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Photography by Jenny Tan

How PatricKxxLee burnt his life down

Zambian born PatricKxxLee describes his music as a dark cloud and atmospheric. His lyrics touch on human topics such as hedonism, pain, love, anger, sadness and heartbreak. “I just like to make music about people’s inner voices. Your conscience. Guilty conscience. It plays a huge role in my music.”

As a child, Patrick was surrounded by music thanks to his father. “My dad used to play music all day long. He studied in London and he brought ‘Jungle’ back to Zambia.” It was through his older cousin, whose music collection included 50 Cent, Nelly, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo & Mace, that Patrick discovered rap. “It’s quite a funny story how that happened. It was back in Zambia one day when my parents had left him in charge to babysit me, but he had to ditch to go somewhere, so he locked me inside his room and all there was this small stereo and a pile of CDs. I turned it on and out came G-Unit. I had nothing else to do and several hours to kill, so I just sat there and memorised all the lyrics, from first to last track.”

With 50 Cent and G-Unit counting as early influences, Patrick was also inspired by Linkin Park and Mike Shinoda’s rap project Fort Minor. However, he listened to a variety of music. “I used to listen to a lot of weird shit, like fucking Enrique Iglesias even, so there was a whole bunch of different sounds I was exposed to.”

Although Patrick started rapping in Grade 4 (when he was 9), it wasn’t until Grade 6 that he started wondering where beats came from and who produced them. His questions were answered when he found out about Fruity Loops through another cousin. “I downloaded it on Limewire and then I started making music everyday after that. I just fell in love with making my own beats from the moment I opened the program. It was my daily escape from lots of shit that was going on around me.”

PatricKxxLee’s upcoming debut album ‘Diary of an Arsonist’ tells the story of how some of the independent (and hedonistic) decisions he’s taken over the past few years have gotten him into trouble, with close friends, parents, girls and lost loves. “The album is about how I set my own life on fire all around me. A fire is uncontrollable, uncontainable, it just burns everything in its path but it also clears the ground for new things to grow. I feel like that’s the route my life took when I decided to rebel against the path my parents set out for me, leave college and focus on music instead. That was the day I set my life on fire, it was a trigger of sorts, and everything that followed is somehow connected, whether directly or indirectly.  All the bad decisions, and all the right ones, and everything in between that turned into a mess for one reason or another is what I wanted to bring to life in ‘Diary of an Arsonist’. I believe everyone goes through the process of breaking out of the mold at a certain time in their lives, but my own experience was pretty fucking lit.”

Looking to release ‘Diary of an Arsonist’ at the end of June, PatricKxxLee will be taking the album on tour and is eager to have his sound heard. “I obviously want to tour South Africa, but I’m also going to go to Europe again this year and hopefully to America too. I love being on stage and live through all the emotions that went into making each song all over again.” With honest lyrics and a polished sound it’s only a matter of time before more ears listen.

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