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People often ask about my inspirations and how I developed @the14thfactory. This is my story...
My parents and family dissolved and at 16 I left home and I started working. Bar jobs, delivery driver, factory, worker, office job…...
Loved living in my own apartment even if it was the worst neighborhood in Leicester, burnt cars in my street and dealers on every corner.
I could never keep up with the bills and spent many dark nights in the cold with no electricity (you had to put 50p in every hour to keep the lights on). Couldn't afford a phone line and had to use a phone box that smelled of pee and often had some addict fast asleep inside.
But there was something romantic about having to stumble out in the freezing winter and put 10p into the phone box. Talking to people and arranging to meet took planning back then.
I became obsessed with music and changed my style often, I was a punk (Dead Kennedys, Bauhaus and Crass), a ska-boy (Selecta, Beat, Specials), rockabilly (The Cramps, B52's and The Meteors), deep into reggae and the underground blues parties (Yellowman, Sly and Robbie, Jah Shaka).
I loved being independent, I embraced and committed to any opportunity,
Being a delivery driver allowed me to travel around England, loved being a bouncer (getting bullied for being the new kid made me pursue martial arts) as my colleagues were all rastas so I got a crash course in Jamaican culture, hated working in the factory though. I managed a trip to NYC at 17, when Times Square was a danger zone. Watched Batman in a cinema that someone got murdered in mid-movie. Partied at MARS, a gorgeous club in the meatpacking district.
I saw it all as an adventure, even the uncomfortable experiences.
Seeing my mate stabbed in the back with a broken champagne bottle (170 stitches), being chased by football hooligans regularly, and having to fight off dozens of them one week when they smashed up the bar I worked in, my best mate being almost beaten to death by a bunch of racists, his jaw wired together for months. But In that environment, as long as you came out alive, it was all good.
The threat of violence was ever present. I had plenty of fights and murky experiences. But as dance music culture exploded, and drug culture too, the landscape changed.
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