He has woven himself a web of success by mixing music with fashion.

It was a no-brain decision for hip hop and rap artist, Spida Lee, whose clothing range has helped him to live his solo musical dream.

He sells his brand Carriacou Jack, named after a potent Caribbean rum online with free music giveaways, as a way to spread his sound far and wide.

“I’ve been making music since 2005 but it’s becoming more and more difficult for musicians to make a living solely off it.

“When I released my EP Carriacou Jack in 2012 I was thinking about a way to get it out there and thought, ‘why not sell some shirts with them?’ ”

It was just an experiment but it took off.

“I was invited down to the Rum Festival in London, who wanted me to sell more of my shirts, which I sold again with the CDs.

“And since then it has been doing really well. It’s weird a gimick has become a major part of what I do.

“I want to do more clothing, like shirts, but I’m just happy with how it’s going and am humbled by the support I’ve had.”

He combines his business with a nine to five job and making new music.

Spida, aka Lee Roberts, set out on his own several years ago, after his all-cousins’ hip hop four piece, Dalton-based Practical headz, split up.

“It was a mutual decision because we had so many ideas of our own and it was great to do something like that with people so close to you.

“They still come on stage with me when I perform as a solo act – we all do the same for each other.

“I chose the name Spida because I used to love climbing when I was younger and used to have plaits that stuck out at each side.

“Old school nineties hip hop has always resonated with us and that’s the style I’d class my music as.

“I think it was the best era of hip hop and want to give it a place in the 21st century.

Spida Lee posing with his Caricou Jack clothing range
 

“Nineties tunes had strong social messages, which unfortunately you just don’t hear as much in modern takes on the genre.

“People just like to talk about girls twerking - anything that will make them easy money.

“But I think it’s important to use music to get a point out there.

“I focus a lot on people’s experiences in prison as a warning to those who may be going down that track but it’s also fun at times too.”

His first single was Verbal Assassin, a firm favourite of music channel, MTV Base.

This was followed by first album The Foundation and Spida Lee, The Original Soundtrack.

Now he is putting all his efforts in to his new album, Life’s a Gamble.

“It’s nineties hip hop tinged with trip beats and dub step - elements that it took me a while to get used to but I’m really happy with how it turned out.

“It’s good to be able to keep the spirit of nineties hip hop alive and keep it sounding fresh at the same time.”

But none of this would have been possible without the help of a strong community behind him.

“From when I started out with Practical Headz to now, the community we live in has always helped us out.

“It’s great to have such a strong relationship.

“In return, both myself and my cousins have always put helping out the community at the heart of what we do, such as by helping other young artists.

“It’s just fantastic to be in a position where we can put something back.”