You may know him as the dancer from the Prodigy but Leeroy Thornhill is now a solo entity and recently released a debut album under the moniker Flightcrank.
He left the chart-topping band last February and ever since has been concentrating on a new, and far more personal, project released through a the small independent label Copasetik Recordings.
Thornhill launched Flightcrank with an EP entitled 'Twisted' last May and it featured dub master Lee 'Scratch' Perry. At the time the record was championed by on Radio One's Steve Lamacq and London-based indie station Xfm.
Continuing in a more alternative vein from the techno-tinged Prodigy sound, Leeroy's album, 'Beyond All Reasonable Doubt', encompasses everything from breakbeat to lo-fi. As well as Perry, it includes a collaboration with fellow dubster the Mad Professor and Finley Quaye.
The album spawned the single 'Amazing', which has been remixed by Cameron McVey who is known for his work with Massive Attack, All Saints and Neneh Cherry. It is on this laid back groove that you can hear Leeroy's mellow vocals for the first time.
dotmusic caught up with Thornhill at a busy bar in London's trendy Hoxton and he talked about life since leaving the Prodigy, how he came up with his new name and what he has learnt about himself musically.
He also revealed why he decided to sing on the album himself and that he thinks potential up-and-coming, young pop stars are often cruelly exploited.
How much has life changed since you left the Prodigy?
"It's change a bit but not much really. I'm just doing stuff for me now, which is cool. I have more time to myself. I'm not as lazy as I was.
"It hasn't really changed that much to be honest with you. With the band there were four of us to spread things around but it's all for me now. I wouldn't say there was that many changes, except for people I want give me more free stuff.
"It's just the next page of my life. It's better for me at the moment, that's why I'm not in there. That is what I wanted to do. The best thing for me at the moment is to be happy and I'm happy!"
Do you miss the band and do you stay in touch?
"Nothing is different, we still all hang out. We decided to have a year off and then there was another year off, so there was nothing to miss for two years. At the end of it we stopped touring because it wasn't fresh. We needed new music and we needed time to write the album.
"Yeah I do miss all the travelling but I'll be doing it different. I won't be throwing myself around in pain anymore. Yeah, of course I miss it but I've been there and done that and I've turned the page now, so we'll see what happens."
How did you come up with the moniker Flightcrank?
"Flightcrank is a BMX. When I was younger I was into that. To me it's like what's in a name, once you hear it a few times you take a name for granted. There is nothing in it except for it was the best crank at the time, and I couldn't afford one then but I've got one now."
What have you learnt about yourself musically through making a solo album?
"Musically I've learnt quite a bit, in terms of working with people and how to arrange. Also from listening to a lot of old music, punk music and stuff, realising that less is more. I've learnt a lot more about writing songs.
"I've learnt little bits and pieces about guitar, don't get me wrong I can't play, but I've got one and I'll pick it up and practice because I want to learn to play, the harmonica and bass as well. So I've touched musical instruments that I've always wanted to but never really got round to
"The song writing has come on a lot. If someone had said to me a year and a half ago 'you're gonna do an album with eight vocal tracks on' I probably would have laughed at them. I found out a lot about my confidence. It's nice to get a self-confidence that you can give to other people, but also feel for yourself."
We hear your vocals for the first time. Have you always wanted to sing?
"I didn't even think about it. I wrote a couple of bits of pieces and it worked so I kept going. I think 'Amazing' was the first time I thought 'this is a good song' and it developed at different stages but without every going away from the original vibe. For me it's a pretty strong and as it was one of the first and I wanted to explore it a bit more.
"I don't think you have too much time to think about it in some respects. I had a deadline, which wasn't pressure or anything like that, but I thought 'I want to achieve this and still have three of four tracks to choose from that I don't want to use'.
Why is the album called 'Beyond All Reasonable Doubt'?
"I walked out a couple of really cool relationships last year to further myself and my happiness and I'm convinced I've done the right thing, without a doubt. I'm a realist. I haven't got any time for bullshit. If something is wrong then sort is out and be happy. . .
"At the moment the only thing that matters to me is me, inside feeling happy and my head being in the right place. My f**kin' hair was falling out, I had a big bald patch and I knew I had to sort my life out."
You have worked with Lee Scratch Perry and The Mad Professor. Has reggae played a big part in you life?
"I love reggae, but to say I'm a reggae head would be an insult to people who are. If you look at my reggae collection, it is piss weak. It's music that doesn't get enough exploitation unless you are in the black community and therefore you know exactly what is going on.
"It's a feeling I've always love and in any music you can achieve it. . . It's not that conscious, it's just in me. With whatever style of music you write, with saxophone or whatever, you can bring out that dubby feel. . .
On cover versions. . .
"I've done a cover version on the album and I think that's totally cool. Like Tricky when he did the Public Enemy cover, to me that was wicked but The Corrs doing a Fleetwood Mac track, which if it's personal to them then that is great, but your not going to make that better.
"It saddens me that people make careers on doing cover versions. All these kids today don't even know that Cat Stevens did the original, they just hear this Boyzone thing and think that's it."
What did you cover?
"'When I Get Famous' by Patrick Fitzgerald, it's an old punk track from 1979. It's just him and a guitar and he is really cockney, it's just speaking really. . . I played it once, sung it and recorded the vocal and then though 'that could work', so that's how it turned out.
"I used it cos I thought that it was kinda funny and ironic that I turned out to be famous, so that's what it was about really."
Who else can we hear on the album?
"I wrote a song with Cameron McVey and a mate of mine called Paul, we worked together. Cameron produced the track 'Amazing' and I did a little instrumental jam with Finley Quaye.
"I also wrote two songs with this girl called Charli who is undiscovered. She's only 18 and has a really, really good voice. I tried to save her from going down that pop line. She has been to auditions for things and they wanted her to be 'Skate Girl' or whatever and loose a few stone. I told her not to sell herself short just to put yourself on a pop record."
Ruth Mitchell, dotmusic.com