R’N’B music stars Lil Wayne, Nicky Minaj and Drake are just three of those to have graced Classic Studios recording studios in Miami – but now a 25-yearold from Pontypool can say the same.

Pontypool born and bred rapper Dee Shae (real name Daniel Ludlow) jetted out to Miami last month and as a result got the chance to collaborate with Cory Gunz, one of the brightest up-andcoming stars in the US.

It was a far cry from the former West Monmouth School pupil’s rap debut, practising his lyrics at a basketball academy in Fairwater, Cwmbran.

After Dee began uploading his music to website Myspace, the interest followed.

In 2007 he was named the number two unsigned artist on the site and went on to support UK rappers including Tinie Tempah, Wiley and N Dubz.

But he confesses he was close to packing it all in this year, until the unlikely trip to Miami emerged.

“I had 60,000 hits on YouTube and had done those support shows but I was about to pack it all in. I felt I wasn’t getting where I wanted to be. But then I got a call from Reyna music group in America.

“I thought it was another joke to be honest, because I’d had a few calls before which turned out to be nothing, but I had a few Skype calls and then they flew me out there.

“It was crazy, I was in the studio with Ballistic Beats, who’s aGrammy award-winning producer, the editor of Source magazine, which is like the hip-hop bible, and a dancer from a 50 Cent video – it was crazy.”

In mum Michelle Ludlow, a barber in Pontypool, he has always had a superfan though.

“She doesn’t know what to think. She was jumping up and down, her Sky plus box is full of me when I’m onTVI think,” he laughs.

And its certainly given Dee new vigour to pursue his dream.

He’ll be back in the US next month for another collaboration and is hoping to secure a record deal.