It has been a crazy 3 years watching this Dublin based gangster flick written by John Connors develop and grow into the monster it has become. My involvement started a couple of years ago when John had a vision to shoot this gritty tale on a very small budget around the time he was playing the main role in the film Stalker, directed by Mark O’Connor. I was boxing in a local gym just outside Darndale where I used to train religiously and spend most of time grinding hard throughout the brutal Irish winters. That’s where I met John. I use to stare over at this beastly figure in a sweat jacket, hood up, long hair stuck to his face with sweat, head dug into the heavy bag heavyweight style grunting with every shot as he landed George Foreman type body blows. I used to think to myself, Jesus… I wouldn’t like one of them! Before long we got talking. I found John very interesting as an individual as we had a lot in common both loving the art of combat and more importantly our keen interest in creating art. At that time, I was heading in a new direction with my musical vision and I had just finished a new track with good friend Ferdia Murphy titled Distorted Mind that we recorded in a studio built out his back garden. I continued to train hard, each time meeting John and talking further about our visions as artists and how the human mind-set is a fundamental key to success.
During a conversation we were having on the importance of music in film when played over the right sequence, I mentioned I had just finished a new track and maybe it could be of use in Cardboard Gangsters since its tone was aggressive and could possibly match the films narrative which is that of violent lifestyles lived by suburban gangs. He obliged and I agreed to meet him with the demo. The next day I was approaching John’s Polo parked up on the curb with the CD in my hand ready to play. I had no idea what he was going to make of this big pile of noise we had recorded. I remember the song playing thinking “Oh dear, he hates it” as he was staring out the windscreen with a blank expression on his face. The song ended and he turned to me and said, I had no idea what to expect but that was powerful and very unique, I love it. Although I’m writing rhymes 15 years, this moment here revived me as an artist and is essentially the beginning of the road I am still walking to this day with the music. Furthermore, John went on to pass my music to director Mark O’Connor. Before long, I was getting emails from Mark, now the new appointed director of Cardboard Gangsters explaining in his opinion on how he thinks I have the ability to change the Hip-Hop scene in this country forever.
I suppose the most wonderful thought is, that the track Distorted Mind to this day is still getting used in the film even though the script has evolved over 3 years and the budget drastically increased. In fact, I now have 4 tunes that will be played over key scenes throughout the film making me the most featured artist on the soundtrack with “Jim Kelly”, “Stone ft. TROM” and “Attack!!!”, all produced by Dan Doherty from Darklands Audio. I have been part of this production in a way from the beginning all the way up to actually living with the main cast for a couple of weeks in a house in Darndale as they all prepared for their rolls and I will be the first to say it was a very demanding schedule that required massive amounts of physical and emotional effort from the cast. I seen it all, the blood sweat and tears that goes into making a film. It required every ounce of their mortal soul to be able to make this realer than real and some of the performances I seen where just next level. In my opinion, nothing like Irish film has ever seen before. The cast and crew had to dig deep to get such a powerhouse of a script and performance over the line but everyone remained strong to the end and executed their roles.
I have a very small cameo in the film which I’m delighted about. I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in this film from the cast to the crew, especially John and Mark for believing in me as an artist and giving me this opportunity. Art creates art, steel sharpens steel and we have definitely displayed this through this iconic piece of work that is, Cardboard Gangsters. Keep your eyes peeled for this one in 2016!!
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