'We don't want to work in a warehouse': how a recording studio started by an Essex grime artist is opening doors
Young people are turning to their own business ideas to help them out of a trap of poor quality or precarious jobs
It’s Friday night on an industrial estate in Grays, a small town on the Thames estuary in Essex, and all the units have closed their shutters for the weekend except one.
Uncxt Studios has been open day and night since May 2017. It is the dream of Connor Hammond, aka SmallzDeep, a 25-year-old grime artist who was born in Essex but left school and home when he was 16.
Hammond ended up in the south-west, where he lived on the streets and had multiple run-ins with the police over weapons and drugs offences. After a spell in prison just after he turned 18, he realised he needed to turn his life round: “That’s when all of my efforts went into being a recording artist.”
He began to make a name for himself as SmallzDeep, getting played on Radio 1 and mixing with some of the big names in grime. When he eventually came back to Grays, he found that opportunities for young peopl..