A producer who began his career recording friends in his bedroom has been shortlisted for a prestigious urban music award.

Tom Casey from Stevenage is up against 14 other creative talents from across the UK in the Best Producer category of the Official Mixtape Music Awards.

The awards recognise the best new artists and producers of last year in the urban music scene based on their promotional mixtapes – CDs or mp3s circulated in the music industry.

Tom, who went to Barnwell School, has built up a strong portfolio of work, including production credits as Red Skull Beats for UK rapper K-Koke – signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, and Mic Righteous since he started recording and mixing six years ago.

“I started off doing music technology at college and producing for friends or just for fun,” the 24-year-old said.

From here he made contacts in the London rap scene and decided to take his mixes to the capital.

“I went into London and took my backpack with CDs. From there I started going to underground hip hop shows and beat battle competitions.

“I’ve done quite a lot of tracks for people especially rappers up and coming on the UK scene – Lowkey, Joe Black – all these guys are big names on the UK music scene.

Tom’s work caught the attention of the judging panel who also shortlisted Tinie Tempah, Chipmunk and Estelle for awards.

The winners are selected by popular vote, so to back Tom go to http://officialmixtapeawards.com and follow the links to Red Skull Beats in the Best Producer category. Voting closes on March 10.

The awards will be presented in April.