People In My Life Don’t Know This About Me?

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Very few people in my life know this about me these days…as…it’s something I never really speak about.

Strange one…don’t…actually know why I’m writing it yet.

From 17 to around 23…I used to be involved with the music industry.

I’ve lived a pretty crazy…beautiful…weird…diverse life.

Conformation of prescribed normality…to me…has always been…death.

There’s…this…daft thing about me…that…I seem to decide I’m going to do something…usually what everybody is saying I’ll never be able to accomplish…and…I set out to do it…no matter the odds…no…matter how crazy it is.

Towards my deepest and dearest endeavours…in my mind…I give myself two options.

1. Keep going…regenerate…keep going
2. Die in the name of my pursuit

I’ll always run with those until the reality is no longer logical or sustainable to do so anymore.

I suppose the bad point about me…is that when I set out to do something…I want it…my way.

It’s my life…my dream…my vision…and…I’m only going to get to experience it all once.

My subconscious…always stays…very conscious…of the fact one day it will all be gone…and so will I.

I follow my heart…that…feeling inside…which is why I am so passionate towards my journeys.

Never seen the point of following a dream…or setting a tangible…attainable goal…then only semi getting it…a little bit…kind of.

Not unless it becomes an entity that no longer serves it’s true functionality…purpose…or essence anymore…which…then…makes it an outlet of detriment and negativity.

Away from my goals and aspirations…my character is a pretty chilled out…daft guy.

I prefer to smile than complain.

This whole music topic is quite a strange…sore spot for me if I’m honest…because…I actually started to get pretty far with it…and gave up…myself.

Never quite made it over the last couple of hurdles….didn’t want to if the truth be told.

This is going to sound really disrespectful…but it is meant…with no malice…I just…wasn’t stupid enough to keep going.

Makes sense to me and my situation.

Don’t get me wrong…a big chunk of my life was given away to it all…starting off at like 12/13 when I was shit…totally…but…had the vision…had the understanding…had the passion…had the natural talent…just…didn’t get how to truly do it yet.

Made some really bad music in my time!

Didn’t have a clue what I was doing until 17/18 to be honest…but I had this sound…this…I don’t know…just this funked out soul and feeling going round my heart.

A pure entity that was about no more than feeling and rhythm.

I dedicated myself to it…honed my craft…day in day out.

It took me many different places…across many different genres.

Went through an absolute war with it…after all…it’s not an easy game is it?

I used to write songs for myself and other artists and be heavily involved with performance and production.

It was a very strange time in my life…and…50 years from now…I feel we’ll look back at the 90’s and early 2000s as being very strange times in evolution and society.

I wasn’t necessarily in the best place mentally at 16 and hormonal…but…not many are at that age really?

Well…by the time 18 had hit…I had gone down the wrong path completely…which took me down the wrong path musically.

You could probably argue that it was the music that took me down the wrong path.

My passion was story telling.

Painting a picture with words and sounds.

Taking people inside of either their own…or my…mind.

I used to be involved with all different kinds of music and writing…the UK scene was full of aspiring artists that were prepared to show solidarity.

At times though…I let myself down…and did act like a complete prick.

You may or may not know…that it was around the 90’s and early 2000’s when hip hop and rnb was turned into nothing more than negativity.

Problem was…it made sense to concentrate more on the hip hop and rnb…because…that was what had absolutely took over.

That’s what was hot all over the world…they were the sounds…and…the “Urban” scene still dictates popular culture to this very day…still owning the charts.

To be involved in this area…coming from the UK…in an American dominated category…you just had to adhere to the conventions and stereotypes to the nth degree.

You had no other option.

There was no UK scene when I started doing this…there was an underground buzz from people…but…its wasn’t like it is today…at all.

10 years + ago you weren’t taken seriously doing urban music coming from the UK…in any way shape or form.

You were laughed at.

It was strictly a US thing…although it was obvious it was going to end up the norm here.

As a genre it was starting to blow up massive…as I started to feel it was time for me to bow out and move on with my life.

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I held my own from 16-19 and then just fell into the lap of a superstar…Dario Darnell…Kid Kreole’s son…as in Kid Kreole and The Coconuts…from the famous group.

He’s a revolutionary artist and today is taking the professional music world by storm.

