover’s rock, imprinted with
the sights and sounds of rum, and games of dominoes played by the older folk. On the other hand,
it was a stark contrast to the British culture I grew up in throughout the ’80s,’90s, and early 2000s
which had a taste of its own: Rock, Pop, Club, and strong influences of R’n’B and Hip Hop from the
Those elements made the start of my musical journey a medley of tastes, that are the foundation
of what I write today. I remember an experience when I was around six years old of having
performed in front of a large crowd of approximately 3000 people, at a national church
convention. That scenario was the beginning of what would lead me to different stages and events
into my teenage years, where I seriously began to undertake the exploration of other art forms.
Art to me is like a massive container. Inside it, there’s music, fine arts & design, food, and all the
rest of my innate interests and passions. It’s taken a long time to make some order to it all.
I come from a very musical family, and music’s always been a part of it, like something that has its
place, or someone close to the family. I was in my late teens when I became conscious of how
much I needed to pursue music.
I was always quite a curious child, my free time was spent between singing and recording on an old tape deck (I think the same tape over and over) with my brother, coupled with frequent spates of drawing. I was about 10 years old and went to a concert with my family.
There were several bands, one of which was led by a sax player. I remember sitting next to my dad, asking him what he thought; as I was fascinated by the instrument and felt it was something I could play, and something different from my cousin who was then one of my singing idols.
I continued to play sax into my mid-teens, having played a lot of church events, I became sort after playing at school events and private events. I later struggled to choose between artwork and music, as formal music education proved different from the thrill of performing and art seemed to stimulate the freethinking nature I’d searched for and found in my companions in art classes.
At the time it seemed to offer more ways to find what I was looking for; ‘myself’.
It wasn’t till much later, that coincidently the necessity of a logical-mathematical approach to studying Design, led me back to music and music education.By my late teens, I’d continued singing, sometimes with Dj sets or wherever there was a mic, but mainly recording myself on a mini tape, always looking for an original approach to my sound. Nonetheless, I largely kept things to myself, despite encouragement from my brother and close friends. They could hear the potential, but for me, it felt very personal and was a lifeline.
I was on a work placement and towards the final stages of my studies in industrial design when for a moment I was totally enlightened. I’d begun singing which put me totally at ease, it seemed to be the only thing that made sense. I’d always sing looking for the right mood or would always hear the mood. But never really gauged just how much it meant.
I realized all I’d ever needed, and what should have been doing, was singing, writing, and playing music that I could hear, which was constantly with me. I began to receive interest from others in
what I’d create with my voice and the musicality with which I sang. This left me with a profound feeling and sense of purpose.
On my return to Nottingham after completing my studies, I met a DJ through a friend on the nightclub scene. He had made beats, as was commonplace in urban music, for a new hip-hop
group that he was directing; they’d needed a singer to complete the line-up.
Initially, it seemed like the missing piece to the puzzle. I was songwriting and recording, and more importantly, gaining experience. It occurred to me I didn’t feel I was being myself, I had other things to say in a different way.
Meanwhile, an offer for work experience in Italy came in through email.
I hadn’t felt reluctant towards the offer, but unsure how to put the things I’d studied together with music that was slowly becoming a necessity. I’d previously worked in Turkey for a few months and found the sights and sounds an addition to my cultural and musical palette, and thought a short stint in Italy would be an interesting addition to the various styles I’d garnered from the different nationalities of friends I’d made while studying.
I came up with an idea to put the artistic things I’d learned together, not knowing that one would have to give in to the other…