1 – When did you first get into music? What or who Inspired you?
I wrote and performed my first rap at the age of 8. The performance was part of a school talent show and although I didn’t win, 2nd place was enough to keep me motivated to carry on rhyming. Whilst growing up, I was exposed to a wide range of music including, Reggae, Hip Hop, R&B, Soul, Break-beat, Pop, Grime, Garage, Bollywood and Bhangra.
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
My biggest influences in terms of my musical direction were artist such as Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, So Solid Crew, More Fire Crew and the whole UK Grime scene. This resulted in me creating my first MC name, MC Sparkz, (because back then, every rapper had to have adangerously dark name such as Reaper or Apocalypse). I would often find myself jumping into rap battles and cyphers in the school playground and slowly built a small local name for myself as a grime MC.
I used to listen to artists such as Eminem, Omarion, Bob Marley, Mr Hudson and the Library, Usher and of course the great, Michael Jackson.
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
I had always been into performing arts throughout my education and naturally took my music down a live performance route, performing live beat boxing and music at gigs, in bars and local festivals. Since then I built up my own business called ‘The Underground Creatives’ where I specialised in delivering urban music workshops for young people in schools, youth clubs and community centres, with the aim of encouraging young people to explore their creativity through music.
I randomly came across Echo Factory whilst walking home from a studio session in town. I then arranged to meet Ajay (the CEO) and informed him about my business work. He was intrigued by work and immediately connected with a fellow creative business man. Ajay then offered me some work delivering workshops for his company. Gradually I worked my way into the company as part of the permanent team.
4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I regularly perform at local events around the East Midlands, from festivals to gigs to theatre shows. One particular night which I regularly perform at is House Of Verse, which is an amazing night filled with artists of all disciplines including, Poets, Rappers, Comedians, Beat-boxers and Spoken Word artists.
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
My biggest moment in my career so far involved a music campaign which I organised and directed. The message of the campaign was to inspire young people and to deter them from taking part in gang related violence in Leicester. The campaign was based on a music video, which I filmed and also rapped in. The video showed young members of the public appearing as cameos to represent positivity in the community. As a result of the campaign I managed to achieve a nomination from Lord Lieutenants Young Artist of the Year, received a performing arts award from the AAA for Success Foundation and appeared on ITV News East Midlands and BBC Radio Leicester to share my story. This may appear as a small success for some, but for me it was proof that people believed in the work that I was doing.
6 – Where is the best place to find you online?