Hard work, entrepreneurship, and a talent for communicating have no doubt played a part in Jazzie B's success, but of all the things the soul man credits, it's punk.

Growing up around Finsbury Park, the ninth of ten children born to Antiguan parents, his careers teacher at Holloway School suggested he become a milkman.

Luckily the DJ and producer took no notice - by 14 he was already being paid for gigs.

"I was doing things from early," he recalls.

"Money started to roll in in 1977 at the Queen's Silver Jubilee outside my house. I was getting paid by the community, and saving the money to put back into the sound system.

"What I ended up doing was against the grain, trying to fit into this square hole. A careers teacher said I would be best going for a milkman job - this was against the backdrop of getting arrested under this sus law - but there was this whole energy of punk, and I was able to use the punk attitude in my own community, and my own songs."

Jazzie B unveiling his stone on the Music Walk of Fame in CamdenJazzie B unveiling his stone on the Music Walk of Fame in Camden (Image: PA)

Jazzie (real name Trevor Beresford Romeo) reveals the challenges of being young and Black in 1970s London. He once got "bundled into a van" for carrying an electronic plugboard in a Safeway bag in Holloway Road, which they told him was an offensive weapon.

"The first of many times," he says.

"We were really about us being Black and British and our own community as opposed to fitting in," he says.

"Our generation were being sent to school by our parents and told 'try and fit in'.

"It was such a disastrous suggestion with all of what was against us, but it was a time when the gatekeepers were being questioned, teachers were being questioned, things were being challenged, like with Rock against Racism."

Jazzie B with son Mahlon in 2008 after collecting his OBEJazzie B with son Mahlon in 2008 after collecting his OBE (Image: PA)

A music obsessive from an early age, he recalls the wonders of 'borrowing' records from Hornsey Road library.

"In those days you could take out records like you took out books, hence my collection being so eclectic - you might put old records back into the sleeve then go back next week to nick the sleeve."

By 18 he was working as a tape operator for pop legend Tommy Steele, and by 20 he had taken offence at placards in the doorway saying 'No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish and "f***ed off to Camden".

There he found a creative, entrepreneurial vibe; hippies living in squats, and semi-derelict buildings to hold music events. With a group, he ran a sound system, market stalls, a record shop - and screen printed a clothing line.

"The apologising ended when I got to Camden," he says. "We were like aliens from another planet. From Bagleys up to Kentish Town it was greasy and gritty and totally derelique, but that made things more interesting. It was such an innovating, incredible, artistic place and you had freedom."

"We used to have market stalls and this guy Maurice Bloom was quite taken with how together we were and allowed us to put our stuff in back of the Bowman Building behind Camden High Street."

Soul II Soul have continued to perform over the years with a changing line upSoul II Soul have continued to perform over the years with a changing line up (Image: PA)

Soul II Soul struck fame in the late 1980s after holding a legendary night at the Africa Centre in Covent Garden, but Jazzie has always insisted it is "a lifestyle", not just a music collective.

He compares the success of topping the charts with hits like Keep on Movin' and Back To Life to being "an alien with a passport".

"It's just mad, it starts reverbing around and has its own energy, but it brings opportunities," he says.

That included producing for Incognito, Maxi Priest, James Brown, Kym Mazelle, Ziggy Marley, Nas, and Destiny's Child.

Jazzie remains in Camden, but true to his roots is a diehard Gooner.

Among accolades that include an OBE, a MOBO, a Grammy, and an inspiration award from the Ivor Novello Awards, he is chuffed by a steel statue outside Finsbury Park station.

"Hornsey and Finsbury Park is my turf," he says. "It's mad that the statue is by my old haunt, by the benches were the buses are. It stands in the face of adversity for what I went through, the fact that the community came together to put it there, it's a real one in the eye."

He's philosophical about gentrification of his old haunts and of Camden.

"Things and times have to change, you have got to keep on moving," he says. "Councils and rules change and it's nice to have a piece of land that's our own little world where you can close the garage doors and get away from it.

"There may now be million dollar houses but it will always be a sticky area.

"It's kind of more interesting, people serving up crack in the nooks and crannies all the punters and people, it's the same shit different day, you can rearrange the greenery but you can't move them people on."

Soul II Soul play Kaleidoscope Festival on July 13Soul II Soul play Kaleidoscope Festival on July 13 (Image: Lloyd Winters)

Soul II Soul continue to get crowds on their feet they will at Alexandra Palace's Kaleidoscope Festival on Saturday, July 13.

Jazzie says The Muswell Hill landmark is "part of my life, I consider it very much my back garden. I used to roller skate there on wooden wheels, and have played festivals over the years, I have come full circle."

He describes a Soul II Soul show as "happy happy face, happy happy happy times for all, great memories."

And he has no intention of stopping: "It's part and parcel of how I live, I know I am blessed and people enjoy it, to get rewards like that in life is incredible."