A TEENAGE rapper who is using his painful childhood as inspiration for powerful song lyrics is recording his first album.

A drugs courier at the age of 13 who used to play with his parents' heroin needles,  a career in crime seemed inevitable for Adam Skidmore.

However, the 18-year-old is now on his way to becoming a musician after securing gigs and performing in front of top DJ Fatboy Slim.

The self-confessed truant, who lived in 15 foster homes, is studying foundation stage English and maths at the Myplace youth centre in Middlesbrough where he has made full use of its basement music studios.

He has now joined forces with classmate Ethan Covell, 17, to record an album at Redcar’s Tuned-In! media and performing arts centre.

“It’s about a group of bad lads who turn their lives around and has a second story running through it about a boy who wants a girl he can’t have,” he said.

In December he sang in front of a crowd including Fatboy Slim, otherwise known as Norman Cook, when he visited Myplace to encourage youngsters to volunteer abroad in poverty-stricken countries.

Since then, Mr Skidmore from Middlesbrough, who goes under the name DJ Carta, has secured a gig in Essex as well as at The Picture House in Billingham on Friday, February 21, with Mr Covell and a female vocalist.

Now settled with a Middlesbrough foster family, he added: “I’m really happy and proud of what we’ve achieved and  I'm determined to go even further with my music.”