I truly believe in my heart…he is the most talented individual in music production today…the level he sets in his field is unfathomable.

One of the best experiences of my life…on reflection.

We worked together for 2/3 years but I was me and he was him.

Separate artists…doing our own thing…linking up to do what we love…as mates…to do something different from the crowd.

We started a side project together I named “Casting Spells” and personally…I believe a couple of true “Bangers” were made…as the kids say nowadays.

Some abbbsolute god awful stuff…but we were kids…messing about…you have to cut us some slack!

We we’re doing this wayyyy before it was cool to do it in my country.

The album wasn’t made to make us famous…it was made to try and bring the fun and the soul back into that style of music…as it had slipped into negativity and violence.

To do something from the heart…for the rhythm.

It was me and him…just…being us…being free…in a studio partying.

A rough demo of our ideas that could be made on a larger scale.

Sometimes the studio…was a studio…sometimes…it was a bedroom!

It’s sad really…because the songs we made…came easy for us…they came together naturally…chemically…with us both bouncing off each other’s characters.

There was no effort in them…we just did it…we only ever spent an hour or two on tracks and we would pump them out for a cheeky demo.

Never put true masters together as the demos were engineered to a decent enough standard to get the point across.

At this time though…music as a whole had really started to descend into the filth ridden apocalypse we see today…although…the further I grow…the more I feel it’s probably always been that way.

The urban scene was really growing and the UK industry was starting to seriously take note.

I don’t think a lot of people quite understand…that the music industry…is exactly the same as the film industry…which is exactly the same as the blah blah industry.

It isn’t about music…it’s about neurological control and trickery.

The true essence of music…still does exist in many places…don’t get me wrong…but…it doesn’t exist in the mainstream at the forefront of popular culture.

To get anywhere like that…you have to lie…you have to deceive…distort…and 99% of the time it’s completely beyond your control.

You’ve either been instructed to do it…or if you haven’t…if you have any sense…then you can see to keep going and getting further…it’s necessity.

I did shows…performances…open mic nights…raves…house parties…studios…battles…you name it.

Started to get noticed and a small buzz that started to grow.

That’s where the problems became issues…I guess.

It went from something that made me feel alive…to something that became a chore.

People started to get involved and influence…it became the pursuit of employment…so serious.

It became about marketing…trends…who you knew…and which arses you kissed…where you hung out…etc etc.

It’s at this point…you can’t be…you…anymore.

My age…who I was…where I was from…my beliefs…my actions…they all had to change.

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I remember being asked how old I was and replying 21…to be told…noooope…you’re 19 now.

I asked why…to be told it was because…”Doing what you do and saying the things you are saying is a lot more impressive coming from a 19 year old.”

Suddenly I just…started to hate it all…and…that hit me really hard in the end.

It was my passion…my release…and it was being corrupted.

It became all about “Making it”…and the amount of people who had got involved…had started to kill it for me.

I’d have Djs…producers…A&R…promoters…all telling me…I’ll play it…I’ll back it…but we need it more gangster…less gangster…more for the girls…more for the club…less for the girls…less for the club…lyrical…slower…faster…more auto tune…no swearing…more swearing…less swearing…and…it went on and on.

It got to the point where I was making music I didn’t respect…didn’t believe in…and didn’t want to put out.

I loved hip hop as I saw it more like poetry than negativity…but to get the real style out…I had to adhere to the conventions of pigeon holed subsections…sub cultures and demographics.

It began to seriously frustrate me…I felt like what I enjoyed was now tainted.

Remember being told…make a track about hustling…make it street…make it simple…catchy…easy to remember…appeal to the masses…but come hard and shock.

So we made “Hustling Everyday.”

A simplistic…basic song…that musically and rhythmically is better than your average hip hop song being released nowadays…in my opinion.

Not a song I like…not one to be labled as amazing…at all.

Played it the guy reviewing my demos…he told me…needs to be more gangster…needs more auto tune…needs to shock more.

They told me to make a deep track to hit people in the heart…I remember making No Love with Dario and it came back as to deep…to raw…I wasn’t prepared to change it…so instead I sold out…re-did it as a demo in full auto tune…which I hated.

Even remember turning up to one of the biggest clubs in Manchester…for the DJ to start telling me he didn’t agree with my set choice and purposefully messed it up in front of the whole club.

