A YEAR ago Nilkesh Mehta was stuck in a corporate world and feeling miserable.

He had a good job as a programme manager and worked on big projects like the Lloyds Bank merger with HBOS.

But he gave it all up to become a music producer and is about to release his first CD with two of the industry’s biggest hip hop stars Kool Keith and Blackalicious rapper Gift of Gab.

The 35-year-old said: “It was really good job but it never sat well with me.”

He discovered he wasn’t alone.

He said: “I found there were lots of people like me. On one hand they had their passion which they had put on hold, but 90 per cent of them were just doing it as a job.”

His passion was music. He had grown up loving hip hop and he desperately wanted to make his own music with an Eastern influence.

“I finally got to the point where I had had enough and decided to take that leap and produce some music.”

A year ago he began to work full time on his passion.

He was at the point where he thought he needed some good rappers when he heard Gift of Gab was performing in Bristol at the start of a European tour.

Armed with a CD he went to the gig and managed to hand it over to him.

Not expecting to hear anything more, he was stunned when the hip hop star emailed him to say he loved it. In fact he was already writing a piece for it.

When he reached Paris he booked a studio and recorded it for Nilkesh.

The star got Kool Keith involved when he returned to the US and played him another tune from the CD.

“He was one of my heroes growing up,” said Nilkesh. “It was amazing.”

Once the CDs were done he was finally able to show his father what it was all about. “A lot of parents from an Indian background get worried because they think there is not really a career in it.”

But having done well in a corporate career, married, bought a house and started a family he felt he had ticked all the boxes and could embark on a new career.

The CD and vinyl version are due for release on May 21. His music will also be available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify and he has already been booked to play Glastonbury and Boomtown later this summer.

Visit zero-dinero.com for more information.