HE’S got more than 12,000 followers on Facebook, and created the official hottest record in the world, with 2.3m hits on YouTube.
And North East DJ Lee Walker has been talking about how a course at Middlesbrough College just four years ago set him off on his acclaimed international music career.
After leaving college, Lee, 25, had a huge hit in the dancefloor chart with his edit of DJ Deeon’s Freak Like Me.
It picked up many industry accolades – including the ‘hottest record’ title – and was also took home the Best Remix at the DJ Mag Best of British Awards late in 2016.
But Lee, who still lives in Middlesbrough, is not resting on his laurels.
As well as doing DJ gigs in top clubs all over the UK and in Ibiza, Switzerland and Spain, he’s about to launch his own record label.
He has also amassed 15 million Spotify plays and gets around 500,000 monthly listeners on the platform.
“When I got to Middlesbrough College, I was really narrow-minded about what I wanted to do,” said Lee, who did a BTEC level 2/3 in Music Technology.
“But once I got into classes with tutors like Lee Pennington, it changed my musical outlook and I started working towards a new goal.”
At college, he learned far more than technical skills, getting tips on making his way in the real world of music.
“At first, I had no idea what making a career in music would be like, but in college I learned how it would work,” he said.
And he drew inspiration from his the tutors’ real-life experience ranging from producing DJ shows to being in a band and doing sound for festivals.
“It’s not something I would have learned at school, where teachers wouldn’t have had that kind of knowledge,” he said.
Lee’s now living the dream, with international travel and appearances at some of the world’s best-known clubs and major dancefloor events such as Creamfields, although he admits it’s not glamorous.
“It’s amazing – but it’s not glitzy!” he said. “You work as hard as a person in an office, but it’s well worth it.” He’s also constantly at work in the studio, creating tracks and remixing for record labels.
Lee’s next project is the launch of his own record label We, The People, in June. And as its name suggests, it’s going to channel his success back into the industry at grass roots level.
“I’m trying to give a helping hand to some of the up and coming artists out there,” he said.
Middlesbrough College chief executive and principal Zoe Lewis said Lee’s career is impressive – and could take him anywhere.
“We pride ourselves in our genuine connections with industry and Lee’s success is a great example of how the experience of our tutors brings a whole new dimension to learning,” she said.
Lee Walker’s tracks can be heard at https://soundcloud.com/leewalkermusic1, and he is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LeeWalkerMusic/