It got to the point where I seemed to be making music for other people…and my life was no longer in my control anymore.

It all culminated to quite a lot of interest and some quite good opportunities…but…I walked away.

Would have got much further in the end but it’s not what I wanted from my life or who I really was.

Didn’t like what it had made me…and what I was becoming.

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My relationship with Dario started to drift as…I was slightly older than him…way more erratic…hot headed…and out of control.

Was involved with so many wrong crowds it was unreal…so…in the end the only thing to be said was “Fuck it.”

Never left a bad relationship with him and love him to bits to this day…was just my time to get out of music all together.

I was going to end up dead or in prison the way my life was going in general…21 going on 22…and…we live in this crazy world where people think that is actually a man…it’s still a naive kid…no matter how intelligent.

A naive kid who thought he knew it all…but didn’t have a clue.

The true music lifestyle is very bohemian…very care free…wild…and non stop partying.

It’s a crazy…CRAZY…life…and I can say I truly lived and breathed it…in quite the thick of it…for a number of years.

It offers you things and situations most in control 40 year olds wouldn’t be able to handle or resist.

It’s cut throat…ruthless…so…imagine being this naive young gun who thought he had it all boxed off…having to knock on the door of the industry…and ask them to let me in.

Ill be honest with you…it’s made me what I am today…and it’s what puts me ahead of all of my competition as a professional in my clinic and out in the field.

I wasn’t famous…never actually wanted to be…stayed independent…but…I took it to a level that has to be included as part of my legacy…good…or…bad.

I’ve felt highs with it…that some people will never be able to even fathom…highs that no drug could ever begin to even replicate.

Standing on a stage in a packed out show…packed out rave…packed out night club…with the whole room abbbsolutely going off like it was the last night of their lives.

knowing it was you in control of that…you helped created it…and were part of true living and emotion.

Truly feeling alive and connected with so many people at once…nothing else in the world mattering.

I’ve felt lows…many peoples worst nightmares…their fears…anxieties.

Standing on a stage in a packed out show…packed out rave…packed out nightclub…with the whole room silent…just staring…or the whole room laughing…or the whole room judging…sneering…or booing for a number of different intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

It’s all done three things to me…and many people may argue for the positive…or the negative.

1. It made my dream chasing even wilder…even crazier.

Addicted and forever chasing that high of life…needing that drug…craving…to consistently further it.

2. Towards life…people…opinions…views…and society…it’s hardened me…perhaps a little too much.

I can be like a bull in a china shop when it comes to my goals and aspirations…don’t fear what people think of me…what people say about me…how they view me…how they all think I should be…think…or act.

I don’t have a care because I’ve felt it all before…on a mass scale…so my life is lived by my script…on my terms.

That is what allows me to stand up in big groups of people doing things today as a professional…and what allows me to really put it all on the line with some of these posts I write.

I’m not afraid to fly so close to the sun that the glue on my wings melts in front of everybody…just call me Icarus.

The massive failures I’ve had publicly have made me at ease with myself and who I am…and…this mindset would not be available to me without my previous experiences.

3. Believe me…it took me on a seriously…seriously…crazy…wild journey…a path of discovery that showed a side of life…real life…no…in fact…I’m sorry…it…showed me…many…sides of real life…the good…the bad…and the very ugly…that you just cant ever learn in a classroom or out within general conformity.

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I don’t believe I deserve any form of place in musical history…so please do not think this is my plea to you.

Don’t even believe the music was anywhere near as good as it could have been.

It was over 10 years ago…in a very different life…when I was a very different person…but…nobody can take away from me that…I did it for my city…did it for my generation…did it for me…did it for the time…I was there.

Veni…vidi…vici…then realised it was all bullshit…and moved on with my life.

At the same time as doing music…I had also started doing natural bodybuilding which in the end took me down the path of running my own clinic today.

I hid for a little while in natural bodybuilding after music and have a post about that too...where I really do put myself on the line.

The one thing I’ve learnt from all this…is that…the only person you should ever really listen to…if you are of sound enough mind to do so…is yourself.

No matter if it causes you to make mistakes…no matter their severity.

It was your design of life…so live it.

As I speak…we are writing our stories in our books aren’t we?

