Written by Jade Ruston
In a previous article, we heard about the exhilarating activities that Kevin Paul has been up to with his work on new project series ‘Common’ and it’s success in helping people from troubled areas have a positive gateway into a brighter future. Here, we are delving a bit deeper behind the scenes into the kind of man Kevin is, and how he got to be in the inspiring position he’s in, from the trapping grips of where he started out.
His early life was immersed with both violence at home with his mother in an abusive relationship, to also violence on the streets dealing drugs, getting into fights, stealing things etc. As a consequence for his wrong doings, at the age of 17, young Kevin was kidnapped by a group of lads which was a huge wakeup call that he was going down the wrong path and that he needed to make a few major lifestyle changes immediately. Kevin told the Jolly Times that he stopped doing drugs, stopped hanging around with troublesome people and starting doing what he knew in his gut was the right choice for himself and others from there on out.
A few years of focus down the line and a lot of lessons learnt, Kevin grew as both a well respected artist, incredible fine detail tattoo artist and caught the eyes of celebs such as, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, Lady GaGa, Harry Styles just to name a few. This led to TV opportunities like tattoo fixers, and meant he has had the opportunity to create projects such as Common. When asked about how he found the transition of suddenly being around such a high level of celebrity and success he says;
“It’s really easy to get sucked into the life of a big TV, a fast car, 30,000 pound watches. Making friends past the celebrity stage with billionaires and boarding 1.5million dollar private yachts, jets you name it, but I find it really corny actually, there’s no trust there”
Through this unforgettable rollercoaster of a time, when TV opportunities began to pop up. Knowing how ruthless the British media can be, Kevin decided to release a book called A Sketchy Life, with all the gnarly details about his previous self packed inside, for the world to see and enjoy before anyone could rip him apart. That takes a lot of courage.
“Everyone I was hanging out with in the celebrity world was like be nice, be polite, be proper all the time and it’s not who I am, I am common, I come from a poor family on a council estate, I have a really bad potty mouth and that’s what I am.”
When asked about what he learnt being around that kind of group of people Kevin came back with a very sentimental concept to think about.
“Energy- the most important thing that we all need in our life is love, from the minute we are born we want our mothers love, it’s that energy that the body carries is what we need. We suck off that energy and the energy that’s around is what we grow with, it’s what we become.”
Wanting to apply and use some of the things he had learnt, he soon began his life-coaching journey by going into schools, in particular his own old school where teachers told him that he would never amount to anything with a “I want to help you and the kids” train of thought rather than a “fuck you i’m better than you all”. Many teachers and students alike were taking notes from Kevin’s words over his 5 week placement, with immediate positive feedback from the parents, he went on tour from school to school, giving guidance to all that would listen.
“I am very blunt. I understand that people may see it like rude, but I’m not rude. I am just very blunt and everything that I say and everything that I do, I’m doing it for a positive. But some people just like to wallow in their own shit and they have to hear a hard truth.”
Time to step things up once again. Seeing that there was no real programme set up for rehabilitation out of prison, Kevin detailed out an email telling the governor that he could do a better job rehabilitating the prisoners than what they were already doing. At a loss of what to do and seeing Kevins rise and success, he was accepted to enter the Prison, which within the first hour of him being there, had 35 people putting their names down for a return session.
“I’ve been through the shit that they have been through. I understand their life but where they only tried to make their success selling drudge, I did it legally. They are generally treated as shit and as criminals, as bad people. I go in there as a mutual. I look like a criminal, I look like a scumbag. But I’m not. I actually do high profile things and have a lot of clout with people.”
“They are generally treated like shit and as criminals, as bad people. I go in there as a mutual. I look like a criminal, I look like a scumbag. But I’m not. I actually do high profile things and have a lot of clout with people”
Kevin told The Jolly Times about how he has seen one to one, notorious drug dealers face their own humility and now working with the police writing programs to catch other dealers. Mr Paul has talked over a handful of people back from the edge of suicidenand says that aggressive grime music and unhealthy tv programmes are playing a huge part in glorifying knife crime and hatred in the streets of England with a “if i can’t buy it i’ll just steal it” mentality floating around as the norm. Programmes such as Love Island that promotes unhealthy body image and attitudes that’s causing an immense amount of people to struggle with mental health.
Britain in 2018 saw some unusually high floods which saw Kevin and his family, with his wife heavily pregnant at the time, jobless and homeless overnight.
“Every single thing that happens to us in life has a positive and a negative, it’s how we see that situation”
Rather than stressing, being miserable and angry that they had lost everything, he saw it as an opportunity to start again from square one, away form the celebrity lifestyle and just the way they want to do it.
Knowing he had already helped a lot of people out through life coaching and just being there as a decent trusted person, he knew he could make some calls to help his family. The same day of the flood, one friend deposited money into his bank account so he didn’t feel like he had to struggle with what he’d lost, and another friend gave him keys to an empty shop he had spare so Kevin could continue to keep his tattoo clients and work. You do good, other people want to do good for you back. The Paul family sold their C63 Mercedes 6.3 and X5M bmw sport and moved to a smaller house in the country which was perfect timing for Covid to drop in.
“Getting rid of everything is the best thing I ever did. It took all of these pressures away, and it was from taking that pressure away and not having to work, that gave me the freedom, especially with Covid happening, I had so much freedom to get on with Common-
-The flood and covid was actually the best thing that could have happened to us.”
Understanding the blessing of personal time, Kevin has enjoyed spending the whole first year of his daughter’s life with her everyday, going on 2-3 hour walks with his two older boys, cooking breakfast, dinner and tea, house work – “All the things I haven’t really done since I was younger and I loved it!”
“I looked at everything that had happened in my life, and i had come from a pretty bad life and to be able to turn it around to work with the police and government, going through secret tunnels under london thinking how did a chav selling drugs on a council estate make it to being treated as an equal here with government.”
Right now, Kevin is fully focused on the successful release of Common, hoping to make more episodes, branch out across the country and possibly even do a bit more acting himself. Who knows what direction the wind will blow in next, either way, it’s all very exciting.