Paul Alwright: My mother dying changed my life

Life Lessons: Dublin rapper and actor Paul Alwright aka Lethal Dialect

Paul Alwright, aka Lethal Dialect, is a rapper and actor from Dublin.

Is there a moment that changed your life?

My mother passing away last year. The loss of someone with such a pivotal role in your life is obviously going to upend it, but not all for the worst. It’s like a near-death experience in many ways, and it has definitely made me appreciate life a bit more, while at the same time not being too afraid of the end, which is a nice balance.

Who do you admire most?

The woman above, my mother. She loved life and died fairly young, but she never complained about it and made peace with it. One of the things that stuck with me was how, even towards the end, she was worrying about the place being clean and plants being watered. I thought it was pointless at the time, but there’s a maxim in there about utilising all the energy and time we have while we have it, even if what we’re doing might seem insignificant. I haven’t quite cracked that one yet.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?

Probably Daniel McDonnell (Lunatic), an MC from Ballymun who passed away some years ago. Hearing his music had a massive impact on me, as it was the first time I had ever heard a rapper from Dublin using his own accent and talking about his own life story and stuff going on around the city.


Is there a practical thing you do for your personal development?

Reading a lot. Everything that’s ever happened to a human being has been written about by a human being, and most of them decided to write about it so we don’t have to repeat their mistakes.

What is your biggest flaw?

Being an all or nothing type of person. Not a great buzz when you’re trying to look after your nutrition and you find a dusty packet of Toffee Crisps down the back of the press.

And your worst habit?

I have a bad habit of asking “what if?” It’s deadly when it’s applied creatively, but when I’m hungover and a bit anxious it’s an absolute night mare.

What are you most proud of?

Probably having self-released nearly five albums now.  Well, that’s either something to be very proud of or the opposite!

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your life?

I’d say picking up MMA. It’s a tough sport that never stops challenging you. I’ve often come out of a training session buzzing because I felt like I was getting the hang of some aspect of it, only to be quickly humbled again in the following session.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Instead of trying to control the things we can’t - events - and neglecting those we can - our reaction to those events - do the opposite. It’s advice from a 2,000+ year old philosopher, so I might be cheating slightly here.

And the worst?

Nothing springs to mind, probably because whenever I ask for advice I’m only looking for a bit of confirmation bias, and everything else gets blotted out. That, or everyone around me gives great advice, ha!

What is your motto for life?

It is what it is.