I don’t want mine to be always safe…I don’t want it to be clean…polished…glossy…filtered…I don’t want it to read like a Facebook post.

I want it to be fun…I want it to be engaging…captivating…beautiful…shocking…tragic…positive…packed full to the brim of life lessons.

On my last day…I want to look back and say…YOU…CRAZZZZZY…BASTERD…that was living kid…you did it…game over…wooooo!

Without that I wouldn’t be me.

Now at the end of this post…I realise…why I wrote it.

It’s an area of my life I never speak about…so the not speaking about it…is some form of suppression…or comfort zone…so…why not just throw it all out there!?

I’ve gone a step further…as…I have so many different “Out there” stories that…if it were me reading them all…I’d think…he’s chatting shit.

Here’s a link below…and an embedded music player…of some of the tracks we made…not all for Casting Spells.

I couldn’t find most of the best ones…as they were over 10 years ago…but there are 10 or so below.

These were a random amalgamation of rough drafts of songs we made that I found on an old computer.

Sadly some of them after the purity had started to fade.

They don’t truly reflect at all what the album was trying to do for “Urban music”…but…they are a part of my history…and all I have to hand.

It sounds really weird listening to them…especially now I’m a man.

I don’t look back with embarrassment…I smile…laugh.

Part of me cringes…massively…at some things…don’t get me wrong…but…it’s just another chapter isn’t it?

I imagine it’s also quite weird for the people in my life who never knew this about me.

The thing I find really eloquent about the whole thing…is I get to see that mistakes…are worth their weight in gold.

The last thing I ever was involved with or made…was a re-recording of “On the Chinese Mountains”

My memoir of the time I suppose…before blogging.

I knew it was time to move on…time to set a new dream based on the same foundation…so I kissed the game goodbye the only way I knew how!

I went in.

Never be ashamed of your past…as it created our future!

For those who ever judge or take the piss out of people…I say…well…where were you…what were you doing…and what have you done that’s so great?

To those all in it together…have the best day ever my friends.

What A Day To Be Alive

Disturb The Paradigm

Yesterday Is Irrelevant…Tomorrow Not Guaranteed.

LEE CLEAVER (Clinic Website)

THE PIONEER OF MOVEMENT

Soft Tissue Specialist – Movement Analyst – Elite Performance Coach

10 thoughts on “People In My Life Don’t Know This About Me?

  1. Thank you for sharing more of your story. You are such a talented person and it is amazing that you got to contribute to the music scene right there in the UK during a time when music had a heart beat and a soul. You said it nicely in describing it as poetry. It was and still is such a powerful form of self-expression and you could always still pick it up again and go at your own pace.
    It is sad that the industry corrupted it for you and tried to turn you into something that you didn’t want to be. It steered you down a path, but it made your story even more colorful and I am glad you can look back on it fondly even if it is a sore spot.
    “When you stop growing it is time to get going.”
    That is a mantra I came up for myself when I couldn’t stop struggling and hitting rock bottom at the age of 24.
    Music used to be a major part of my life in another lifetime… I also rarely talk about it because it brings up a lot of emotion.

    Keep creating, writing, and sharing.

    ❤ Alana

    Liked by 2 people

    1. well it’s very nice that you think so 😂

      I appreciate your kind words ✊✊

      I really liked the way you broke that down.

      It did corrupt me…but…I also corrupted myself in a lot of ways 😂

      still a very dirty game though!

      yeah you’re defo right…just adds colour! Couldn’t have said it better myself!

      “When you stop growing it is time to get going.”

      I will most definitely use that one!

      Well hopefully you’ll tell me about it someday!

      You too Alana. Thanks for dropping by.

      ✌️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Lee,
        I’m sorry about my late response. It is taking me a little while to get caught up with comments.
        There is so much value in sharing your story even the sore spots. It honors your effort and the time and energy you invested into it and gives you a chance to remember the good things too and review the lessons that you learned from those experiences.
        After reading your post, I realized that I started reflecting on this last decade (the period of time when I gave up music) I think I will write about my musical journey at some point when the inspiration strikes. Thank you for suggesting it.
        I was way on the opposite end of the spectrum, music wise in the world of classical music and opera.
        Isn’t it crazy how much we can change and evolve in a decade?

        ❤ Alana

        Like

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