Leo Capper, who’s known as Leo Dynamic1 aka ‘The Punching Producer’, tells us what he learned in the ring and how he applied it to changing his career.
SINCE MY DECISION to quit the corporate world two years ago, I haven’t looked back on my choice to follow my dream and become a full-time songwriter and music producer.
This meant leaving a secure job with a pension plus benefits. It wasn’t an easy decision to walk away after 17 years and go it alone in music.
But I’m a firm believer in following your passion and dreams. It’s a cliché but ‘life is too short – no regrets.’
I made the difficult decision to quit my day job because I was starting to see results from my music, I’d won two songwriting awards and my music was being heard by people all around the world.
I was working as an IT engineer in a large corporate company, but with my passion for music, I knew that I would not be a ‘lifer’ in the corporate world.
As the draw to music just kept getting stronger and stronger, I found I didn’t have enough time on a part-time basis to fulfil my musical ambition, so with the valuable support of my family and partner I left IT in August 2016.
To this day it has been the best decision I have ever made
I’ve learned that in order to be successful at anything you need to take risks. I won’t lie, it was scary leaving a secure job and career, but I was no longer cut out for the 9-5 life.
I have learned so much in the two and a half years since I left. I’ve learned how the music industry works, how Spotify has become the ‘new radio’, how to manage and extend my network, which by the power of the internet is now worldwide. I have learned to train my ear and of course, you never stop learning
My artist name is Leo Dynamic1, aka The Punching Producer. That’s because I was also two times All Ireland Boxing Champion, two times Leinster Champion and three times Dublin Champion. I also sparred with three world champions.
Being a boxer was great. It’s all I did from the age of 13 and I loved every minute of it, even the gruelling 10k morning runs, training for three hours a day in the gym and with my dad as my coach it really was like a 24-hour training camp.
I have fought in some of the toughest gyms in the world, including Gleeson’s in Brooklyn New York which was not a place to be a quiet, shy Dublin lad.
Through boxing, you learn a lot about yourself, what barriers you face and how to overcome them, I learned the power of visualisation and knowing your own strength both physical and mental really helps to build your confidence.
Boxing has also taught me respect, respect for the sport, the training, and the local clubs and how it is accessible to everyone.
All the mental skills and strength that I developed throughout my boxing career, I now apply to my music career.
Journey to music
In the early years, to keep my hands flexible my Dad sent me to piano lessons. From then on I was hooked on making music.
The piano lessons moved onto keyboards – my first buy was a second hand one, that took pride of place in the bedroom. My Dad was also in a showband in the 1970s so there was always music in the house.
When I’m writing, a melody just pops into my head and having learned how to read basic music notes, it was easy for me to lay down the melody and record it.
Having a keen interest and studies in IT, the world of electronic music opened many new avenues, which meant I could explore various genres of music from pop, dance, EDM, ballads and hip hop.
Over the years my love of making music grew stronger than my love of boxing and of course, it was a lot physically easier too. I finished off my boxing career at the age of 26 after 12 years at various competitive levels.
Music was now my calling. To this day I have not regretted leaving the corporate world or the boxing ring.
The one attribute I have brought from the boxing ring to the music scene is my strong resilience and determination.
To win a fight you only have to beat one opponent, to break into the music scene, you have to break through numerous opponents and challenges.
Writing a good song is just the beginning. The next challenge is to try and get your music heard by people for that you need a following on radio, Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and other platforms.
I’ve had nine releases through an independent record label based in Sweden, from this my tracks, slowly but surely, have increased streams across all platforms.
Back home I’ve won two songwriting awards so far, while another song reached the final of Ireland’s Junior Eurovision selection.
In July 2018 I signed a global distribution deal with KobaltAWAL music group. I’ve also recently signed a deal with a company in Ireland who specialise in placing music for advertisements, movies and video games.
A media company in New York have got my music placed in TV shows and adverts in the USA too.
I also write and produce songs for other artists. A German artist I produced for, has had two releases with Sony Music in Germany. Another track I produced for an artist recently hit the top 40 charts in Italy.
My advice for people who want to change career?
Definitely do it. It didn’t happen to me overnight, I juggled with the decision for over a year.
Weigh up all the pros and cons, and have a plan B in case it doesn’t work out. I am glad to say I haven’t had to go near my plan B.
Involve your partner and family in the decision, for me, having their 100% support has made a huge difference, it gives you a sense of a safety net and the feeling that you are doing the right thing.
It has been amazing since I changed career the number of people who have said: “I am so jealous, I would love to leave my job and follow my passion”.
Never give up on your dreams: Keep throwing those punches.
Leo Dynamic1 is on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.