A CAERPHILLY borough man is using his musical talents and journey to inspire others in the Valleys to pursue their dreams.

Lewis Jones, 19 from Risca, goes by the name Zero. He will be releasing a record titled Valleys Mentality later this year and has one mission – to inspire people in the Valleys to follow their dreams.

Mr Jones is doing just that himself – he is currently studying music at university in Birmingham.

South Wales Argus: Lewis Jones aka Zero (right) in the studio

Lewis Jones aka Zero (right) in the studio

“I think that people in the Valleys think that they have to stay in the Valleys and there isn’t much of an opportunity for them to leave," he said. "I love the Valleys, don’t get me wrong, but there aren’t a lot of creative opportunities.

“I know people who have settled down into jobs they hate already and I’m just like ‘you’re 19 man, chase your dreams’.”

The Valleys Mentality mixtape discusses growing up in the area from Mr Jones’ perspective. “I’ve always lived in Risca and I love it there," he said.

“I always felt different growing up as I have Caribbean influence and am mixed race, but I was accepted in the area. However, as I grew up, I did have some experiences of racism, and I noticed people’s mentality seemed to be the same and people also seemed to settle for life that seemed easier. I tried to understand why people had these kinds of mentalities and feel it is because of staying in the Valleys.


“Many people grow up in the Valleys and settle down in the same area for the rest of their life and feel that there isn’t an opportunity for them to follow their dreams – but there is. Even if it means leaving the Valleys to learn their craft and then bringing it back. There are opportunities.”

That is the path Mr Jones is on. He is hoping to use his skills to bring opportunities to the Valleys, by returning and opening his own music studio. He has already been in touch with the Arts Council for Wales about this venture.

“I want to work in a job that I enjoy doing," he said.

South Wales Argus: Lewis Jones aka Zero

Lewis Jones aka Zero

“Music is my platform to speak my mind, but it is also about more than the music. I want people to know that if they dream it, they can do it and I want to provide those opportunities for others.

“We live in such a beautiful area and there is so much potential there, but people just do not see it.

“I want to leave a legacy for kids, families and people and to make it a better area. I want to inspire the whole area, not just young people.”

Mr Jones knows that there is a need for his ideas. “As I’ve started making music, more and more people are getting in touch wanting to do the same but have no idea how,” he said. So when he finishes university, he plans to put the studio idea into motion and is beginning to build the foundations by getting his message out there. "I have a modest following and if I can inspire even one person to follow their dreams, that would be good enough for me."